A man who overcame severe drug addiction will be one of the happiest graduates at the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Faculty of Business graduation ceremony in Bathurst today.
Mr David Oliver, from Wollongong, will receive his Graduate Certificate in Management (Professional Practice) at the 9.30am ceremony.
Mr Oliver was born in February 1964, and obtained his School Certificate at Keira Boys High in Wollongong. He then started an apprenticeship as a fitter and machinist at BlueScope Steel (then Australian Iron and Steel) in 1980.
"This is where I met the party culture that would see my downfall," Mr Oliver said.
"Through years of heavy binge drinking and pot smoking, I went through many jobs and a few girlfriends, until I met my first wife. Together we initially dabbled with Ice (crystal methamphetamine), continued to party, and started to fall into addiction by injecting in 1996.
"Through addiction to heroin, ice and Sudafed, our marriage failed, I lost my sales executive job, a beautiful home, and eventually surrendered my two children into the care of my parents.
"Not long after, in February 2002, I entered the Salvation Army's 'Bridge Program' for long-term rehabilitation, and discovered the love of Jesus Christ and a new drug free way of life."
Ten months later, Mr Oliver re-entered society, started to rebuild his life, and since then his employment has been more stable.
"In 2006, I married my dear wife Judy and maintain a strong and loving relationship with her. I have undertaken a number of business studies, and we have just purchased a promising small business," Mr Oliver said.
"In February 2015, I will be 13 years clean and sober, and I have never looked back, except to take stock on how bad an unmanageable life can be. Life has never been better and continues to improve."