Life goes full circle for David Dalton with move to Byron

NEW BEGINNING: David Dalton pictured in Malaysia earlier this year on the evening of Chinese New Year.
NEW BEGINNING: David Dalton pictured in Malaysia earlier this year on the evening of Chinese New Year.

DAVID Dalton grew up in Kingaroy in country Queensland.

"I had a carefree and happy upbringing," explains David. "I did the usual things that country lads do, like riding horses and motorbikes. After school I joined the Queensland Public Service, working in administration for Department of Education and later the Department of Primary Industries in Brisbane.

"In Brisbane I partied a lot and I gravitated to the alternative side of life which ultimately got me in some trouble. I left the public service after 10 years and started working in the hospitality industry which was more in line with my lifestyle at the time. Eventually I could not maintain partying so hard; it was leading me in to situations that were potentially harmful.

"At 36 I came to a fork in the road and I realised I couldn't keep living the way I was and come out of it alive. Through the help of friends I found out about the Buttery and with the help of my family I made the decision to enter the program. Arriving at the Buttery I was fearful of changing my lifestyle because it was all I had known. But gradually after two to three months I came to realise that life without drugs and alcohol was definitely worth living - and in fact could be a lot of fun.

"I completed the program after about eight months and as I left there I thought one day I would like to come back and be a counsellor there.

"I moved back to Brisbane where I began a lengthy educational career, first a two-year Diploma in Community and Human Services. Then I went on and studied for a Bachelor of Social Science at Southern Cross University. It was during this time that the opportunity came for me to move back to Byron Bay.

"I completed my bachelor degree and then enrolled in a Masters in Social Work. Little did I know that this would lead me to where I am working now - the Buttery.

"I work on the Maintenance to Abstinence program at the Buttery. It's a three-month program for people who want to reduce off a drug replacement program and to achieve abstinence with a view to then move into further programs at the Buttery. It's the only residential program like it in Australia and I'm really excited about how it can turn lives around. It would be fair to say that I have a passion for helping people who want to help themselves.

"Throughout my studies I've worked and volunteered for Byron Youth Service and Byron Community Centre which has given me the chance to develop strong ties within this great community.

"I've also travelled a lot since I've lived here, but it's always great to come home to my work and friends.

"From when I arrived here 16 years ago, my journey here really has gone full circle."

DAVID'S TIPS

Get involved with the Byron Community Centre, they offer so much to this region.

Visit the markets regularly and take part in the many music festivals that we have here.

Make the most of the beautiful beaches here.


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