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Trauma stole Lisa’s childhood, but Triple Care Farm helped her reclaim her future

Will you provide safety, hope and opportunity to a vulnerable young Australian?

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Meet 24 year-old Lisa*

Trauma can shape who we become. When that trauma is experienced as a child, the effects can be catastrophic.  This is Lisa’s story…

“He stole my childhood, my mum and my innocence. Violence, abuse and neglect became the norm.”

Aged just nine, Lisa was subjected to the most painful of abuse by a man entrusted to care and love her.  

“My stepfather’s idea of discipline was outside the law. The impact violence has on your soul… it changes the way you see the world, and it changes the way you see yourself.”

At just nine years of age Lisa suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her stepfather

A little child; frightened, confused and powerless to make it stop

The abuse lasted three years Mercifully, Lisa and her brother were removed from their abuseryet his impact remained.  

“As a teenager, I tended to harm myself, but I didn’t know why. Unconsciously, I hurt myself again and again.”

By age 14 the reality of her trauma became too much for Lisa to bear. Panic attacks were common, with severe anxiety diagnosed. Lisa was prescribed medication by her GPbut soon that wasn’t enough to dull the pain and Lisa’s journey of addiction began.  

“Eventually it didn’t matter what the drug was… as long as it altered my reality. I could not face the day without something in my system.”

Lisa knows that she hurt friends and family during this time, but it was never intentional. She says that in the grip of drug addiction your heart goes cold, you lose sight of who you are hurting and after her third suicide attempt, she asked for help. 

You can help ensure that the right care is available

At her lowest point, Lisa found Triple Care Farm. This unique, holistic treatment centre each year gives over 200 vulnerable young Australians, aged 16-24, a safe place to get well and prepare for new opportunities.   

Sir David Martin Foundation is the major funder of this life saving program. For over 30 years, our Family Foundation has enabled best practice treatment for youth drug and alcohol addiction. 

Accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, the program features three core components:    

  • Residential drug and alcohol withdrawal (2  4 weeks)   
  • Residential rehabilitation (12 weeks)   
  • Aftercare (6 months) 

In December 2020, Lisa delivered a moving reflection of her recovery journey to supporters, friends, family and peers at the annual graduation ceremony

Triple Care Farm is the reason Lisa can share her story today

“The program taught me skills to live a normal life,” said Lisa.

“I would be dead if it wasn’t for the farm. I am living a life free from drugs and alcohol.”

We are so proud of Lisa.  She has returned to living in the community, implementing everything she has learnt during the program with the support and guidance of an Aftercare worker. We are excited to say that this month Lisa resumes her social work degree and continues to work at a local café. As she explains, she is creating a new life and starting to believe in herself again. 

Every young person that comes through our youth programs does so voluntarily, with our compassionate donors providing the financial support required.  

The number of young people receiving treatment has doubled since 2017, as has the cost of helpingWe have also seen a surge in young people asking for help, as the COVID-19 pandemic and high youth unemployment rate take effect.  

How you can help

Independent research has shown that every dollar donated by our supporters creates $3 worth of social value.  

Our youth programs work and you can provide safety, hope and opportunity to one vulnerable young Australian with a gift today.

Almost 40% of Australians requesting help for drug and alcohol addiction are under 30, but we know that young people have the strongest recovery rate of any age group if given the right treatment. Please consider a small, monthly gift or a one-off single donation that will help a young person move from a high risk of suicide to hope for a brighter future.

As the major funder of Triple Care Farm, our Foundation has helped over 3,000 vulnerable young people in recovery.

Lisa acknowledges she wouldn’t have received her second chance without our donors’ support.

Today, Lisa is sober, clear minded and finishing her social work degree so she can help other people.

“To the donors and supporters, please don’t stop giving. You are changing thousands of young people’s lives… you saved mine!”

Will you provide safety, hope and opportunity to a vulnerable young Australian like Lisa? 

*name and imagery have been changed to protect Lisa’s identity, however her story and words remain unaltered.

** If Lisa’s Story raises any uncomfortable feelings for you, please contact Lifeline at or 131114 or on