Relationships Australia 2016 - 2017 Annual Report 1 - Page 49

Client Story: Alby’s story I was born in Adelaide in 1955, my parents migrated here from Holland after WWII. When I was 4 years old, I accidentally drank some kerosene. As a result, I was removed from my family and taken to the Seaforth Orphanage where I was placed on a regime of drugs and sexually abused. My relationship with my family was never the same after my release. At 11, I became a Ward of the State and by 13, I was addicted to heroin. I was sent to Windana reform school where I was sexually, physically and mentally abused. I underwent drug and alcohol detox programs but it was a very slow and painful process. Despite this struggle, I became a skilled machinery operator, got married and had two sons who I am really proud of. At age 50, I gave a statement to the Mullighan Inquiry into Children in State Care, which took a great weight off my shoulders. With the help of counselling, I decided to tell my whole story to the Royal Commission and I managed to resolve my substance abuse problem. I have been drug-free for three years and am enjoying life for the first time. I have chosen to put my energy into helping other wards of the state by becoming a member of the Consumer Reference Group at Post Care Services. Many of my mates from reform school would rather commit suicide than go into residential aged care, fearing they will be abused again. I want to make them aware of the massive changes in elder care and their choices. I also want to spread awareness about how our abuse as children has affected us, and highlight our concerns as we get old and frail. Funding Acknowledgement Elm Place provides Post Care Support Services and is funded by the Government of South Australia I was constantly in children’s court for menial theft and drug offences. This pattern continued into my early adult life and I was in and out of prisons until the age of 28. Individual, Family and Community Wellbeing | Relationships Australia SA Annual Report 2016 -2017 45