Written by Evan Bichara
Born in Egypt.
Having also Greek ancestry.
Still currently – speaking fluently both foreign languages.
Evan Migrated with his family. Mum, Dad and his two wonderful sisters to a land…..what was then and is more of today a very Multicultural society. That society was to be Australia.
Therefore – raised as an Australian boy from the age of six.
Living through a Family environment of Greek and Egyptian cultures and a Community of many cultures.
Evan’s curiosity of how people live from different perspectives, different viewpoints and multiple ideas
……..sharing common ground
………sharing fine interests
………fine foods and different past times
……….was seeded in Evan at an early age.
As that curiosity in Evan began…………His ambition through life was to ease that “process” for people……who have migrated – left behind their living quarters to commence a new/different comfort zone of living. IN easing that process Evan knew that it was required to:
Allow people to exercise their entitled rights
And responsibilities for people’s actions was needed adhering
However Evan did not know what lied ahead. As his years progressed becoming an “A” grade student in ALL his subjects in Year 10 and Matriculating with a fine score to enter a Melbourne University Bachelor of Science degree course. Evan began to realize at that early phase of his course that there was something not quite right. Evan’s behaviors began to change.
Evan from that time onwards was to commence living a journey of struggle – bearing many implications/ consequences of a diagnosed MI (mental illness). Though Evan’s strong will……he intended:
To getting better
To helping others
Curiously – exploring his own circumstances at the time simplified him getting back on track.
But what was more healing for Evan was his kind caring and understanding family. The Family tradition and the attitude of let’s get Evan better together was admirable, beneficial/most therapeutic for Evan beyond that additional/traditional doctor – nurse intervention.
Evan though today has being able to accomplish many fulfilling aspects towards living a comfortable life.
Evan willingly shares that journey with a wonderful wife coming from his second and final marriage who cares loves/adores Evan.
Building a relationship of TRUST – UNDERSTANDING/SHARING many elements of INTERESTS together including the same cultural background, the same spiritual background, and the same medical condition This bond of having similar pathways has being most HEALING for either/made things a lot easier with Evan’s unashamed struggle to move on.
Evan began to heal and integrate into his local Community – as that was his highlight to getting better. Evan participated in enormous variety of work…paid/unpaid…the aim was to skill himself up….hopefully promising Evan a good/challenging job at the end. Evan worked in Charity work helping the sick get better/raising monies to purchase needful equipment. Evan worked in Retail, Finance, Sales, and Fashion; Health/Funeral industries. Evan accomplished an interest in English Football – known previously as Soccer – played in a School team – advancing to a Soccer Coach – taking two school teams to State Championship levels and finally furthering that career to becoming a Soccer Referee for Soccer Australia. Evan admired that path of life because not only did it provide community involvement but kept him rather fit and healthy physically.
Evan also happened to attend Church regularly when the Priest who knew Evan’s Family will approached Evan to becoming a Committee member of his Greek Orthodox Church in which he attends. Another leadership role for Evan to have.
..Evan today is a tirelessly MH ADVOCATE working from St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne for the Victorian Transcultural Mental Health Centre. Evan has well demonstrated that recovery is possible and fulfilling a happy life is possible as well.
Evan’s keenness and hard work in the Community to help others who may be at times within the dark sides of their MI has enabled Evan to receive a Victorian Community Services Award.
Progression of Evan’s efforts enabled Evan return back to University on a RMIT University Scholarship completing successfully a Diploma of Community Development making his early ventures at schooling a reality.
Evan’s enthusiasm/courageous steps to move on and get others in similar boats moving on has clearly eventuated through a lot of blood sweat and tears turning a disillusioned page into a page full of enlightenment, counselling many others that getting out of the rut of a MI is doable, achievable and possible only if one is willing to do the hard work….walk through the hard struggles unashamedly wanting to heal/deal with their circumstances head on.