Change Makers are key to how we, as an organisation, meet the needs of the greater community.
We refer to Change Makers as people who desire to achieve change in the world and their local communities – beginning with a group of people who are prepared to share time, knowledge and resources, be courageous, be positive, be compelled by love for other people and be future focused.
It is with this mindset that Impact Recovery set out with a core motivation, to achieve a change that will not only help the community, but reach as many people as possible!
Change can be instigated through small and simple acts of kindness and compassion, financial commitments and gifts or donations of goods/services toward a particular individual or area of need.
Often we may never realise that the small actions we can take may have a significant change to the trajectory of someone else’s life.
AGENTS OF CHANGE
Why do we celebrate Change Makers?
There is one main difference between Change Makers and the rest of the world. Most people desire change, many know what they would like to see different in the world, and some even know how it could be done best.
And then there are agents of change, individuals or groups of people who ACT to see and MAKE change truly happen.
We firmly believe those who have contributed, and continue to contribute, to the success of our organisation for community, should receive appropriate recognition.
Therefore we celebrate; our team, our sponsors, our members and the individuals and organisations, who partner to the vision, influencing the lives of others, one person at a time.
We reserve this space for those who make a significant contribution to the lives of others through Impact Recovery.
Of course, not everyone desires to be recognised, so we respect the wishes of the individual or organisation. We honour and thank you!
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE CHANGE
Become a Member of Impact
Your membership will mean a lot to us and our community!
Joining us as a Member of Impact increases your involvement in our programs, gives you a vote at our AGM and strengthens much needed community support. Your memberships help us fulfil the Circle of Needs each individual person faces throughout the process of change.
Time, skills, gifts & abilities
While financial support is greatly appreciated, we also value the amazing contributions of our team, volunteers and those who bring something special and unique to help realise our vision.
We encourage your desire to participate and help in any way you can. If you’d like to join our team, click on the button to contact us.
Financial Change Maker!
If you feel you are most comfortable, or best placed to be a Financial Change Maker, please head on over to our giving page to find out more!
Here are some truly remarkable Change Maker Stories!
We are constantly inspired by, and learn from, the amazing journeys of people in our programs, community and team. We hope these personal stories inspire you too!
I was referred to Impact Recovery by a friend.
At the time of my induction I was suffering with serious drug dependency, estranged from family and was homeless. I entered Impact Recovery on 14th February 2020.
I engaged well in the program, progressing through each step and worked hard to change my behavioural issues. I learned new tools with counselling and the supported process groups.
I was able to complete the program in May 2021.
Life after Impact
I now have great relationships with family. I have my two girls back in my life. I’m more confident in myself to make healthy choices. I’m happy to say that I’m a survivor from addiction. I really am one of the lucky ones!!
I called Impact Recovery for crisis help. Growing up, I experienced severe punishment, abuse and disapproval from my dad, things no kid should ever have to go through. I struggled at school and was afraid to ask for help, which led me to be a distraction in class, leading to struggles with life.
At a young age I fell into addiction because that would numb all the pain that I was in. I found myself in trouble with the law, which led to short jail time. I thought that jail time would be enough to overcome my addiction, but after getting out, I went back to the same crew, returning to addiction.
My family tried so many times to help and support me, but it just wasn’t working and I was pushing them away. They had to step back and watch me hit rock bottom. After hitting rock bottom in 2018, I knew I had to do something about it and reach out and ask for help. I went to Impact Recovery.
Program / Completion
After 20 months of some hard times, I eventually finished the program in January 2020. The love and support I had from everyone there and after getting trust back from my family, I can honestly say it is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself in my life.
Life after Impact
I am now over 3 years clean from drugs and alcohol, which is something I never thought I could overcome. Living a life free from addiction is just the best thing, I am now so thankful to have full support from my family and I am so blessed now to be able to give back to others and help and support them through their journey of whatever they may be going through.
