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Awards

ATCA Awards were first introduced in 2008 and each year are presented to individuals and/or organisations that have provided dedicated and innovative leadership, thus enhancing the TC model of treatment for alcohol and other drug issues.  These comprise five categories:

  • ATCA Recognition Award
  • Significant Contribution Award – Individual
  • Significant Contribution Award – Program or Intervention
  • First Nations Innovation and Partnership Award – Organisational Award
  • Excellence in Research and Evaluation Award 

ATCA Award Catergories

ATCA Recognition Award
This award recognises the individuals who have made a contribution to the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement in Australasia over a period of ten years or more. The goal of this Award is to provide public recognition of the dedicated contribution by individuals to the Therapeutic Community movement, by a staff member or volunteer.

ATCA Individual Award
This award recognises the individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement in Australasia over a considerable period of time. The goal of the Significant Contribution: Individual Award is to acknowledge and publicly recognise the exceptional work done by people who have worked tirelessly over a number of years to promote and develop the therapeutic community approach to treatment within the sector.

ATCA Significant Contribution Award
This award recognises an exemplary or commendable contribution to the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement in Australasia made by a program or intervention. Any TC treatment provider or intervention is eligible.

First Nations Innovation and Partnership Award. Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Organisational Award
This award recognises organisations that have made a contribution to the Therapeutic Community (TC) movement in Australasia by way of innovation and forming Partnerships that make Therapeutic communities culturally safe and relevant to first nation’s people. 

The goal of this Award is to provide public recognition work done to include first nations peoples in the delivery of Therapeutic Community programs either by way of innovation or the formulation of partnerships that directly benefit First Nations residents.

Excellence in Research and Evaluation Award
Therapeutic Community research is essential to the development of effective and informed strategies to improve the lives of clients and residents accessing TC services and programs.  This award recognises the individuals, research teams and TCs that have contributed to evidence-based research and evaluation of TC services and programs.

Awardees in the category of ATCA Recognition Award receive a certificate, presented at the annual ATCA Conference or Symposium.

Winners in other categories receive an engraved glass trophy, presented at the annual ATCA Conference or Symposium.

ATCA Award Guidelines
Eligibility

  • The awards are only open to current members of ATCA and may include other organisations outside the membership with which ATCA organisational members have partnered
  • Nominations should be completed on the appropriate form for each category and all relevant sections of the nomination form(s) should be completed
  • Each nomination is restricted to one category
  • Should a program be nominated in more than one category by different nominators, clarification will be sought from the nominee as to the category in which they wish their nomination to be judged
  • To be eligible for nomination in the service, program or intervention category, the service, program or intervention is required to be in operation during the awards period
  • To be eligible for nomination in the individual category, the individual is required to be employed by the nominating agency/organisation at the time of nomination and when the awards are presented
  • Each nomination requires the endorsement of the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the identified agency/organisation and nominee
  • Any additional information (attachments) must accompany the appropriate nomination form(s) or be mailed to ATCA at the advertised address and be received by the advertised closing date

Judging

  • Nominations will be assessed by a panel of people appointed by the ATCA Board to judge each award
  • Awards will be judged according to the criteria outlined for each of the award categories
  • More than one award may be granted in each of the main categories, and all eligible nominees for the Recognition Award will be presented with a Certificate of Recognition
  • The judging panels also reserve the right to award a Certificate of Commendation for finalists in the Individual and Organisational categories

Terms and conditions

  • No feedback or discussion will be entered into regarding nominations and award results
  • Nominations can only be made in one category for an individual, service, program or intervention
  • Nominations must address each judging criteria. Applicants that fail to do so will not be considered
  • Nominees must agree to be nominated
  • All nominations, including any attachments, become the property of the event organisers (ATCA)
  • Event organisers reserve the right to publicise all nominations and entrants may be asked to participate in media interviews

Dr Lynne Magor-Blatch
Executive Officer
Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association

PO Box 464
YASS NSW 2582
M:+61 (0)422 904 040
E: [email protected]

______________________________________________________________________________________

2017 ATCA Award Winners

First Nations Innovation and Partnership Award. Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Organisational Award

In 2017 ATCA honoured two of its members in this category:

  • Odyssey House Victoria Women’s Koori Justice Program aims to “close the gap” for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples seeking support and intervention for addiction and associated issues. Initial successes in the program’s Circuit Breaker program showed 20% of the population were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and these residents were making up 25% of program completions. This compared with 2% Aboriginal engagement in all other programs across the organisation.

