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Jack – Finding Freedom: Overcoming Struggles and Embracing Change

In a candid conversation in Lismore, we sit down with Jack, a resilient individual whose life took a transformative turn at TURSA. Jack opened up about his battles with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, shedding light on his remarkable journey from isolation to finding freedom and purpose from his barriers.

Depression, anxiety and dependency

Before Jack found his way to TURSA, his life was marked by heavy depression, anxiety, and a relentless struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Forced to move back home due to life’s circumstances, Jack found solace, but it was only upon reaching TURSA that his outlook took an upward turn and he began finding freedom.

A Turning Point

His encounter with Stacy at TURSA became a turning point. Jack vividly recalls the initial meeting having a positive progression in only a few minutes.  It laid the foundation for a pathway that met Jack’s needs. The prospect of rehab crossed his mind initially, but after just one week, the transformative experience at TURSA, mainly working at the showgrounds, made him reconsider.

Work for the Dole

Jack’s requirement to undertake Work for the Dole program, marked the beginning of his journey to recovery. Impressively, within eight weeks, Jack’s dedication and strong work ethic not only earned him connections but also opportunities. The president and vice president of the Show Society recognised his potential, leading to an offer to work as the head traffic controller for significant events.


Newfound Interest

Reflecting on his experience, Jack expresses a newfound interest in pursuing a career as a traffic controller. He discusses upcoming courses and potential paths, highlighting the positive impact of the opportunities presented to him.

As Jack narrates his story, it becomes evident that his struggle with anxiety has significantly diminished. Jack was previously unable to make eye contact or construct proper sentences, so he attributes his transformation to stepping out of his comfort zone. The experience at the showgrounds helped overcome much of his public anxiety and build his confidence, allowing him to communicate and work effectively with others.


Jack has found his calling at the Lismore Showgrounds as a traffic controller for race events

Staying Aware – A Conscious Effort

Acknowledging the ongoing need for awareness, Jack emphasises the conscious effort required to prevent a regression into past struggles. Despite facing challenges, he finds solace in his work, particularly at the showgrounds, where he thrives in a physical and social environment.

Jack envisions further growth, with Saturdays at the showground providing paid work and the rest of the week dedicated to volunteering. He plans to obtain his RSA and RCG for additional job opportunities. The supportive network at TURSA, and especially from Trev, ensures Jack’s continued involvement in significant events, boosting his confidence and motivation.

Stacy – Jack’s Employment Adviser

In a brief conversation with Stacy, Jack’s Employment Adviser, it becomes clear that Jack’s journey is a testament to the effectiveness of TURSA’s proactive approach.

Stacy highlights Jack’s initial timidness and anxiety, emphasising the positive impact of working collaboratively to overcome barriers. She encourages other individuals like Jack to reach out, they do not have to struggle alone, assuring them that TURSA is here to help, not hinder.

Finding Freedom through Resilience, Support and that First Step

Jack’s story at TURSA exemplifies the power of resilience, support, and the transformative impact of seizing opportunities. His journey sends a powerful message – it’s okay to seek help, and with the proper support, positive change is not only possible but achievable.

Both Stacey and Jack had a message they wanted to share:

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