By Margaret Maccoll
When Stacie Currie was 21 years old police were at the unit she shared with her abusive partner with an ultimatum to remove her three children aged five, two and four months to foster care unless she left the relationship she was in.
“I had to change my life and have nothing to do with my violent partner,” she said. “I didn’t know I was living with domestic violence.
“I couldn’t see myself changing my life.”
But she “just did it” and now aged 39 years, has five children, a non-violent partner of 15 years and is co-founder of a million dollar print company.
Last Saturday Stacie told her to attendants at a Fire Up Coaching conference led by director Kathy MacKenzie at Peppers Noosa Resort for professionals looking to improve their ability to coach and lead in the workplace.
Stacey told conference guests she didn’t want to lose her children but at the time had no idea what to do.
“I hadn’t lived a life without dysfunction and chaos,” she said. “I devised this strategy to work backwards and focus on what I didn’t want.” Stacey said good riddance to the opinions of others, left behind her life of partying with other single mums and learnt to decide what she wanted to do.
But she had no positive role models. Her mother was a teenage mum. She worked as a barmaid and one day went to work leaving Stacey and her brother with a male friend who sexually abused both of them.
She went to live with her dad who “had no sense of responsibility” and regularly stole food for his family. She lived in a shed at the back of her dad’s housing commission house with her boyfriend and was pregnant with her first child at the age of 15.
“I used to live in the moment without thinking of the consequences,” she said. She realised no one was going to save her. “You have to take responsibility,” she said. “You are the only one to blame.”
She knocked on doors until she got a job and returned to study. She met a new partner who didn’t yell or swear and turned his hobby for printing into a successful business through sheer determination and a belief that she could and had to do it.
“Within a year I had won huge contracts with big companies and I honesty knew nothing about the business,” she said.