Consultation with Aboriginal community elders and the employment of suitably qualified and respected individuals, lead to the development of an Aboriginal Advisory Group and Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, ratified in 2013, and in 2017, the organisation has submitted its “Stretch RAP”.

The organisation has collaborated widely, they have engaged in professional development and addressed a range of AOD health related issues and have increased the number of Aboriginal service users across the whole organisation.

  • Goldbridge and The Henderson first established a partnership in 2014, which included individual mentoring sessions to identify strengths and awareness for the future. This was further developed in 2016 to provide a unique support program to First Nation’s people leaving prison and in 2017, this partnership has further expanded through the work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are undertaking sentences within Gatton Correctional Facility, linking them with the TC’s many services for support for AOD issues on release.

The establishment of an Advisory Group has assisted in this work, providing objective clinical and program advice to ensure residents are receiving culturally secure advice and support.

Excellence in Research and Evaluation: Therapeutic Community Research Award

  • WHOS; Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, University of Wollongong; and NDARC, University of New South Wales formed a partnership across three organisations, including two university-based research institutes, to improve the capacity of people living with co-occurring mental illness, establishing a program of research at the commencement of the project. The longitudinal action research designed study aimed to:
  1. Identify the capacity of TCs to address co-occurring mental illness; and
  2. Identify and articulate implementation strategies that can guide improvements in the way that TCs respond to mental illness comorbidities.

Throughout the study, the group addressed a number of secondary outcomes including identification of health needs, such as smoking, healthy lifestyles and health literacy.  The team has now completed seven annual reviews across the 9-year project.  The use of the DDCAT has shown the organisation is Dual Diagnosis Capable, and is a world-first in the TC context, leading to both publications and conference presentations.

Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Program, Service or Intervention

In 2017, after due consideration, the judges agreed to highly commend a program that has made a long-term commitment to Harm Reduction, and to the education and promotion of wellbeing, healthy lifestyle and harm reduction initiatives across the six TCs that come under the organisation’s umbrella:  

  • The WHOS Harm Reduction Program has made a progressively expanding commitment to harm reduction commencing in 1986 in step with the Commonwealth Government’s Harm Minimisation approach to the Drug Strategy. Education is essential to ensure the message of safe drug use and safe sex is being received by the clients accessing the organisation’s services. There is an emphasis on overdose prevention and Harm Reduction Workers are allocated to each service and nursing staff oversee onsite clinics, liaising with community GPs, Sexual Health Services and BBV services.

Significant Contribution to Therapeutic Community Organisational Development –  Individual Award

In 2017, we recognised the work of one individual whose contribution to the development and growth of the TC model within his own organisation has been significant:

  • Brian Holt, Therapy and Operations Manager, Odyssey House New South Wales has been working in Odyssey House residential services for the past 25 years. He is a senior graduate of the residential program who commenced his employment with Odyssey in a therapist role in 1992. In 1996, he was appointed to the role of Coordinator at the Admissions and Referral Centre, and after 9 years moved to the position of Manager of the Odyssey House Admissions and Referral Centre and Withdrawal Unit.  In 2005, the Withdrawal Unit was presented with the Excellence in Treatment Award at the National Awards.  In 2010, with a number of organisational changes being made, the recipient of this award moved into a new position overseeing three departments across two treatment sites and in 2015, he assumed a new role managing the Therapy department.

Brian demonstrates his ongoing commitment and support to residents in treatment as he embraces the ethos of the Therapeutic Community with integrity and passion.  He is a living inspiration to Odyssey House staff and residents and over the years has provided support to approximately 15,500 clients.

Honorary Life Membership

In 2017, the ATCA Board agreed to expand the ATCA Affiliate membership category and establish Honorary Life Membership, which may be granted to an individual in recognition of commitment and services rendered to the Association and its membership.

Each nomination for Honorary Life Membership must be considered on its merits and the following principles considered in granting Honorary Life Membership:

  • Honorary Life Membership is a great honour.
  • It is not considered as a competitive process.
  • Nominees must be considered individually and on their personal attributes, achievements, commitment and contribution to the Therapeutic Community model and to the Association and its membership.
  • Honorary Life Membership is reserved for those whose contribution goes beyond the ordinary for an extended period of time.

