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Mate to Mate draws on my personal journey of on-going suffering, despair, trauma, setbacks and hopelessness. It’s a celebration of survival, and the ability of an individual human life to endure against seemingly IMPOSSIBLE ADVERSITY and refusing to GIVE IN. It’s about learning the vital life lesson of RESILIENCE.
I grew up in a housing commission area in Western Sydney with an extremely violent father who was a former inmate of Pentridge Prison. He subjected his family to continual physical and mental abuse, fuelled by the consistent and damaging presence of alcohol.
I was homeless at 16 years of age, residing in a Salvation Army refuge for 18 months, working three jobs and saving money for my first home deposit.
I became a policeman and served for 10 years in Sydney. While on duty one night, I identified my own 19 year old brother after he died from a heroin overdose. I also worked with Police Officers who suicided.
I experienced redundancy, losing my job as a senior manager with the Environment Protection Authority.
Then came the perfect storm of a three and a half year period from 2013-2017 when my father passed away and two close friends died at the age of 46 from alcohol abuse. I experienced significant trauma whilst doing FIFO work when I was one of the first responders to an incident where a worker was crushed to death.
My marriage of 25 years broke down and I was left in complete isolation with no support in place when my wife left me on a 20-acre rural property outside of Hobart. I had strong suicidal ideation and wanted to take away the pain.
At the time I did not want to live. It would have been easy go into the abyss. Essentially, I had a foot in two worlds – this one and the one beyond.
However, my resolve and will to live took over and I sought ways to stay alive and take the deeper journey of the true/ spirit centred self. I had to develop my own resilience strategies to stay alive!
I felt compelled to take the moral imperative, to do what I could to tackle the unacceptable level of suicide in this country.
Mate to Mate may be my personal story but it delivers a program that educates people on the use of personal tools to stay alive.
- Qualified workplace trainer and assessor – able to deliver training packages
- Qualified mental health first aider
- Qualified auditor
- ICAM Investigator
- Advance Diploma WHS
- Able to provide advice on Work Health and Safety matters, extensive experience in major construction projects and former WorkSafe Inspector
- Successful completion of community based mental health course