Tom was referred to the program by a former participant of Impact Recovery, who went on to become a staff member who had battled addiction himself.
When Tom entered the program, he was homeless and couch surfing, after being kicked out of the family home by his wife. Tom was chronically addicted to alcohol, drinking 30-40 standard drinks a day.
Tom adapted to the structure of the program well, it gave Tom the discipline and loving care that he needed at that time.
Tom finished in late 2018 after spending 13 months in the program.
Life after Impact
Tom has reconnected with his wife and children, becoming a full-time parent again before starting work full-time. Tom now runs a successful business.
Tom is 3 years, 8 months clean and sober from any and all mind altering substances. Tom has friends in his life, hobbies, and still attends AA regularly, holding a secretary position at his local meetings.
Referral / Induction
Whitney was self referred to Impact Recovery after a long (10 year) battle with a drug addiction – Cannabis, speed, ice and heroin. Whitney started using intravenously at 18 years of age.
Whitney lost her mother at 17 and lost her first child when he was 18 months old, due to a genetic heart disorder. Whitney was 22 years of age.
Whitney’s drug addiction spiralled out of control even more. Due to the impact of her losses and her already strong addiction, she was dealing drugs with high level dealers in Melbourne. Suffering from domestic abuse, she was committing crime and was facing a jail sentence.
She entered rehab when she was 28 years of age after losing her child to welfare and facing criminal charges.
Whitney involved herself and committed entirely to her recovery, engaging in all activities and counselling offered.
After detox, rehab and 18 months in supported accommodation, ongoing AOD counselling and physician visits, Whitney commenced family court proceedings and parenting courses, gaining full custody of her daughter.
Life after Impact
Whitney now has a strong relationship with her family and has real friends. Whitney works in a drug and alcohol rehab and is studying domestic abuse. She is now 6 years clean.
My Initial thoughts when I decided to volunteer at Impact Recovery was apprehension, what I am likely to encounter from the participants and preconceived ideas I had growing up about people with drug and alcohol addictions, when you don’t normally associate with people like that.
Now working in Impact has totally transformed my thoughts and understanding of those in addiction.
They are just like me, BUT only along the way, to mask their pain, fear, anxieties, anger, they used a substance that they did not at the time, realise that instead of them controlling it, that it would take over their life and take them to a place that they did not realise and did not want to be.
Being a part of a team is helping the participants see for the first time in their life that they can have a future and be healed from addiction and I get the biggest buzz when I see their growth. Their apprehension turns into hope and their demeanour changes from trying to hide, to standing and walking tall.
SBS on Demand did an excellent series on “Addicted Australia”, following 10 people for 12 months. The aim was to try and change people’s perception of those caught in addiction and their struggles, fears and anxieties they encountered along the way.
I would recommend it. It changed my understanding of those caught in addiction and their inner turmoil and struggles.
Dear Toni, the Impact Family and Agnico Eagle,
We wanted to send you all a note to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks, and also in hope that if our story can help one family it would be worth sharing.
To say the last 4 years of our lives has been a whirl wind is an understatement, there were plenty of days we honestly thought we had lost our boy forever and we weren’t sure how to get through ourselves let alone save him from himself, we also had a grandchild to care for, love and guide through their own trauma. Our love and belief in our son gave us the strength to continue helping him fight to once again find himself and realise he was WORTH it.
Before Impact came to life, we honestly thought we had lost him to the darkness forever. We had done everything we could, there were numerous false starts to recovery with detox and many other resources. We know first-hand detox in short opens the wounds that have been buried by the drugs, but you need long term help to truly heal & repair.
3 years into our nightmare our family was at breaking point, it was the final straw we needed our son to understand that we could take no more and unless he wanted to start helping himself, he would lose his family. People on drugs are so self-centred, only thinking about where their next hit is coming from, although they know deep down, they are hurting everyone they love, the need for the drugs overpowers anything else.
