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Three very proud people graduated from Sunrise Way’s residential drug and alcohol program on Tuesday, May 3. Having worked through their rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction over a 10-month period, they are now clean and sober and rejoining the general community.

The graduation was marked with a presentation and morning tea shared with residents, current and retired staff, and community friends. The graduates received their symbolic gift of bamboo as part of the ceremony. While bamboo is believed to be good luck at Sunrise Way, it also symbolises what is needed when you step back into the community – resilience, the ability to thrive anywhere and a focus to keep growing.

Having initially joined the four-month program based at the Tourist Road Therapeutic Community, all three commented in their speeches about how tough their recovery was at times. “I went to walk out so many times, but I knew that this was my only chance to get better so I stayed. It was the support and understanding of the staff that helped me get through those times,’’ said Tess.

After graduating from the community house, they then spent four to six months in the transition house where they engaged in training, volunteering and re-engaging with different aspects of the community while Sunrise Way programs and staff maintained their support. “The transition house gave me a safe place to continue my recovery with the support of Sunrise Way and Alcoholics Anonymous. This place has really saved my life,’’ said Neil.

“We save lives and rebuild families with the work that we do at Sunrise Way,” said CEO Wendy Agar. “It is on days like these that we really celebrate each individual’s journey and acknowledge their trust and commitment to our programme. We wish our graduates luck for the next part of their recovery and are proud that they will remain part of our program in a volunteer capacity to help others during their rehabilitation.”

By Sarah Neilsen
Image by Sunrise Way

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