In 2017, ATCA honoured two individuals who have had long and active membership of ATCA and the ATCA Board.  They have demonstrated significant contribution to the Association and in the national, state and territory arenas that has furthered the position of the Association and its membership.

Barry Evans and James Pitts were honoured for their significant and considerable contribution to the Association and its members over more than 30 years.

 

 ATCA Recognition Award

In 2014, sixteen awards were made in this category to people who have provided more than 10 years’ service to the TC movement in Australia and New Zealand. The ATCA congratulates the following people:

  • Katharine Manning – Turning Point, Gold Coast Recovery Services
  • Lani Time – Program Manager, Gold Coast Recovery Services
  • Pat Harvey – Team Leader, Gold Coast Recovery Services
  • Tony Murray – Support Worker, Fairhaven’s Withdrawal Unit and Bridge Program
  • Traci Wilkins – Senior Case Worker, The Salvation Army William Booth House
  • Ben Williams – Chair, Goldbridge Board
  • Dr Morgan O’Brien – Member Goldbridge Board
  • Maureen Oldfield – Member of the Goldbridge Board
  • Barbara Hill – Treasurer and Accounts Manager Goldbridge Board
  • Toni Eachus – Operations Manager, Goldbridge
  • Janina Lace – Yoga and Meditation Instructor Goldbridge
  • Marie-Claire Manganaro-Sclater – TC Team Leader Goldbridge
  • Ralph Fletcher – volunteer supervisor Goldbridge
  • John Bartlett – Founder and CEO, Fresh Hope
  • Karen Bartlett – Founder, Fresh Hope
  • Jessica Walshe – Clinical Manager, Odyssey House Victoria

_____________________________________________________________________________________

2016 ATCA Award Winners

First Nations Innovation and Partnership Award. Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Organisational Award

  • Drug and Alcohol Services Association (DASA) Alice Springs Indigenous Outreach Program.
    Excellence in Research and Evaluation: Therapeutic Community Research Award

2016 was the first year this award was presented, and judges congratulated all nominees for their high standard of work in this area.  Two of the nominations stood out and were considered a credit to the vibrant work that is happening within ATCA.  Both organisations demonstrated and sustained an impressive and varied amount of research.  Both nominations are persuasive in terms of narrative and story, as well as empirically robust.  Overall, their client work and research amount to a formula for winning hearts and minds.  The case for the awards is strong and finely presented.

Excellence in Research and Evaluation: Therapeutic Community Research Award

  • The Salvation Army Recovery Services and Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, University of Wollongong Research Partnership Executive Team: Mr Gerard Byrne, Major Rick Hoffman, Prof Frank Deane, and Dr Peter Kelly.
  • Highly CommendedHigher Ground Research Committee, in association with Julian King Associates

Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Program, Service or Intervention

  • The Endeavour Dual Diagnosis Bridge Program
  • Highly Commended: Cyrenian House for the development and implementation of the Residential Pathways Program

Special Award for Leadership and Innovation

  • James Pitts

James has provided leadership and innovation to the TC sector over more than 32 years.  He has been a giant in our field, who has made a significant contribution to the lives of over 30,000 people.  The list of committees, Boards and expert groups on which he has served is long – and he has received a number of honours and awards over his long career.  He was a founding member of ATCA and has significantly expanded the benefit of the Therapeutic Community environment for people seeking recovery from addiction.

He has been a long-time advocate of the Therapeutic Community model of treatment and is highly regarded for his innovation and expertise in this field.  We will miss him as he retires from the sector, although we hope this will herald a new opportunity for him to support others within the sector to maintain fidelity in the TC model in their own services.

In 2016, ATCA was proud to honour someone who has an outstanding list of contributions over a lifetime of achievement.

