Meet David Scott, Acting Manager, Rehabilitation Services.
For David, 2016 has been an “amazing year full of exciting experiences and opportunities” as Acting Manager, Rehabilitation Services at the Maryknoll Therapeutic Community (TC).
In his office overlooking green paddocks, a shiny new trophy is on display. The trophy was won by TC residents who played in the Reclink Grand Final, a community football program that provides sport to disadvantaged Australians to create socially inclusive, life-changing opportunities. The grand final was played at Peanut Farm Reserve in St Kilda. “You know, many of the players on the Windana team had never played football before,” he says. It was a significant moment for many as they revisited old haunts with a new purpose, helping to creating positive memories.
In his role, David is responsible for the planning and design of the rehabilitation services that Windana offers to clients. These services include the 48-bed residential rehabilitation program, Moe Day Rehabilitation program, Integration House, Transitional Housing as well as weekly GP clinics and a range of other holistic services.
David has been based at Maryknoll for the past three years. A native Glaswegian, he brings to the role a breadth of experience as a registered nurse with specialist skills in high-risk case management, including experience with addiction, suicide intervention and managing people going through withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.
The past year has involved major structural change for Windana operations and David has embraced the process, acknowledging the progress Windana has made as it rolls out its Five-Year strategic plan. There is now more overlap between the Residential Rehabilitation program and the Integration program than there used to be, which helps residents support each other through the difficult transition phase back into the wider community. An example of this is past graduates returning to the TC for the Aftercare group and being able to give back to the community. Past graduates returning provides valuable support for the current residents and highlights from their own recovery that the TC program works.
The past year has also highlighted to David the overwhelming demand for rehabilitation services and what David calls “habilitation services”, which involve teaching people how to live life positively. “So many clients have been in survival mode, and we are teaching people to live life”- to be responsible, to be accountable, to communicate positively, to have healthy relationships, to experience new opportunities, to plan, to have a structured routine and how to be part of a community.”
More than a decade in this sector has helped David to understand that working in a rehab program is not a “normal” job. It takes very particular skills and commitment to be able to do this work long-term. “The staff here are exceptional,” he says. “When the going gets tough, you can always rely on them – their motivation and dedication are never in doubt.” As a testament to Windana’s programs, this year’s recruitment of four positions at the TC has attracted a number of high calibre professionals. “People want to work here, it’s a beautiful, unique working environment,” he says.
“I see the TC as a rolling ball that has momentum and life of its own. As staff, we are here to clear the way, monitor the progress and pick out the weeds. This provides a safe and healthy pathway for residents to grow, develop new skills and continue to move forward. After all, it is the residents’ community.”