Impact Autumn 2022

In this Impact Autumn 2022 edition:

Riding the rollercoaster of addiction

autumn 2022 impact

Every young person who arrives at Triple Care Farm seeking help also carries the hopes (and fears) of family, carers and friends. A desperate hope that their loved one is finally safe. Sydney mum, Pippa*, has kindly shared her family’s story of heartache and hope.

“It has been utterly heartbreaking seeing my youngest son Ned battle with drug addiction. It crept into his life while he thought the worst of its possibilities wouldn’t happen to him. But of course they did, and like a hurricane wreaked havoc on every aspect of his life. It led him away from his family, his child and his friends.

In what I thought were the early stages of his addiction, I decided to take him away for a week to detox.

I packed lots of food and vitamins thinking a week away with a full belly, plenty of sleep and meaningful chats with his mum would be enough to get him back on the right track.

It did go well, but before long Ned was back on the rollercoaster of addiction.

I remember the exact moment when I realised he was in much deeper trouble than he had let on and at whatever cost, I knew I had to seek professional help. So I joined a support group and started researching detox and rehabilitation programs.

I was looking for a service that would not only meet the needs of his addiction, but would care for him in a kind and non-judgmental way, and allow me to be involved in the process of supporting him through his journey to recovery.
I found Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm and I was able to refer him myself.

By this time Ned’s life was spinning out of control, but he was reaching out for help. It was so devastating to see him struggle in this way – those were very hard days. I was sick with worry that something would happen to him before he was accepted into the program.

When we were notified of his intake date, we both felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Ned joined the program and made steady and positive progress. At around the four week mark he came home to support his partner in childbirth. It was always the intention for Ned to go back as soon as possible after the birth.

But unfortunately his return to the farm was delayed for three months because of major COVID lockdowns. These months were too long for the early stages of his recovery. He was back on the rollercoaster of addiction. More hard days followed.

There were times when I felt so defeated by the power of the drugs that were ravaging my son’s mind and body. Each episode having a greater impact on Ned’s health and wellbeing.

But I wasn’t giving up and he desperately wanted to go back to the farm. We kept in close contact with his support workers, especially the Aftercare worker Linda, to ensure the minute the doors opened he could return.

He is back in the program now and making steady progress again. Ned has connected with many of the support workers at Triple Care Farm and it is their kindness, professional support and understanding that have helped him draw on his own strength and determination towards long-term recovery and a new beginning.

I’m so very proud of my beautiful son – a loving father – for taking responsibility for his health and wellbeing, and not giving up on the darkest of days.

We are both so very grateful to the team at Triple Care Farm for throwing us an invaluable lifeline. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without you. From the both of us we thank you so very, very much.”

The generosity of Sir David Martin Foundation’s supporters ensures that Triple Care Farm can continue to provide best practice, youth drug and alcohol programs to young Australians struggling with addiction. Thank you for helping us offer hope to families like Pippa’s when they need it the most. Your support is life changing.

*Pippa’s story was originally shared as part of the 2021 Triple Care Farm Graduation Ceremony. We have changed her name and photo to protect her family’s privacy. We thank her for being so open and wish her son all the best in his continued recovery.

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Farewell to Gabriella Holmes

After 22 years leading the programs at Triple Care Farm, we recently farewelled Gabriella Holmes on 22nd March 2022 (she is pictured here recently with Lady Martin OAM). Gabriella has accepted an exciting opportunity at the University of Wollongong, managing students’ mental health and wellbeing.

“We are so sad to see Gab leave, but we are also happy for her as she takes on another challenging role and a new stage of her career,” said Sir David Martin Foundation General Manager, Helen Connealy.

“Giving two decades of your life to a charitable cause, serving the most vulnerable young people, is a legacy that will remain alive for a long time.

Without Gab, the Rehabilitation centre of 20 years ago would not have grown to today’s holistic facility, with 65 staff helping hundreds of young people each year. Without her drive we would not have the only Youth Withdrawal Centre in NSW, David Martin Place.”

