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Last Updated on June 19, 2023


Care warning: This story shares a personal account of drug use. If any issues are raised for you, please see the support services listed below. 

When Lianne* first entered Windana in 2019, she was homeless and on bail. After completing a 14-month program at Maryknoll, she is living independently and working full-time with aspirations of supporting young people with their mental health. 

“My journey with substances began when I smoked recreationally as a teenager,” Lianne explains. Over time Lianne started moving on to other drugs, including ice.

In 2006, she started using intravenously. “That’s when everything changed. I soon found myself homeless and on bail for the first time in my life.” Lianne first entered a rehabilitation program in 2018. “It was a private, more clinical rehab,” she explains. “Unfortunately, I relapsed four weeks after discharging.”

During this time Lianne noticed her family was starting to give up on her. “They gave me an ultimatum while I was on bail, which was the reality check I needed.”

In April 2019 she began her program at Windana’s Maryknoll Therapeutic Community. “For the first six months, I wanted to go home every day. It took a lot of encouragement to keep me there.” At Windana, Lianne began to work through her trauma and the other contributing factors to her substance use and relapse.

“Through this process I realised I really wanted this recovery to work. I put so much hard work into my recovery at Windana, and it was here I learnt how to live, not just survive. My time at Windana helped me to save my life.”

Lianne graduated from Maryknoll in July 2021, then spent one year in Launch Housing accommodation with a fellow Windana resident as she began stepping out into society. Now she’s living in private rental accommodation with another former resident. She still connects with Windana once a month and has made some long-lasting friends out of the program.

Lianne is now working full-time as an Operations Assistant for a heating company and wants to one day study to be a youth worker who specialises in mental health.

“My dream is to help other young people learn how to self-regulate their emotions and behaviours, which is something I learned how to do at Windana.”

“I’m forever grateful to the Windana community and their holistic approach. Windana helped me relearn what I needed and wanted in life,” Lianne said.

This story was first shared in our 2021-22 Annual Report

*Name changed for privacy purposes. 

Help and information:

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Counselling, information and referral service for alcohol or drug-related issues.
PH: 1800 888 236

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PH: 13 11 14

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Homelessness services and life-changing housing supports.
PH: 1800 825 955