~Rekindling the Spirit


Icons RTS Greg

Rekindling the Spirit is a program that services the Aboriginal Families of Lismore and the surrounding areas, dealing with a clientele who have substance abuse issues, problems with violent behaviour, and difficulty connecting with Partners and Children. This program has been developed overtime, by Greg Telford and other likeminded Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who are concerned about the legacies we are passing on to our children. Greg Telford spent several years in Child Protection work prior to developing the program, with this and his own childhood experiences, the seed was planted to initiate Rekindling the Spirit.

As stated above my name is Greg Telford and I am the founder of the Rekindling the Spirit program, I am a proud Aboriginal and Islander man from Minjungbal Country in the Tweed Valley. My past life was of constant turmoil, mainly due to chronic alcohol and drug abuse mixed together with violence. Through many episodes of violent behaviour and financial implications due to my alcohol and drug abuse, my wife to whom I am married today, gave me the ultimatum of make the change or get out of her life. I am grateful today that she give me the choice and I choose to change, I went into Rehab 30 years ago, and continue on the change journey today. Overtime I became aware that taking the alcohol and other drugs out of my life was only 10% of the problem the other 90% was learning to live life on life terms without the need for any substance. As the shadow of the alcohol and other drugs was lifted, feelings and emotions started to surface that I had never felt before and I needed support to understand what was happening for me, for at times some of these feelings and emotions were overwhelming and I would have periods of severe depression. What I wasn’t aware of was that as the substance wore off, Trauma issues from my past started to surface and I needed support and encouragement, to address them and find appropriate behaviour to replace the negative behaviours. This took time, and I needed to find people I could trust to unload my deeper dark secrets that were holding me back from moving forward, and stop the flow of negative attitudes to myself and others close to me. This journey I don’t think will ever end as I am coming to understand that as you age past unresolved issues keep coming back to visit until finally addressed if you have the capacity to deal with the issue.

The Rekindling the Spirit program has been developed to give an opportunity to others who want to turn their lives around, and start living a lifestyle that nurtures themselves and others close to them. We have competent Trained Aboriginal Counsellors that are willing to assist individuals, to start undoing damaging behaviour, which impacts on themselves and others. If the issues they wish to address are too difficult to disclose to our Counsellors we have the opportunity, to refer on to Jullums Aboriginal Medical Service, where individuals can engage in a Mental Health care plan and see a Psychologist or Psychriast for up to 10 visits. Once this occurs they can then stay involved with Rekindling the Spirit to start learning new behaviours that can benefit the whole family.