A student tradition has dropped its love of ice, weed and acid to become one of the most difficult workers in Australia.
Samuel Liddle from Nambour, about 100 kilometers north of Brisbane, has been named the best student of the year on the north coast.
But it was not an easy journey for the 27-year-old who moved from Auckland to Australia in an attempt to overcome his debilitating drug addiction.
& # 39; I grew up in a good family, mom and dad were great, brothers and sisters were great & he said to Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; Many stories about drugs are a sad start, but I suppose I really had a good education.
Samuel Liddle (right) with his wife Hannah (left) and children of two-year-old Isabella and 10-month-old Jesse
Liddle (pictured with daughter Isabella) said he started smoking at the age of 13 while searching for & # 39; acceptance & # 39; and meaningful relationships. It quickly went downhill when he noticed that he was using hard fabrics
& # 39; I didn't do well at school, I quit early, I worked for the family business. & # 39;
Liddle said he started smoking marijuana at the age of 13 when he was looking for & # 39; acceptance & # 39; and meaningful relationships. It quickly went downhill when he noticed that he was using hard fabrics.
Ging I went from marijuana to ecstasy, to acid, to ketamine and ice. Just start everything. I would do anything that would make me high, & he said.
& # 39; I did it because I was in a hurry. I'm not going to lie and say it wasn't fun, that's why people do it.
& # 39; There is something good to start with, but it is all a lie. It just robs you, it steals your consciousness. & # 39;
While his drug abuse continued, Mr. Liddle began to steal from those closest to him.
& # 39; At one point … I thought if I did something bad to someone, they would have done something wrong for me to do this to them, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; That was my way to justify robbing and stealing and hurting people.
Liddle from Nambour, about 100 kilometers north of Brisbane, has been named the best student of the year on the north coast
Mr. Liddle only overcame his addiction when he moved to Australia and got help from Teen Challenge (photo: Mr. Liddle and Hannah)
& # 39; I didn't care about my family at all. I would steal from them, from my family business. & # 39;
Liddle spent a month in rehabilitation in New Zealand at the age of 19, but said he & # 39; angry & # 39; was by experience because the people in the facility were still using drugs.
He managed to stay clean for seven months after his release, but quickly returned to his & # 39; old crew & # 39; and started using & # 39; every day again & # 39 ;.
Mr. Liddle was at his lowest point, and after he stole from his parents again, he finally admitted that he was struggling & # 39; used to be.
He said to his parents: & # 39; Drugs have got my life under control and I don't know what to do & # 39 ;.
& # 39; I had no control over myself, no control over my body and what I wanted to do. My desires were all just dark and distorted, & said Mr. Liddle.
& # 39; My father and mother loved me enough to get the right help. They knew they couldn't do anything themselves. & # 39;
It was not an easy process for the 27-year-old (pictured with family), who moved from Auckland to Australia in an attempt to overcome a debilitating drug addiction
Mr. Liddle's grandfather, who was a missionary in Papua New Guinea in 1951, knew someone in Australia who helped start the Teen Challenge.
The non-profit organization helps young people to overcome addiction and other life-controlling problems.
They welcomed Mr. Liddle seven years ago when he was 20 years old.
& # 39; When I came here, quite frankly, my mind was not a rehab. "I thought I'd go surfing on the beach and there are many beautiful girls in Australia," said Mr. Liddle.
& # 39; They (Teen Challenge) had unconditional love … No one knew my past, none of them knew what I had done or who I had hurt, none of them knew my story, but immediately there was this acceptance. & # 39;
Liddle said he believes that most people try to fill a void in their hearts to get a sense of fulfillment – whether it's through work, drugs, sex.
& # 39; We try to feel desired and accepted or whatever. I just think we are all looking for something and for me it was God, & he said.
Training and Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman said that Mr. Liddle took home the title of Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year as one of the 11 winners in the regional final of the 58th Queensland Training Awards
& # 39; I found God during Teen Challenge and that changed my life. & # 39;
& # 39; It must be your own experience, I can't do that to anyone else. Everyone is on their own journey. That was my trip, I didn't get any medication from it anymore and I've been straight since then. & # 39;
Mr Liddle got an internship through Teen Challenge and six months later Gateway Construction offered him a full-time job.
& # 39; I moved to the Sunshine Coast and my boss took me to his house, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; I didn't know anyone, it was a whole new beginning.
& # 39; My boss took me, this little drug addict, to his house. He didn't even know me from a bar of soap. & # 39;
Liddle went to church in Nambour, where he met his wife Hannah.
& # 39; It was just this pretty cool fast-tracked trip. I was in this new place, I could be who I wanted to be, I didn't have to go back. Nobody knew who I was before, so it was easy to start over.
& # 39; I was very honest with people where I was and I think that one of the most important things that kept me right was being accountable to people. & # 39;
Liddle met his wife Hannah (photo) in 2016 when he started attending church in Nambour
After they married Hannah in 2016, the couple moved to PNG for eight weeks, where they lived in the bush. He then returned to Gateway Construction, who was happy to have him back.
When Mr. Liddle completed his apprenticeship, he again visited PNG with his wife and two children – the two-year-old Isabella and the 10-month-old Jesse – for two weeks, where they spoke to the locals.
& # 39; They asked us to come and live with them, they offered us a piece of land, & # 39; said Mr. Liddle.
The family is now planning to move to PNG early next year, where they will build their own house.
& # 39; There are many unwanted pregnancies with young women … We hire these children and take care of them. Keep them in their village, we're not trying to get them out of there, & he said.
Liddle said he also wants to help the local population with drug and alcohol addiction and plans to teach them life skills.
Regarding the price, Mr. Liddle said that he didn't really expect & # 39; this & # 39; because he didn't nominate himself.
& # 39; I've never been worth anything like that. All my way, I've just robbed and hurt people, & he said.
After they married Hannah in 2016, the couple moved to PNG for eight weeks, where they lived in the bush. He then returned to Gateway Construction, who was happy to have him back
& # 39; To turn my life around and get offered this is huge. It is the first real achievement in my life, except completing the rehab.
& # 39; It's pretty special. Here my family says & # 39; & # 39; we are so proud of you & # 39; & # 39 ;. Those are huge words for me, I have not made people so proud for so long.
& # 39; Now I have my son and my daughter, I want them to be able to look up to their father and be like & # 39; & # 39; father is my hero & # 39; & # 39;. & # 39;
The Queensland Training Awards State Gala Dinner will be held in Brisbane on September 14, but Mr. Liddle said the state-based award will not change his plans.
& # 39; If I win, great that's cool and if I don't, I don't want to do anything, I'm still going to PNG to help these people, I'm not going to settle down, "he said.
Training and Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman said that Mr. Liddle took home the title of Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year as one of the 11 winners in the regional finals of the 58th Queensland Training Awards.
& # 39; Samuel describes his apprenticeship as the lifeline he needed to change his life, & # 39; said Mrs. Fentiman.
& # 39; Through his education and work at Gateway Constructions, he has found a passion for his profession, as well as skills and experience that he can use to give back to his community.
& # 39; Samuel completed his certificate III in carpentry in 2019 and is working on obtaining his building permit.
& # 39; Samuel will now join the winners of six other regional Queensland Training Awards to become finalists in the state of Queensland Training Awards with winners announced in September. & # 39;
Regarding the price, Mr. Liddle said that he didn't really expect & # 39; this & # 39; because he didn't nominate himself. & # 39; I've never been worth anything like that. All my way, I've just robbed and hurt people, & he said
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