Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Peace found within

Shanelle Peace has a personal connection to wanting to help Leading From Within.

CHLOE WARBURTON May 17, 2014 4:56am

Helping others: Shanelle Peace will speak about the experiences that led her to Leading from Within on Wednesday at an annual fundraising dinner.

Shanelle Peace was close to ending her own life when a chance encounter with a stranger in a supermarket changed everything.

‘‘I was at the end and he must have sensed that in me — I didn’t want to live any more and I was really close to taking my life. I felt lost and hopeless,’’ Ms Peace said.

‘‘We talked in the car park and he told me who he was and what he does. He saved my life.’’

The man was Pat O’Connell, who together with his wife Jenny started not-for-profit organisation Leading from Within 10 years ago to help people recover from trauma and adversity, prevent suicide and to encourage leadership.

Ms Peace completed the six-month Leading from Within program last year and is keen to help others as a member of the committee.

‘‘Before a place came up in the program, I was mentored with someone who had been through the program before — Christine was in my life on a consistent basis and she kept me going,’’ Ms Peace said.

‘‘I also had some counselling with Jenny and spent some time with Pat as well.

‘‘It was great to have both of them involved in my recovery.

‘‘I’m on the committee now and I’m just at the end of my Diploma in Community Services, which I wouldn’t have taken on without their support. I want to help people who are at risk.’’


For more information about Leading From Within, visit or phone co-ordinators Patrick and Jenny O’Connell on 58211295.


Readers experiencing thoughts and feelings relating to suicide can access help by phoning Lifeline on 131114. Children under-16 can also phone the Kids Helpline on 1800551800.


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