Nathan was referred to the Ngulla Mia because he wasn’t able to look after his unit well enough. He used drugs and alcohol and was under an administration order, which meant his finances were managed by public trustee. He says he would be living on the streets if it wasn’t for RFWA, but today he is an inspiration to many.
When I first entered Ngulla Mia, I felt lucky to live in such a nice place with so many things to do to help me move forward in my life.
My dream was to move to Bunbury to be closer to mum (and learn to tolerate each other better) and my friends from school. I also wanted to become a cricket player for the Western Australian cricket team (The Warriors), even though I had not played cricket for over 5 years.
My goals included losing weight and getting fit, getting off public trust, saving money, staying away from drugs and alcohol and being seen as a good person - just to name a few.
I worked with my Recovery Worker to complete my life story and dream path. Together, we developed a plan to save money and I attended regular groups, including swimming twice a week and a recovery group on coping with emotions.
I made a number of friends at Ngulla Mia and celebrated my 30th birthday with them. It was the first time I felt people were willing to listen to what I wanted to do with my life. I even started talking to my mum and dad at least once a week.
I joined a cricket team and applied for a job at the WACA. I had already lost 18kg from starting to eat healthier foods. I reduced the amount of cigarettes I smoked each day and saved around $2000.
It was only a few months when I was given the opportunity to manage my own money. It was the first time I was able to do this in 11 years and I was keen to develop a plan with my Recovery Worker to make sure I could save my money as well as pay my bills on time.
By this stage I felt motivated to achieve my goals and, although it was hard at times, I was making great progress.
I first visited RFWA in Bunbury for a BBQ to meet the residents and staff and, after my Recovery Worker made the relevant referrals, my dream of moving back to Bunbury had been achieved.
In my short time in the service I made steps towards becoming a Western Australian cricket player, I lost 42kgs, made a lot of new friends, stayed away from drinking and taking drugs, and saw my father for the first time in 12 months.
My Recovery Worker says I was looked up to at Ngulla Mia and I even taught him a few life skills, and that’s really what it’s all about.
I am now sharing a two-bedroom unit at RFWA’s Bunbury site and playing with the Marist Cricket Club each weekend, training is held every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I use my car, a Ford V8 Ute, (manual) to travel to cricket, and I am also currently looking for part-time work.
My advice to others is to never give up and never give in.