Name: Collin Peebles, Geelong Food Relief Centre
Key attributes: Passionate, Driven, Kind
Social value: Emergency and community services
Primary suburb: Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Borough of Queenscliff and Colac Otway Shire
Local Westfield: Geelong, Vic
Collin Peebles is a natural and inspiring leader and helps feed over 37,000 people doing it tough through his work with the Geelong Food Relief Centre.
As CEO, Collin leads around 90 volunteers and works alongside them to sort out food donations and stock shelves.
Collin is passionate about helping those in need and keeps the centre open after hours so those running late can still feed their families.
He spends his own time giving presentations to groups and clubs to boost support for the centre and is hoping to expand the service to a broader population.
“I also coordinate the distribution of around 900,000kg of pro bono emergency food to over 50 micro food banks throughout the region,” Collin says. “I ensure my operation protects our environment by coordinating local farmers and recyclers on a daily basis.”
Collin and his team work with welfare officers at schools and early learning centres to provide food vouchers and hampers to families.
One of his challenges is limited storage, which is an obstacle he is determined to overcome to improve the centre’s ability to meet demand.
“I am in negotiations with council, government and stakeholders with a vision to relocate to a larger facility within 12 months.”
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. If Collin is successful, the Geelong Food Relief Centre will use its grant to help fund a new forklift trolley.
Collin’s nominator says: “Collin has a way of talking to people that makes them feel very comfortable, and everyone wants to hear what he has to say. He goes out of his way daily for the people of Geelong who are struggling.”