James is a 46-year-old First Nations man who entered the Rainbow Lodge program after having served a five-year sentence. James has an extensive criminal history dating back to his adolescence with over 20 years of incarceration, with charges relating to stealing, recklessly driving motor vehicles, assault, property damage and robbery. James has an extensive history of trauma and abuse, particularly from his time in juvenile detention and boy’s homes, and James has diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia, substance use disorder, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which have led to multiple hospitalisations and periods of incarceration. James also suffers with ongoing physical injuries from previous arrests that limit his mobility and further limit his ability to engage in employment and live independently in the community.
During his time at the Rainbow Lodge, James completed drug and alcohol education groups, living skills groups, cultural programs including Wiimpatja’s “Healing the Warrior” Aboriginal men’s program four times and engaged weekly with a psychologist, focusing on his trauma. James was further supported by his NDIS team to manage his physical and mental health. James also achieved his goals of successfully applying for the Disability Support Pension, receiving his driver’s license, and purchasing a car. James had the ongoing support of his family, particularly his mother and sister, who he would visit each weekend. James was supported through his case management team to have his HNSW application submitted, backdated, and placed on the priority register. James was also nominated for transitional housing, which he was successful in. At the time James commented that he was thrilled to finally have his own space to call home, as had never had this before.
During his time at the Rainbow Lodge, James was granted partial custody of his vulnerable 13- year-old grandson by DCJ. James has supported his grandson to attend school consistently, disengage from anti-social friendships, and has been a positive and reliable support and role model. James has said that this responsibility gives him a reason to wake up in the morning and keep himself on track, as he knows that the role he is playing in his grandson’s life is irreplaceable. James and his grandson are currently enjoying living independently in the community. James remains engaged with the Rainbow Lodge and acts as a source of inspiration to current and incoming residents, for the opportunities that are available to them also. When asked how his house is going, James always replies “Deadly”.
The Judge Rainbow Memorial Fund
Rainbow Lodge acknowledges the traditional custodians of the unceded land which our house stands, the Gadigal and Bidjigal people of the Eora Nation.
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