Gabriella has also been instrumental in the development of Mission Australia’s forthcoming new rehabilitation centre at Batemans Bay, NSW. As a former President of NADA (peak body for Alcohol and other Drug community services in NSW) she has always been generous with her knowledge and time to ensure best practice outcomes, for Triple Care Farm and others in the sector.

“We are so honoured to have worked with Gab,” said Helen.

“We will miss her warm inclusion, incredible knowledge, integrity, passion and loyalty to the young people. We hope to keep her engaged with our Foundation and wish her every happiness in her next adventure.”

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Board of Governors update

After almost seven years of service, Rob Woods has resigned from the Board of Governors. Our Chair, Will Martin, has thanked Rob for his financial and strategic expertise shared with both the Finance Committee and the Board. Rob’s extensive career of more than 30 years in financial services, banking, insurance and funds management brought key skills to the Foundation and assisted in establishing an investment policy and improved future planning. He also brought many new people to our cause.

An active and brave participant in our fundraising events, he took part over many years in Abseil for Youth and the 145Classic bike ride, from Centennial Park in Sydney all the way down the Illawarra coast to Triple Care Farm.

Rob will continue to work with the Foundation as a member of our Fundraising Committee for the Connect for Youth crowdfunding event. It is thanks to Rob that we yet again have the ASX as our venue partner for this successful event. He and his wife, Jane have been long-standing supporters of our work, and are avid believers in the good work the Foundation is doing.

We look forward to continuing our close relationship. There’s still time to register to attend our Connect for Youth event here

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Welcome Annalie!


We are delighted to announce Annalie Davies as a new appointment to Sir David Martin Foundation’s Board of Governors.

Annalie is a partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Sydney office and has more than 25 years of experience in Australia and the UK, working with senior industry professionals across banking, funds and wealth management, insurance, superannuation and professional services.

Annalie brings extensive connections, strategic business skills and a passion for young people to the Foundation and has already contributed invaluable assistance to our expansion of our Youth Advisory Group.

Welcome Annalie!

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From our General Manager, Helen Connealy

Impact Autumn 2022

Triple Care Farm has been a resilient centre of healing for over 30 years, surviving floods, fires and now a global pandemic. Being COVID-safe is an ongoing priority to keep the young people safe and the staff have been so committed.

None of this happens without great leadership and we are so grateful to Gabriella Holmes for her dedication over the last 22 years and salute the progress she has achieved.

The last two years have not been easy for our major partner Mission Australia and I’d like to thank and acknowledge James Toomey, who is leaving his role as CEO at the end of March. James has been a good friend to the Foundation and always ensured that those we collectively help are always front of mind. His inclusive nature has been wonderful and we wish him the best in his next adventure.

I welcome the incoming CEO, Sharon Callister and look forward to introducing her to our Board of Governors in May.

We continue to strengthen our  partnerships and advisory sources and welcome new Board member Annalie Davies. We have also been seeking new members to our Youth Advisory Group to deepen and broaden our understanding of youth priorities and we look forward to sharing details about these new appointments very soon.

Challenges for young people continue and we hope that amidst the many priorities that government faces, treatment for youth drug and alcohol addiction and its impact on overall youth mental health will be noticed. We will continue to include evaluation and impact measurement to our work so we can collaborate with others to improve the lives of young people and their families.

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Triple Care Farm update

Tee Tree Cottage

The new year has brought new hope for young people arriving at Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm in Robertson NSW.
January saw the arrival of the first young people into the Residential Rehabilitation program for 2022. This was followed in mid-February by the first intake of students to David Martin Place, operating under the guidance of new Withdrawal Program Manager, Robyn MacGregor and her team.

For the first months of the year, due to the risks posed by the Omicron outbreak, Triple Care Farm has operated with full COVID-safe measures in place, which included a restriction on visitors and mandatory Rapid Antigen Testing.
As health mandated regulations ease, we hope that some of the popular off site activities can be re-introduced for students in the coming months.