My heart still breaks today thinking about when our whole family had no choice but to block him out of our lives in hopes he would understand only HE could turn his life around by choosing to accept the help he desperately needed. Knowing your child is living on the streets in the freezing cold, not knowing if they have food and dry clothes, thinking of the graves dangers he was in, always fearing a knock on the door to be possibly told your son had been found dead somewhere, these were just some of the fears we dealt with. We had no choice but to ignore pleading messages, phone constantly ringing and ignoring it because you knew if you gave in one more time the vicious cycle would never end. It was by far the hardest and most heart wrenching thing we had to do.
We had all but given up, then our son got the call we had all been waiting for, there was a spot available at Impact Recovery, he messaged to tell us, this one we answered. The tough love had paid off he had finally accepted help on his own, so we knew he was ready. To be very clear, help will not work if they are not ready and choose to admit they need help and accept it on their own terms. We rallied as a family and said together we’ve got this. Little did we know just exactly how drastically it was going to change all our lives in the best possible way, especially our sons and his child’s.
Many factors lead him to the doors of Impact to seek help in escaping the darkness that had become his reality. One thing I’d like others to know that not many understand (we didn’t for a very long time), is that drug addiction like many other addictions generally stems from mental health issues. These can come about from varying things that have happened in their life, silently building up over time like a ticking time bomb. Becoming an addict doesn’t just happen to a certain stereotype, it has no boundaries.
Our son could not have been brought up in a more loving home, with an extremely close-knit fun-loving family, we always encouraged our children talked about everything with no fear of judgement and no topics were taboo. Sadly, our son was in such a bad place he still felt he couldn’t talk to us about how he was feeling and that he had turned to drugs to mask his pain.
Hindsight – we know now it was because he was ashamed of himself, felt weak, felt worthless, thought we were ashamed of him, knew the hurt he was causing everyone he loved, but just didn’t know how to get out of the vortex that had become his life.
The day we dropped our son at Impact for the start of his 12-month journey was a day of mixed emotions, fear, anxiety, hope & exhaustion, certainly one we will never forget for many reasons. Finally, he was somewhere away from all the poison, temptations and negativity in his life and ready to rebuild a fresh start.
Without dealing with the mental health side, you will not change anything, so rather than focus on the fact your loved one is an addict, seek help to work through the trauma that caused them to feel they had no choice but to turn to life destroying means. We were blessed to have an amazing AOD worker helping our family get through all the tough times, guiding us on how to handle the multiple situations that arose throughout this journey. Practice what you are preaching to your child, get support for you and your family as you progress throughout the stages of rehabilitation, I can tell you without it we would not have had the right knowledge and courage that was bestowed on us to be able to help our son in the right way. The saying “it takes a small village to raise a family” rings true for this also. It takes family, love, support, belief, strength and hope to get through.
There are no words to thank Impact enough for believing in our son and for having such a great understanding that not all people choose drugs and do want to be in the real world, they just need love, support, guidance and the right tools to help them fight their way back.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for guiding our son and providing him not only with the right tools, but your community spirit, belief, love and in essence teaching him life again. He was a scared lost soul when we he walked in your door, today he once again believes in himself, his own self-worth, he has a purpose in life and is forever grateful for everyone in it. He is definitely climbing his way back to being the strong, independent caring and fun-loving boy we raised. To see him and his child re-united last week was beyond words, the only tears shed were happy & super proud ones!
We are extremely proud of our son and all that he has achieved. He is well on his way to re-building his life, we have no doubts, he has the tools, strength and now, the appropriate supports to achieve all his goals and also, any challenges that may present along the way.
I truly believe along with the continued love and support of his family, his AOD worker, YOUR program quite literally saved his life!
For any parents out there in a similar situation, my heart goes out to you but please NEVER give up on them. The road is long and hard for all involved, but where there is love and strong will, there is always HOPE!
Love, the Family.
NEVER GIVE UP
* Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual