MY STORY- STEPHEN
PROGRAM FACILITATOR & FOUNDER OF EMPATHY NOT SYMPATHY
I was born October 11, 1957 in Yallourn, Victoria. My journey began, in 1969. I was made a “Ward of the State” and placed in Turana Youth Training Centre, Victoria. I was 12 years of age. I started my 25 year addiction to Heroin, Speed and other drugs. I progressed from Turana Youth Training Centre on to Pentridge Prison. Pentridge Prison became my home on and off for the next 20 years. By that stage I was well and truely institutionalised and a criminal by trade.
In 1992 I was released from prison but did not know it would be my last time... I was 35 years old. I wanted to make change and began taking accountability for my actions, once I took ownership of my life and lifestyle I began to become the man I am today. It has not been easy. I became clean of drugs and sought help for other issues. I have not looked back, I have not failed myself.
I am able to use my life experiences to help others to break free of the barriers that prevent them from achieving the best life possible.
"My story is not unique... but my ability to Facilitate with passion, honesty and energy is".
Des is the Program Assistant Extraordinaire... I couldn't do what I do if I did not have the support of Des. Des is the go-to man!Des shares the driving with me on long trips, sets up activities & packs it all away again. Des is always there for clients to offer guidance & support. Never underestimate the importance of Des as part of Empathy Not Sympathy.
ADMINISTRATION & PROGRAM ASSISTANT
Tracey has a background in Community Services & a passion for working with young people. Tracey has a deep sense of social justice & understanding of issues affecting peoples ability to be the best that they can be. Tracey has worked case managing young people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Tracey has worked in a number of fields & is a 'Jack of all trades'.
Tracey holds a Diploma in Community Welfare Work- Specialising in Counselling Skills, Cert III In Mental Health, Cert. III Community Welfare Work & is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Social Work. Tracey handles most of the admin, social media & website while also supporting me with programs & client support.