Coaching Category: Fitness Coach
Specialization(s): Body Building, Functional Fitness
Father Dave Smith is renowned for his dedicated work with at-risk youth, particularly his innovative use of boxing as a means of support for those grappling with substance abuse and anger management issues. In addition to his impactful role, he holds the esteemed rank of a 6th-degree black belt and is an accomplished professional boxer.
His journey into the realm of martial arts and boxing unfolded as he sought to raise funds for the Dulwich Hill community, where he serves as the parish priest. Father Dave's commitment to his community has earned him the Marrickville Citizen of the Year award twice, and he received nominations for the prestigious Australian of the Year accolade in both 2004 and 2009.
Born in Newtown, Sydney, in 1962, Father Dave pursued an honors degree in philosophy, which he completed in 1984. Subsequently, in 1985, he embarked on theological studies at Moore College, earning two theology degrees in 1988 and ultimately being ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia in 1989. Following his ordination, Father Dave spent two years in the parish of Miranda in Sydney's south before being appointed to Dulwich Hill in December 1990, where he continues to serve as parish priest at Holy Trinity.
Upon assuming leadership in Dulwich Hill, an area grappling with drug-related challenges, Father Dave's focus shifted towards aiding young people dealing with addiction. He transformed the church hall into a safe space for local youth to engage in fitness and martial arts training. In 1993, he founded the Order of the Fighting Fathers, inspiring fellow priests and religious individuals to employ martial arts in empowering young people to overcome their addictions and lead more fulfilling lives.
Father Dave's remarkable community contributions earned him the Marrickville Citizen of the Year award in 1997 and a subsequent recognition in 2009. His tireless efforts led to nominations for the Australian of the Year award in 2005 and 2009, particularly for his outstanding work with youth battling substance abuse.
In 2001, his inspirational story was immortalized in the short film "The Good Fight." Furthermore, in 2011, Father Dave embarked on a training journey to break the world record for the longest continuous boxing session. On April 1, 2012, he achieved this extraordinary feat, boxing for an impressive eight hours against 66 opponents across 120 three-minute rounds. This remarkable accomplishment garnered extensive media coverage, including from Fox Sports, and eclipsed the previous world record of 26 rounds.
Continuing his dedication to youth programs, Father Dave Smith returned to professional boxing on February 19, 2016, becoming Australia's oldest-ever professional boxer while raising funds for vital youth initiatives.
Awards & Certifications
Nominee Australian of the Year | 2004-09-16
Nominee Australian of the year | 2009-07-16
Marrickvle Citizen of the year | 1997-12-16