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28 August 2022
Marshall connected with Major Adye Viney, right, at the Salvos Sunrise Centre in Darwin.
Words Naomi Singlehurst
Marshall, a talented musician, songwriter and Warlpiri Alyawarre man, talks about his challenging life journey and the keys to stability he has achieved through friendship, faith and music at the Salvos’ Sunrise Centre in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Many challenging life circumstances and experiences led to Marshall’s experiences of homelessness, incarceration and ongoing struggles with addiction.
After prison, Marshall was referred to the Sunrise Centre in Darwin for its alcohol and other drugs service. He graduated earlier this year and is now supported by the centre’s homelessness arm to help him stay on the right path.
Major Adye Viney, a Salvation Army officer (pastor) for 32 years, serves as Chaplain at the Sunrise Centre. He offers community members accessing the service essential spiritual and emotional support.
“For some, the experience of homelessness is one of profound loss of hope and despair, so my role … is to provide practical and spiritual support to those who request it,” Adye explains.
“It is important that homelessness services support people in their personal growth while providing ongoing care and support. Otherwise, people exiting prison and residential rehab services [too often] end up back on the streets.
“My chaplaincy role is part of a wider staff team, including case managers and other support staff that work together as a team to provide holistic support to all our residents.”
The Sunrise Centre offers ease of access between the major arms of the service, ongoing case management and referrals to other services, plus pastoral care.
“Homelessness is a traumatic experience, and trauma takes a long time to recover from and needs a lot of support,” Adye explains. “Music, art and spirituality can be a way of connecting with people, finding inner strength and resilience, and re-engaging with family, loved ones and the community.
“As I got to know Marshall, I soon discovered that he has a love of, and talent for, music as a singer, guitarist and songwriter.
“I, too, have a passion for playing the electric guitar. In the beginning, we didn’t have an electric guitar at Sunrise, so I let him practise on mine until we were able to purchase one. I got together a couple of other Salvos to join in, and soon we had a band.
“Marshall had also grown up knowing Jesus, and I learned that for him, writing and performing music, including music that reflects his faith, was an important part of his healing process.”
Marshall says that the support he has received through the Sunrise Centre has profoundly impacted his confidence and way of thinking.
“It was helpful to me to see things much more clearly in my life in a way that I had never seen them before,” he shares. “It has helped to change the way I live my life and the decisions I make.”
Performing an original song for guests at the Darwin Red Shield Appeal breakfast in May was another confidence-booster for Marshall, who says: “I would like to thank Adye, and [local Salvos and musicians] Zane and Jayden for backing me up with the song I wrote and bringing that song to life. And for organising the opportunity for me to perform it from my heart. It meant everything to me.
“I first learnt to play guitar from my brother-in-law about 30 years ago. I have loved music ever since then. Music teaches me about how to live my life in the best way I can. Music is everything to me.”
Marshall hopes to use his music and experiences to help others, saying, “There are some good people [who need help]. They’ve just lost track. I know the Salvos can bring them back … and maybe I can help with my music.
“[Sunrise] has been really, really good. I have got to know some great people who have supported me in my life … God needs more people like them.”