When I first arrived at Phoenix House 10 months ago, after transitioning out of the care of child Safety, I was timid and extremely withdrawn, and found it difficult to make eye contact with other people. I had been in the care of Child Safety from 9 months old until recently, where I experienced significant trauma during my foster placement.
After foster care, from ages 14 to 18 years, I was put into therapeutic residentials, where life was tough. When I eventually arrived at Phoenix House, I was using drugs daily, primarily because of long-term insomnia. After years of neglect, abuse and instability with people coming and going from my life, I found it difficult to believe that good things could happen to me.
Staff worked hard to earn my trust and, after a month or so, I started making eye contact. I began to open up and trust not only the staff, but also the other residents in the house. I mentioned that I was keen to investigate my Aboriginal heritage, and the House Manager immediately completed a referral for Gallang Place, a counselling service for Aboriginal young people, to build my support network through connection with Aboriginal peoples. This has helped me to discover who I am, and where I want to go.
BYS referred me onto supports that have improved my issues with sleep considerably, including a sleep therapy clinic at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, consultation with a doctor who prescribed medication and counselling through Gallang place.
The staff/youth workers that I had met in my past were not always positive, however, since coming to Phoenix House, I have been inspired by the staff and BYS as an organisation, due to the unconditional respect and value they have given me.
I am drug-free, have found my confidence, and can finally imaging a positive and successful future. I commenced a Cert III in Community Services as a pathway to university, where I want to study to become a Youth Worker.