My Brimbank: Peter Deng

Deer Park bookworm Peter Deng, 18, tells Ben Cameron how he’s keen to give back to Brimbank after receiving a Western Chances scholarship that changed his life 


How long have you been living in Brimbank?

I have lived in Brimbank for more than five years. We first moved here in 2010 from Brunswick. I was born in Tianjin, China.


What is your favourite thing about living here?

The fact that it’s a quiet place yet not so far away from the city; it’s very accessible.


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy watching the news and keeping up to date with what is happening in the world. I’m a keen reader of The Economist and also enjoy watching TV shows like Suits and House of Cards as a way to relax.


Did you study locally?

I completed VCE at Suzanne Cory High School in Werribee. It was a very supportive environment with great teachers. The students were also similar-minded and all had the goal of doing well academically. Overall, the school made a very positive difference in my learning outcome.


How did your Western Chances scholarship change your life?

It provided so many opportunities I would not have imagined. Having my textbook expenses covered and getting free access to VCE revision lectures enabled me to focus more on my studies and helped me achieve my final high school result. I have been to leadership development programs, such as the Trinity Young Leaders program and the Lord Somers camp, which were incredible experiences providing me with fun times and friendships outside of just school. My life was definitely changed as I was able to perform at a higher level academically and expand my horizons through those leadership programs.


What did the scholarship allow you to do that perhaps you couldn’t have done in the past?

It also enabled me to gain a Doxa cadetship with the Honan Insurance Group for the duration of my university studies. And it opened me up to a scholarship place at Ormond College for their non-resident program. Western Chances’ nomination also allowed me to become a scholar with the Dafydd Lewis Trust. The additional opportunities provided are definitely beyond what I had planned for, and I’m really grateful.


Do you have any major goals for the future?

I aim to graduate from Melbourne University (bachelor of commerce) and I’d like to help not-for-profit organisations like Western Chances to … give back to people who have helped me achieve my goals.