‘I would probably have been locked up if I didn’t go to BYS.
My attitude used to be really harsh, aggressive. I felt like I was the only one, by myself; I was trying to stick to my ground, to look after myself.
The reason I left home, my dad is more of his culture. He’s a real fussy person. He told me to stay home, not go to school, and I’ve always wanted to go to school, to go study. And one day … I … went to school … Later my dad … said, ‘I spoke to all my brothers and they want me to kick you out’ … That was hard for him…so I made a choice. Everyone was … trying to disown me; so I just disowned myself from the family.
I was 15. I was on the streets for almost a year, then … BYS … gave me help.
I stayed at Windsor House for three months before moving to Phoenix House.
At first I was real shy. I didn’t know anyone, of course … I got put in here with random people I didn’t know. I was real nervous … after a couple of months I started opening up, and made friends with people … and with the youth worker as well.
They’ve always given me positivity. Never negative stuff. Nothing to put me down; they always keep me up. They gave me a lot of love and a lot of things to do.
They gave me opportunities to get a white card, a blue card to go for my job, and I took the courses, got them done … they hooked me up with Centrelink … so I could get a payment ’cause I was living out of home … a roof over my head, shelter, food, a bed.
I want to be a sparky … I’ll turn 18 in two months and then I’ll be working with my brother.
I had nothing … BYS picked me up and showed me what I could achieve.’