ATCA Recognition Award

In 2016, 20 awards were made in this category to people who have provided more than 10 years’ service to the TC movement in Australia and New Zealand. ATCA congratulates the following people:

  • Wendy Shannon – Cyrenian House from 2002 to 2008 and Palmerston from 2011.
  • Craig Stephens– Centre Manager of the Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Bernie Muendel– Program Director at The Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Janet Rees– Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Jacqui Kelly– Senior Case Worker at The Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Lorraine Fulton– Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Mykel Carlson– Case Worker at The Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Phil Bowers– Case Worker at The Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Sam Brammall– Case Worker at The Dooralong Transformation Centre
  • Gerard Byrne – Operations Manager for The Salvation Army Recovery Services, which has services in NSW, QLD and the ACT.
  • Angie Keir – Karralika Programs in the ACT and more recently with Canberra Recovery Services.
  • Greg Driscoll – Team Leader at the Canberra Recovery Services.
  • Mel Stott – Ted Noffs Foundation
  • Kieran Palmer – Chief Clinical Officer/Psychologist Ted Noffs Foundation
  • Marg Lacy – Assessment and Intake worker, YSAS Birribi.
  • Kevin McGuigan – Property Worker, YSAS Birribi
  • Damian Philp – Manager, YSAS Birribi
  • Mette Hemmingsen – Residential Youth Worker, YSAS Birribi
  • Donna Stevens – YSAS Birribi
  • Patricia Serratore – YSAS Birribi

 ___________________________________________________________________________________

2015 ATCA Award Winners

Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Program, Service or Intervention

In 2015, the judging panel agreed to award two nominees in this category:

  • The WHOS New Beginnings Program has a demonstrated history of utilising and building best practice for women specific AOD work, using group work, supportive counselling, women’s health support and education, stress management skills development and referral.

Relationship issues, parenting, self-esteem building, social and communication skills, assertiveness skills training and boundary setting are all important areas for this TC service, which can accommodate up to 24 women at any given time.

  • The Alcohol and Drug Treatment Courtproject is an innovative and collaborative therapeutic jurisprudence pilot project, which has been established between the New Zealand Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice. The treatment component is accomplished through a strong network between three providers: Odyssey Auckland as Lead Provider, Higher Ground and the Salvation Army. The network has a strong working relationship with the court.

From a treatment perspective, the network between the providers comprises dedicated case management and peer support, and a wrap-around model of support which ensures continuity of care in an individualized format.

Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an Individual

In 2015, the Awards Committee made two awards in this category:

  • Rawiri Pene is a fantastic ambassador for the therapeutic community treatment movement and his work has been significant in propelling Higher Ground (Auckland, New Zealand) forward in working towards a fully bi-cultural program. In addition to his work at Higher Ground, Rawiri also provides the Pou Oranga role for the Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Court Network. In this role, he plays a significant part in the reduction of Maori being missed by the system and ending up in prison. He works tirelessly with many organisations to help Maori and others gain access to appropriate treatment.
  • Lance Jefferys works with the Department of Corrections, Hawkes Bay Regional Prison. From the commencement of his association with the therapeutic model of treatment, Lance has had a passion for the TC as a method of treatment within the prison setting.

His achievements are many and include: Implementation of a 60 beds Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) in collaboration with CareNZ staff; and a 6 months TC Program for Mainstream Prisoners with addiction problems; Joint proposing and opening of the 30 bed Short Term Intensive (STI) DTU TC in July 2012 for segregated prisoners; Stimulated, initiated and facilitated Staff in learning about the model and making it a daily practice; Integration of three circles (Corrections, CareNZ, and Prisoners) on a daily basis; Supporting colleague PCOs in how to facilitate and lead a TC unit from Corrections’ point of view; Using the TC model to stimulate and motivate prisoners towards change; and Using creativity, boundaries and working together with staff and prisoners.


ATCA Recog
nition Award

In 2015, three awards were made in this category to people who have provided more than 10 years’ service to the TC movement in Australia and New Zealand. ATCA congratulates the following people:

  • Andrew Hick(Odyssey Vic)
  • James Kolose(Higher Ground, Auckland)
  • Zarina Norohna-Smith(Odyssey, Auckland)

 ___________________________________________________________________________________

2014 ATCA Award Winners

Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia: Program, Service or Intervention

In 2014, the judging panel awarded two nominees in this category and highly commended a third:

  • TheRick Hammersley Centre Therapeutic Community for Improved AOD Treatment Services to GLBTIQ Consumers was highly commended as a program that is making a real difference in breaking down the barriers by creating a culture which fosters continuous quality improvement through staff and consumer participation. This includes building a culture within the organisation that supports GLBTIQ people both at a governance, human resource, and program element levels.
  • WHOS Opioid Treatment Programand The Rick Hammersley Centre Mixed Gender Program and Madjitil Moorna Choir of Aboriginal Reconciliation were jointly awarded for their Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia.
  • A number of TCs are now embarking on the important program area of combining medically assisted treatments within the TC environment. The WHOS Opioid Treatment Programis acknowledged as the leader in this area of treatment, operating two TCs – the WHOS Residential Treatment of Opioid Dependence (RTOD) stabilisation program and the WHOS Methadone to Abstinence Residential (MTAR) reduction program. Expansion of OTP services in 2013 included the Newcastle Day Program, family and aftercare support and onsite dispensing of OST. WHOS OTP Services have been at the in-service provision since 1999.
  • The Rick Hammersley Centre Mixed Gender Program and Madjitil Moorna Choir of Aboriginal Reconciliation was also recognised within this award category. The Madjitil Moorna Choir has been established to develop Partnerships to enable Aboriginal People to connect back to Community.

This innovative partnership provides an avenue for Aboriginal People seeking treatment for their AOD issues to connect back into community in healthy, life affirming ways. Aboriginal residents who attend the choir learn how to sing in Noongar language, perform at public events, and can take up administrative and coordinating roles within the choir upon completion of treatment.

Lead by award-winning Aboriginal songwriters, Madjitil Moorna has performed at major cultural events throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia. The most recent performance by Aboriginal People in treatment at the TC with Madjitil Moorna was at the 2014 Perth International Arts Festival and at St Georges Cathedral for the NAIDOC Week celebrations.

Significant Contribution: Individual Award

In 2014, this award was made to three people who have made a significant contribution to the TC movement in Australasia over a considerable period of time:

Barry Evans has had a long association with the ATCA and The Buttery, beginning in 1983 when he joined the team at The Buttery as the Art Therapist and counsellor. In 1987 Barry moved into management, and was offered the position of Director in 1988, a position he held until his retirement from The Buttery in July 2014.

Barry was one of the founding members of the ATCA and has worked diligently since that time to maintain and develop the TC method of treatment. In particular, he has spearheaded the association’s work in the development of the ATCA Standard, and it is therefore very fitting that he will be maintain some of this work – even in his “so called” retirement.

Barry has been Director and Chair of the ATCA Board over a number of years, has served on the NADA Board and has been an active member of a number of organisations in the Northern Rivers. In 2009, Barry was inducted into the National Drug and Alcohol Awards Honour Roll.

Wesley Noffs entered the field in 1986 as manager of Life Education Australia, and in 1987 after his father, Ted Noffs, suffered a massive stroke, Wes took up the leadership role of that organisation. By 1990 it was evident that Youth Treatment was an under-resourced area, if not, non-existent. Wes, together with his wife, Amanda, felt compelled to focus on evidence-based treatment and turned the Wayside Foundation into the Ted Noffs Foundation.

Wes has had a long-term commitment to evidence based, accountable and accessible services for young people and has guided Ted Noffs through changes which have impacted on the AOD, youth and related fields as a whole, providing an ever-improving benchmark for good practice and accountability. Ted Noffs now works collaboratively across Australia to provide outreach evidence based, specialised care to rural, urban, indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse youth and their families.

In 1999 the Ted Noffs Awards were established to honour outstanding individual and organisational contributions in the AOD field and in 2003, and these were followed the National Drug and Alcohol Awards as a collaboration between Ted Noffs, the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA), the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) and the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD).

Mandy Noffs has 45 years management experience, and in 1988 joined the Life Education Centre as Public Relations Officer. In 1990 Mandy joined Wes and turned the Wayside Foundation into Ted Noffs Foundation. Since 1990 she has played a critical role in the ongoing development of Ted Noffs Foundation and its programs. Amanda was the Chief Operating Officer up until July 2014.

Mandy has also served as a Board member of the Network of Alcohol & Other Drugs Agencies (NADA) and as a Board Member of Greenpeace Asia Pacific, and alongside Wes has pioneered rehabilitation services for adolescents in Australia and is proud to have built an organisation that continues to grow and help young people in need.

ATCA is fortunate to have had these three pioneers leading the way over a number of years, and fortunately it seems that we will be able to retain their expertise and knowledge for a little while yet from a true ‘retirement’.

On behalf of the membership, we extend congratulations and appreciation for the commitment of Barry, Wes and Mandy.

