Our Patrons

Patrons of Banksia Gardens


Robert-KumarBob Kumar

Mr Bob Kumar is the Regional Co-ordinating Magistrate for the Hume Region, Victoria. He is responsible for the governance, co-ordination and management of the Hume Region’s Magisterial presence. He is the Senior Magistrate at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court Complex in Broadmeadows.

Prior to his appointment as a Victorian Magistrate, Mr. Kumar practiced as a Barrister at Law in England as a member of Lincoln’s Inn.

During his tenure as a Victorian Magistrate (1986-1992) and as Regional Co-ordinating Magistrate (1992-present), Mr Kumar has been personally instrumental in either developing or implementing innovations in Magisterial Court procedures in Victoria. He implemented the Criminal Diversion pilot program at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court in 1996 and developed and introduced the Contest Mention System to the Victorian Criminal Justice System in 1992.

Mr Kumar has been a supporter of the Victoria Law School and its Legal Skills Program and has made available Court work spaces and resources for the Victoria Law School and its students. He is an outstanding leader in the legal sector.


Fr-Bob-MaguireFr Bob Maguire AM RFD

“The persistent appetite for human beings for community is what we should all be dedicated to”.

Fr Bob Maguire is an Australian Catholic priest, community worker and media personality from South Melbourne. Commonly known as “Father Bob”, Maguire was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for his work with homeless youth.

In 2003, Father Bob founded the Fr Bob Maguire Foundation which “is in the business of ending homelessness.” The Foundation strives to create a socially cohesive community where nobody falls through the cracks and feels totally alone and isolated, incorporating student scholarship funds, the HopeMobile, CBD street work, Beyond Care and supportive case management.

He is a co-host of Sunday Night Safran on Australian national youth radio station Triple J on Sunday nights. His popularity is such that he now has his own website and podcast, in addition to the Triple J Sunday Night Safran radio show and podcast.


Ambassadors for Banksia Gardens

Abdi-AdenAbdi Aden

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Abdi grew up in Mogadishu until the outbreak of Somalia’s devastating civil war separated him from his family and home. He fled Mogadishu with 300 others and headed for the Kenyan border. On the way, death squads hunted them. Abdi and a group of other boys were caught and lined up to be executed. Miraculously the bullets missed Abdi but he fell to the ground and feigned death. Of the 300 who set out from Mogadishu, only five survived to reach Kenya.

From Kenya, Abdi’s journey took him to Romania, Germany and finally Australia. Arriving in Melbourne as a 15 year old asylum seeker, Abdi was penniless and homeless for a year, but he went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development, become a youth worker, and forged a new life for himself and his family. He has since completed a postgraduate studies in adolescent mental health.

For the past 14 years, Abdi has been employed as a youth worker, including a position at Banksia Gardens in 2005 helping to establish our youth programs. This has given him the chance to give to the community by advocating for the rights of people from a disadvantaged background. In 2012 he starred in the award-winning ‘Go Back to Where You Came From’ documentary and has featured in the media, using his profile to empower other refugees and communities to share their stories and achievements. Abdi spends most of his time sharing his life experiences with school students, youth groups and others as a motivational speaker and human rights advocate.



Tangata (Ta) Tupou

Ta Tupou is a Pacific Island Australian who grew up in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. Ta has spent most of her life in Broadmeadows, even living in the commission houses for a number of years. It was at the age of 12, whilst living in the estates, where she began attending Banksia Gardens for the services such as computers, table tennis & tutors for study group.


Despite financial struggles, Ta has gone on to achieve many accolades in both the sporting and music arena. In sport, Ta has represented Victoria in Rugby League and the Melbourne Rebels Women’s franchise in Rugby Union. She has also represented her country at the 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games and has just recently returned from Japan where she was playing Rugby professionally. 

With music being a huge part of her life, Ta has been a singer with Outer Urban Projects for 11 years, performing at many different prestigious venues, including Spiegel Tent, Melbourne Recital Centre, Fairfax Studio to name a few.

Ta is currently studying to be a teacher in the hopes of impacting young lives for the better.