Despite the challenges, staff have worked hard to keep momentum going and spirits high, with onsite gym training and courses such as Red Cross Australia’s Save a Mate first aid course being offered as part of Residential Rehabilitation, along with all the ongoing Vocational and Education Training (VET) activities.

Tee Tree House student accommodation (pictured) has also recently been refurbished and repairs on the VET shed (which suffered storm damage last year) is underway, including a new (and much-anticipated) student common area and music studio.

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Shaw & Partners generous gift is saving lives

impact autumn 2022

Thank you to our Friends at Shaw & Partners Foundation, who recently gave a gift of $5,000 to our Foundation, in acknowledgment of Sydney Adviser John Wardman’s 200th donation to the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Sydney
blood bank. An incredible effort!

John was joined by colleagues Stephen Thomas, Judith Royal and Michael Crone (pictured) who all gave blood.

We are so grateful for John and Shaw & Partner’s ongoing support for youth in crisis. Thank You!

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Australia Day Honours for Family Drug Support co-founder

Congratulations to Sandra Trimingham OAM from Family Drug Support who was recently awarded a medal in the Order of Australia for her service to the community through alcohol and drug use assistance.

As long time coordinator and volunteer trainer for the service’s 24/7 telephone support service, Sandra has trained hundreds of people in the complex art of counselling, which has helped hundreds more deal with a family member’s addiction.

We know that staff at Triple Care Farm greatly value this service, and have referred many of our young people’s families to their help line and family support groups.

Sandra and her husband, Tony Trimingham OAM, started Family Drug Support 25 years ago after their son Damian’s tragic death from a drug overdose.

When our Foundation reached out to congratulate Sandra on her well deserved honour, she said it came as a “a complete shock”.

“My job is to do the best I can on our support line and it’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” said Sandra.

“It can be challenging and at the same time so rewarding when the caller thanks you for listening to them. Telling your story to someone who is open to listen and not judge is powerful and using open ended questions allows the caller to make the decisions they are comfortable with. Our model is one of empowerment.

“Callers often ring and say ‘I have been told I can’t do anything to stop them using drugs’ my response will often be ‘so you can’t stop them using drugs, so
what can you do’?

When the award was announced there was so much positive response from volunteers – past and present and staff. For me that was really wonderful.”

Congratulations to Sandra, Tony and the entire team.

Family Drug Support’s free national telephone support line is available 24/7 at 1300 368 186.

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The man I am today

We love hearing from past program gradautes. Recently, we received this email from a young person via our website. His words demonstrate the impact of your support.

“In 2016 my drug addiction had spiralled out of control, for five years I had been on drugs every single day. My mental health was destroyed and so was my body.

In mid-2016 I attended the Triple Care Farm facility where my life was forever changed. Now six years on I have a successful career I’ve bought two cars, my dream guitar and my partner’s dream engagement ring.

Everything I’ve ever wanted I have and I owe it all to you guys.

Everyday I wake up the first thing on my mind is my appreciation for
Sir David Martin Foundation and Triple Care Farm.

It shaped me to be the man I am today. Without you I would be dead or in a jail cell but because of you guys I’m on top of the world every day and I’ve now started my dream career in real estate.

I would really appreciate it if you could share this to the team at  Sir David Martin Foundation so they can know their work has not only saved my life, but helped me reach every goal I’ve ever wanted. Thank you so much – words are not enough to tell you how appreciative I am. Thank You!”

You're invited to Connect for Youth - 7th April 2022

Experience the magic of collective giving at Connect for Youth – Sir David Martin Foundation’s annual crowdfunding event on Thursday 7th April, powered by The Funding Network Australia. 

We are thrilled to announce that last year’s brilliant MC, ABC Broadcaster James Valentine, will be joining us again  – bringing all his warmth, wit and compassion to this exciting event.

During the event you’ll hear about the impact of Triple Care Farm’s youth treatment programs during three short ‘shark tank’ pitches from our three remarkable speakers, before being invited to make your pledge.

Together, through philanthropy we can create lifesaving change for young people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

We hope you will join us!

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Donate and help young, vulnerable Australians break the cycle of addiction and have hope for a brighter future.

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