Freedomroo – Why feared Hells Angels enforcer QUIT – and his biggest regrets over Melbourne’s deadly underground 

Feleti Hema (pictured) first joined a gang when he was just 11 years old in New Zealand

A feared bikie standover has opened up about his journey into Melbourne’s bikie underworld and the mysterious interaction that began to change his life.

Feleti Hema, now a youth worker and deeply religious man, described his descent into a life of crime in New Zealand and Australia and eventually drug dealing and violent debt collection for the Hell’s Angels.

Mr Hema joined gangs before he was a teenager and says his family background of poverty meant the money he earned from drugs and violence bonded him to crime. 

Feleti Hema (pictured) first joined a gang when he was just 11 years old in New Zealand

‘When you’re coming from my sort of upbringing and not seeing that sort of [money] and knowing that I can do that sort of [violence], and I could walk around with money, it’s like “oh yeah, why not?”,’ he told The Felon Show podcast.

‘It’s a mad redemption story,’ said The Felon Show host, David Obeda, himself a former gang member.

Mr Hema joined gangs at 11 in Otara, south Auckland, an area heavily populated by Pacific Islander communities.

Then when his father moved to Ringwood in Melbourne two years later, he mixed with disaffected teens and young men from immigrant communities and was introduced to drugs.

‘We were doing buckets in the car then the next minutes the Aussie boys were like “you should try this”, then we were doing the [ice] pipe,’ he remembers. 

The former Hells Angels enforcer is now working as a youth worker after leaving the gang

The former Hells Angels enforcer is now working as a youth worker after leaving the gang

Felleti was patched into the Hells Angels at just 20 and helped to find new recruits

Felleti was patched into the Hells Angels at just 20 and helped to find new recruits 

One such group was young Burmese men who carried machetes for their ‘protection’.

After a failed stint as an auto-electrician, Mr Hema and other young immigrant men started their own ‘313’ gang – named after the first three numbers of Ringwood’s postcode.

They earned money through house burglaries and became attached to living with more money they were used to growing up.

Next came drug-dealing and standover work for the Red Devils at Eastwood – a feeder club for the Hells Angels.

‘It was a daily thing. I lived at the clubhouse.’ 

He was patched into the Hells Angels at just 20 and helped to find new recruits – known as prospecting – for about a year.

A mysterious encounter inside the Hells Angel clubhouse one day marked the beginning of the end of his gang life. 

‘There was a lady in the club, I’d never seen her before. She came up to me and said “you don’t look like you’re meant to be here”. I was like “me? Nah, I’m here for life”.

‘She said “you look more suited to being in church, like being a pastor”. At the time I thought, “this lady’s on another planet, I don’t know what she’s on, but she’s on something”.’

After leaving the gang, he was still involved in crime until  his wife convinced him to go to church (pictured with his family)

After leaving the gang, he was still involved in crime until  his wife convinced him to go to church (pictured with his family)

The Hells Angels are one of the most feared gangs in the world, and have chapters right across Australia  (stock image)

The Hells Angels are one of the most feared gangs in the world, and have chapters right across Australia  (stock image)

Within months he left the Hells Angels after a falling out with club members.

He admits drifting for a year, still doing crime – until his wife convinced him to go to church.

A pastor at the service asked ‘who here today wants to renew themselves’ Mr Hema remembers. 

‘I raised my hand, and he asked me up to the front of the stage to pray for me.

‘From that moment on life has been getting better, I’ve been smashing goals.’ 

Today Mr Hema works as a youth worker helping directionless teens achieve their goals. 

One of his passions is also fighting institutional racism.

‘If you think racism is bas at grass roots levels wait until you meet the CEOs,’ he said.

‘When they see a brown person making it they want to shut them down.

‘Now I’m transferring the hustle from the streets to the hustle in this sort of game.’ 

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