Our stories

Dad’s voice and a Christmas delivery make the holidays apart a little easier

By a SHINE team member

I met Marty*, a dad in custody, one day at the Parklea complex while I was collecting referrals.

He asked about our Storytime program and what was involved. Marty has three children, seven year old Tommie* and three year old twins Lou* and Jay*. He said he used to always read to his children each night at bedtime and was really missing them all, so the Storytime program would be a great activity to participate in.

Marty choose the book The Lion Inside and was amazed when he realized that he got to record his voice and that it would be sent to his kids. He had thought that he would have a telephone conversation and read it to the children over the phone and was concerned Tommie would miss out as he was at school.

He was very enthusiastic and read a very animated version of the book, complete with growling sound effects and different voices for the characters.

The book and audio was sent to the children’s mother Sally* and she said they loved it!

Sally told us that Tommie really wished he could read a book with his dad and since getting the Storytime package, was falling asleep every night holding the book and listening to his dad’s voice.

As part of the annual Rotary Tree of Joy campaign, SHINE was able to offer the family some Christmas gifts. Mum was very appreciative and said that money had been tight since Marty had been in custody.

On the day of the present drop off, the children ran excitedly to the door. The smiles on their faces when they looked into the bags was pure happiness. Lou loved her doll, Jay pulled out a dinosaur and played with it and Tommie began excitedly talking to his mum about the Super Mario Lego he’d received.

Mum, looking on, had tears of joy in her eyes. She thanked SHINE for the support and said the children were still listening to dad’s voice and reading the book as a comfort each night.

*Names changed

Dad’s voice and a Christmas delivery make the holidays apart a little easier

Other stories

Mums and bubs celebrate Diwali at Playgroup!

Mums and bubs celebrate Diwali at Playgroup!

At the Helana Jones Centre in Brisbane, our mums and bubs celebrated Diwali during playgroup with some Rangoli-inspired art! Diwali, also known as the ‘festival of light’, celebrates the triumph of light […]

RISE Together Day – Western Sydney

RISE Together Day – Western Sydney

Over the school holidays, SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

RISE Together Day – Kempsey

RISE Together Day – Kempsey

Over the school holidays, SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

RISE Together Day – Goulburn

RISE Together Day – Goulburn

Over the school holidays,  SHINE for Kids teams across the country held special RISE Together Days for children in the program. The days were an opportunity for kids to meet others going […]

And the winner is ….

And the winner is ….

During the week of the 15th-21st of May, we celebrated National Families Week with our children and families. One way of connecting with families was through a drawing competition and the winner would […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Debbie!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Debbie!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Dennis!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Dennis!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Stephanie!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Stephanie!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Andrew!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Andrew!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

National Volunteer Week – Meet Helen!

National Volunteer Week – Meet Helen!

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering. This year’s theme is ‘Better Together’, and appropriately so, as together we accomplish so much more. At this time of year, we […]

A fresh start for mum Sierra

A fresh start for mum Sierra

Sierra has two daughters, aged 12 and 9, and when she went into custody a few years ago it was the first time in their lives they’d been separated from her. It […]

Sam’s year of kicking goals

Sam’s year of kicking goals

Sam, a young Aboriginal boy in the Stand As One mentoring program, was just 15 when he went into custody at Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre. Sam was the youngest person at […]

Christmas Magic with The Sixth Child

Christmas Magic with The Sixth Child

Wow. Our Victorian team have been blown away by the incredible donation of Christmas gifts from The Sixth Child and Creating the Magic! Last year, thanks to The Sixth Child, we gave […]

I feel like a father again

I feel like a father again

Jason was transferred to Clarence Correctional Centre as soon as it opened in July 2020. Unfortunately his wife is also incarcerated and her parents have custody of their two young children and […]