 ATCA Recognition Award

In 2014, nineteen awards were made in this category to people who have provided more than 10 years’ service to the TC movement in Australia and New Zealand. The ATCA congratulates the following people:

  • Annette D’amore(Odyssey Vic)
  • Barry Daley(WHOS)
  • David Thornton(Windana)
  • Debi Ingram (Odyssey House NSW)
  • Dennis Humphrys(Palmerston)
  • Derek Dunworth(WHOS)
  • Elaine King(Palmerston)
  • Ian O’Brien (Cyrenian House)
  • Ian Porter (Palmerston)
  • Kerrie Lloyd(WHOS)
  • Lea Griffiths(Odyssey House NSW)
  • Min Ni (WHOS)
  • Peter Townsend(WHOS)
  • Rhonda Rooklyn(WHOS)
  • Richard Hillas-Brown(Karralika Programs)
  • Robert Phelps(WHOS)
  • Scott Parker(WHOS)
  • Steve Hocking(WHOS)
  • Troy German(WHOS)

 __________________________________________________________________________________

2013 ATCA Award Winners

In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by a program, service or intervention

  • The Salvation Army – Bridge Program

In Recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an individual

  • Major David Pullen – The Salvation Army Recovery Services

In recognition of 10 years’ service to the Therapeutic Community Movement

  • Jennifer Hamilton – Clinical Coordinator Mixed Gender Program, Cyrenian House
  • Linda Santiago – Saranna Program, Cyrenian House

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

2012 ATCA Award Winners

In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by a program, service or intervention

  • Palmerston Association Farm Therapeutic Community– Chiropractic Program.
  • Cyrenian House– for the ongoing development of Cultural Competency within the context of the mainstream TC.

 In Recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an individual

  • Charlie Blatch – Goldbridge – for his significant service to the TC sector over the past 40 years.

 In recognition of 10 years’ service to the Therapeutic Community Movement

  • Miekel Rose – Karralika Program, ACT
  • Christine Tamsett – The Salvation Army Recovery Services, Qld
  • Graham Tamsett – The Salvation Army Recovery Services, Qld
  • Ian Lewis – Odyssey House, Vic
  • Scott Warrington – The Salvation Army Recovery Services, ACT
  • Jacqui Warrington – The Salvation Army Recovery Services, ACT
  • Pat Williams – Odyssey House, Auckland NZ

______________________________________________________________________________________ 

2011 ATCA Award Winners

In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by a program, service or intervention

  • Saranna Women’s and Children’s Program – Cyrenian House WA

In Recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an individual

  • Carol Daws – Cyrenian House WA
  • Murray Sutton – Mirikai, Gold Coast Drug Council Qld
  • James Macgregor – Mirikai, Gold Coast Drug Council Qld

 In recognition of 10 years’ service to the Therapeutic Community Movement

  • Kelvin Dargan – Banyan House NT

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

2009 ATCA Award Winners

 In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community movement in Australasia by a program, service or intervention

  • Alcohol & Other Drug Foundation ACT (ADFACT) – Early Birds Project
  • The Ted Noffs Foundation – Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM)

In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an individual

  • Gerard Byrne – Salvation Army Recovery Services
  • Kim Fleming – Karralika, ADFACT

 In recognition of 10 years’ service to the Therapeutic Community Movement

  • Tony Murray – Salvation Army Gold Coast Recovery Services
  • Lani Time – Salvation Army Gold Coast Recovery Services
  • Scott Drummond – Odyssey House Victoria
  • Laura Petrie – Odyssey House Victoria
  • Geoff Summers – Odyssey House Victoria
  • Therese Power – Karralika Karuna, ADFACT

______________________________________________________________________________________________

2008 ATCA Award Winners

In recognition of a Significant Contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by a program, service or intervention

  • Alcohol & other Drug Foundation ACT (ADFACT) – Karralika Karuna Program
  • Palmerston Farm Vocational Program
  • Higher Ground Rehabilitation Trust

In Recognition of a significant contribution to the Therapeutic Community Movement in Australasia by an individual

  • Johnny Dow – Higher Ground Rehabilitation Trust
  • Kay Welsh – Odyssey House Victoria
  • Meridy Calnin – Odyssey House Victoria
  • Lynne Magor-Blatch – ADFACT Karralika

In recognition of 10 years’ service to the Therapeutic   Community movement:

  • Pam McKenna – Palmerston
  • Trevor Doig – The Salvation Army
  • Dawn Bainbridge – ADFACT Karralika
  • Susan Cordeiro – Odyssey House McGrath Foundation
  • Melissa Cranfield – Odyssey House McGrath Foundation
  • Shirley Wilson – Windana

 

Conference 2015

The 2015 conference theme was ‘Partnerships in Treatment,’ which focused on the numerous partnerships that are integral in providing a therapeutic community, which includes the client, their families and support networks, including the health boards, justice and corrections departments, community agencies, bi-cultural & multicultural relationships.

