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Introducing Perth cast member Brendan Phillips

I'm Brendan, a Koori man from the Goldfields of Bendigo Victoria. As a child we grew up travelling up and down the east coast living in a caravan and missing lots of school. My mother and stepfather were alcoholics and there was regular family violence. I felt a sense of belonging in the Christian church from the age of 10. I also developed self acceptance through being a high achiever at school educating myself often when on travels. This led to me being a state champion runner, a physiotherapist, a successful business owner, an academic and home-maker with 3 children to a 20 year marriage. My self created world seemed secure and I was always busy keeping this world afloat. Then with divorce and family court, my world came crashing down. I went into deep depression and alcohol abuse. My business was covering up for a suite of mental health problems that were not diagnosed or treated. With the help of a compassionate and loving partner, I crawled out of the dark place I was in and reached out for professional help. I realise now it takes a lot of courage to reach out and not try and control ones world alone. I have learned to accept help with gratitude and am now preparing myself through chaplaincy education to be of help to others. I have graduated in Chaplaincy at Murdoch, Clinical Pastoral Education at Royal Perth Hospital and I volunteer as a pastoral carer at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry in Perth.