Our stories

Storytime helped Timothy repair his relationship with his sons

Timothy had been in custody at Clarence Correctional Centre for eight months when he joined the Storytime program. It was his first time in custody and he was really struggling with missing out on major milestones in his two young son’s lives and was feeling ashamed and unsure about how to talk with them. This is his story.

“I work in metal fabrication at the prison and a group of us men all did Storytime together. We were talking about Storytime after the program and about how much it affected us. It helped me connect with my kids as it gets hard to know what to talk about when you become incarcerated. This is my first time in prison, you are all caught up focusing on yourself and trying to cope. You feel shame and don’t know how to talk to your kids any more. I’ve missed so much in 8 months, their first day at high school, their birthdays, Christmas, first win at soccer, Anzac day – I always marched with my boys and the scouts. I was feeling real bad about myself as a dad and was avoiding talking on the phone as I was a bit down.

I got to write a book about my son’s toy Pterodactyl and him being a hero saving his dad from a T-rex. I rang my boy up after the first session and asked him to make up names for his three dinosaurs. He started really getting into it and would look forward to a phone call so we could discuss what happens next. I stayed up till midnight trying to get all the ideas into a story format. My son’s reaction to the books was incredible. When he opened the parcel he put the book I wrote him under his pillow that night and took it to school the next day. I felt so proud. It lifted me it really did.

I rang up my kids again a week after they got the books and recordings and I could hear this man’s voice in the background and I said, ‘who is this man in the house, I can hear him talking?’ My wife said, ‘That’s you! The kids have had your voice recording on repeat all day and just want to hear your voice again and again. They want to make photocopies of it for all their friends.’

Since doing Storytime things have changed. Now we have something we can relate to together and now I read to my kids every night and we talk about the books SHINE sent. Even my 12 year old boy is telling me about the book I chose for him.

They have started writing to me after Storytime (they never wrote much before) and I write straight back. It’s made me feel valued as a parent again – I can’t wait to be with my kids when I get out. I can’t explain how much it has impacted on us. I wish every parent got to do Storytime. It made me feel like being a parent again. It’s made me realise that I never want to be away from my kids ever again.”

Storytime helped Timothy repair his relationship with his sons

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 […]