After growing up on Palm Island, Edward Summers moved to Townsville in the 70s, where he attended Town High. After graduating he moved to Tully — cutting bananas and melons. By the time he returned to Townsville, his mother was getting older and he didn’t want to intrude on her by moving in.
“I went in the park with my mates because I was alone when I got back to Townsville,” Mr Summers said.
“I had my mum but I didn’t want to be too much of a nuisance for her because she was getting on in age. My brothers and sisters were already men and women, so we should be looking after ourselves, you know?”
As a result of drinking with his mates, Edward found himself in and out of jail for drinking-related violence. When he came out on parole, he knew that if his regular blood and urine tests proved positive, he would soon be back behind bars.
At Dale Parker Place, Edward found the support he needed to turn his life around. “I wanted to show people that if I could do it, they could do it,” Mr Summers said.
“I’d do the art workshop every Wednesday afternoon, go for a walk and go to Uncle Alfred’s Mens Group. We talked about what it’s like to change and not get into strife with the law.”
Edward’s last offence was in 2010 and he has two more years left on parole. “I think about it all the time — my old ways,” Mr Summers said.