Three Sides of the Coin

(formerly Betting on a Better Life)

NEW website coming soon!

“includes people’s lived experience video stories of gambling harm”.
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Zoom professional development sessions – click here to learn more.

Three Sides of the Coin Project

Three Sides of the Coin project supports people who have been harmed by gambling. Participants may have gambled themselves or may have suffered due to the gambling of someone close to them.

We workshop and perform theatrical vignettes of true personal stories to help destigmatise gambling, start a conversation about the harms of gambling, and the links between gambling, AOD, mental health, family violence. Some of the stories are now available through the Recovery Gamble online website.

We see gambling as a public health concern that affects us all, not as a personal problem locked in shame and stigma.

How to get involved?
  • Join a creative workshop
  • Book a Professional Development session
  • Book a community performance
Want to learn more?
  • Check out an interactive online website of real stories
  • Read Ruin to Recovery book
  • Listen to our Podcast episode
  • Watch the Three Sides of the Coin documentary
Join a creative workshop

People who have been affected by gambling come together in supportive, fun, and creative workshops. Through telling their stories, people gain self-confidence and a powerful feeling of trust and connection between participants grows.

New members are always welcome. We start with storytelling and meeting like-minded people, and work with you on your journey of recovery. It’s your story, you are in charge, you are the expert.

When you are ready, you can have the opportunity to work with other participants under the sensitive guidance of artistic director Catherine Simmonds, to weave your personal stories into performance scenes. When we perform, these stories touch all who see them.

Join us
03 9564 6137
There is no cost.

Book a Professional Development session or a community performance

Here’s a dynamic way to stimulate conversations, expose the shame and stigma, and understand gambling as a public health issue. Let the experts by experience be our educators!

The sessions include a:

  • Scene performed by people with lived experience (20 mins)
  • Q&A session or small groups to discuss (e.g. how to ask the question about gambling)

The session will shed a unique light on gambling addiction. You will experience the inner voices, the pain, the shame, and the harm of it all. The stories are presented with brutal honesty and courage, not by actors, but by the very people whose experiences you will share.

Our performances:

  • Can be adapted for the specific needs of your work places and community groups
  • Stimulate conversations about the impact of gambling
  • Expose the shame and stigma of gambling addiction
  • Challenge audiences to view gambling as a public health issue
  • Can included lived experience intersecting with family violence, mental health, drugs and alcohol and the justice system.

Book a session
03 9564 6137

Read Ruin to Recovery Book

If you would like to purchase a hard copy of this book “From RUIN to RECOVERY” please contact Judy Avisar on 1300 552 509 or email

“From RUIN to RECOVERY – Gamblers share their stories”

It all began with Melbourne writer Arnold Zable and a series of writing workshops for people struggling with gambling addiction. The end result was a remarkable anthology of first person accounts about the effect of gambling on people’s lives. As Zable put it, ‘These writers know gambling from the inside. They had the courage to enter into the world of their addictionand have dared to bear witness to their painful descents into obsession.

First printed 2012/13, Second print 2018/19

Listen to our Podcast episode

This 10 minute audio/radio RUIN to RECOVERY play takes listeners on an emotional roller-coaster. It is a call for understanding that gambling addiction can afflict anyone.

Watch the Three Sides of the Coin documentary

See the magic of the creative process and performances in this 20 minute documentary (2015)

Read about our work with the Vietnamese
community (2015)

Two Sides of the Coin theatrical production (2014). A compelling and heart-wrenching full stage production continued to touch audiences’ hearts. Here are some links to documentaries about the show: Compelling artistic moments (5 minutes)

RUIN to RECOVERY dramatization
These stories were then dramatized into a performance for the Melbourne Writers Festival and Parliament House. The short documentary captures the intensity, fun, fears, insights of seven people recovering from gambling harm – a huge journey of self-discovery and immense courage as they expose their stories behind gambling addiction.

LISTEN: 15 min interview with our artistic director, Catherine Simmonds and one of our participants, Paul Fung on LIFE MATTERS (ABC Radio National)
Click here to listen.

If you would like to know more:
Contact Judy Avisar, Project Coordinator
1300 552 509
03 9564 6137 (direct)


Three Sides of the Coin is a project run by Link Health and Community, funded by Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

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