In the first of what will be an ongoing series introducing you to our wonderful facilitators from around the country, I’m ecstatic to introduce you to Richard from Vinnies.

Richard runs a SMART Recovery meeting right here in Woolloomooloo, not far from the head office where I’m sitting as I write this. He was generous enough to respond to my Q&A, detailed below, where he discusses his personal philosophy, his SMART Recovery group, and

Please tell us about yourself. What you’re interested in, what motivates you, and what you like to do with your time.

I work at the Ozanam Learning Centre in Woolloomooloo, running support groups and workshops based around living skills. I’m fascinated by human behaviour and motivated by supporting people to change problematic behaviour. I’m interested in creativity, especially music, and recharge by getting out in the bush and connecting with nature.

What inspired you to get involved with SMART Recovery Australia?

Facilitating Australian SMART Recovery meetings is a natural progression from my previous work within AOD harm minimisation in the U.K.

What is your favourite thing about running your group?

When group members come back and tell the group examples of how the SMART Recovery tools worked for them.

Running SMART Recovery groups can, at times, be challenging. What challenges have you faced, if any, and how did you tackle them?

It’s challenging when you want the best for people and they tell you they are going to do something that is harmful to their health.

What’s your best story, about SMART Recovery Australia, or about anything else?

I’m not really one for sharing case studies, but I love it when people come back to the group for a ‘top up’ after attending 6 to 10 groups previously, and tell the group they are working again, or that their health and relationships have improved. I love to hear group members talk more confidently, with greater self-awareness and dealing with difficulties in new ways.


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