Name: Peter P Lyndon-James
Organisation: Shalom House
Bio: Peter Lyndon-James – Shalom House
The Shalom program for men is led by CEO Peter Lyndon-James, who is supported by a team of paid staff and volunteers.
Shalom was born out of Peter ’s vision to bring holistic recovery and restoration to the lives of men, women and their families, providing a long-term safe community for men pursuing a life free from addiction.
Peter established the first Shalom House in the Swan Valley in 2012, then in January 2014, the corporate not-for-profit organisation, West Australian Shalom Group Inc. was formed.
Peter drew inspiration for Shalom, from his own life experience and associated trauma.
A ward of the State from age nine, Peter grew up in foster homes, children’s homes and institutions, spending most of his childhood being locked up or living on the streets.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family, Peter felt unwanted, unloved and abandoned.
At age nine he became a ward of the state, with his first experience of a life behind bars spent detained at the Longmore children’s home.
The next nineteen years saw Peter living in various foster homes, children’s homes and institutions, or living on the streets.
By the age of 30, Peter had spent time in all of the jails in Western Australia.
He surrounded himself with people who he felt understood him, only to later realise that these people were doing the things that would eventually destroy him.
This resulted in a life of crime, drug addiction and incarceration from which Peter thought he could never escape.
But underneath it all, he just wanted to be normal like other people.
Peter wanted to be a good father and a loving husband, able to do all the normal family activities that most people take for granted.
Peter felt trapped in a life that he didn’t want to live and a pattern that he couldn’t break.
His motto is “You can get the prisoner out of the prison but you need to get the prison out of the prisoner”.
Following a personal life changing experience, in 2001 Peter was released from jail and after three years obtained his advanced Diploma in Theology, becoming a volunteer Prison Chaplain at Acacia prison.
During this time he and his wife Amanda commenced a lawn mowing and landscaping business.
Within three years they had six staff and three vehicles turning over more than $500,000 per annum.
Yet out of Peter’s painful life experiences came a strong desire to help others who were struggling with similar traumas.
Peter set out to help men, who required intensive attention and support to overcome entrenched behaviours and addictions that made their lives unmanageable for them and their families.
Over time he found that a live-in restoration program was necessary to restore these damaged lives.
Men who meet the criteria and who are ready to embrace serious change in their lives can commit to the program for a 12 month period to undergo a restoration process in the safety of a disciplined and controlled residential environment.
Residents have frequent contact with skilled counsellors, mentors and peer supporters, as well as weekly visits by a qualified psychiatrist and a dedicated GP.
The successful Shalom program has continued to grow to over 140 plus residents, with over 70 to 100 plus paid staff and an army of volunteers, including doctors, chaplains, councillors, psychologists and tradesmen – all supporting the men, women & families to bring restoration and healing to their families.
With an increasing number of graduates from Shalom, Peter has now set out to educate the community, the families and the addict - teaching them the best way to bring about effective change and how to stop the cycle of destruction that drugs cause.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Peter's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
As I mentored people in changing their lives the number of people who were in my care for 12 to 18 months grew to around 140 men, women & children.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
As a Christian man I start my day in prayer and God’s word then I go about my day.
At the end of the day I will end my day in prayer.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
People don’t know what they don’t know. You can’t expect people to know what you know and you must expect people to do what they did not want to do because they did not know.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Bible. Everything we need to know to live life is found in the Bible. It is an instruction manual for us to live life and teaches us everything we need to know.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Matthew 6:33-34, to seek first the kingdom of God above all else.!
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
It’s a privilege to see lives changed