Conference presentations are now available to view and download.  Please also visit the photo gallery of this year’s event.

2015 ATCA Conference Presentations

Keynote presentations

Tuesday 13 October

Wednesday 14 October

 

Resources

Australian and New Zealand Evaluation Tools and Guidelines

Review of the Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set, January 2011

Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set 2012-2013: Specifications and Collection Manual

Diagnostic screening tool

Screening, Assessment and Evaluation: AOD, smoking and gambling. Matua Raki, National Addiction Workforce Development, New Zealand

Te Whare Tapa Whã: Maori Health Model

The Case for AOD Treatment Courts in New Zealand

 

Education and Reviews

Towards better practice in therapeutic communities

Scottish Addiction Studies on-line library

Individual Study Project

NIDA Report – What is a Therapeutic Community?

The Drug Misuse – UK Psychosocial Guideline

Addiction Treatment is Everybody’s Business: Where to from here? National Committee for Addiction Treatment, New Zealand 2011

Competencies for Substance Abuse Treatment Clinical Supervisors TAP 21-A, US Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, 2007

Let’s Get Real: Guide for Managers and Leaders, New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2009

Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components, US Department of Justice, 2004

Working with People in the Criminal Justice Sector: Reflective Workbook. Matua Raki, National Addiction Workforce Development, New ZealandSupporting New Zealand’s Therapeutic Community Workforce: An investigation of current needs. A scoping report developed by Matua Raki for the Ministry of Health

 

Research Papers

Magor-Blatch, L.E., Keen, J.L., & Bhullar, N. (2013). Personality factors as predictors of program completion of drug therapeutic communities Mental Health and Substance Use. doi.org/10.1080/17523281.2013.806345

Gholab, K. M. & Magor-Blatch, L.E. (2013). Predictors of retention in “Transitional” Rehabilitation: Dynamic versus Static Client Variables. Therapeutic Communities: International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 34(1) 16-29.                                                                                                                                                            Gholab, K. & Magor-Blatch, L.E. Predictors of retention

Lifeline through Art, Odyssey House NSW. Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser, Wednesday 5/12/2012
Lifeline through Art – Odyssey House NSW

Smith, B., Gailitis, L. & Bowen, D.J. (2012). A preliminary evaluation of Goldbridge adventure therapy substance abuse treatment program. Unpublished manuscript, Goldbridge Rehabilitation Services, Southport, Australia.
Goldbridge Bowen (2012) A preliminary evaluation

International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 31(2) Summer 2010
International Journal Therapeutic Communities, 2010, 31(2)

James Pitts, Cost benefits of Therapeutic Community programming. Den Haag, June 2009
James Pitts – Cost benefits of TCs

Magor-Blatch, L. (2008). Substance use in the 21st Century: Different or More of the Same? In Psych,3(5). The Australian Psychological Society
Magor-Blatch, L. (2008) InPsych

Stace, S. (2007). Individual Study Project: Are staff training needs adequately addressed in Therapeutic Communities in relation to working with residents who have a diagnosis of personality Disorder? Stirling University, UK.
Stace, Individual Study Project on Therapeutic Communities

Darke, S., Williamson, A., Ross, J., & Teesson, M. (2006). Residential Rehabilitation for the Treatment of Heroin dependence: Sustained Heroin Abstinence and Drug Related Harm 2 years after Treatment Entrance. Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment, 5(1), 9-18
Darke, S., Williamson, A., Ross, J. & Teesson, M. (2006). Residential_Rehabilitation_for_the_Treatment_of.2[1]

James Pitts, Possible contributing factors to the deterioration of client profiles at Odyssey House, WFTC Conference, Spain 2004
James Pitts – Possible Contributors to deterioration Client Profiles

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2002). What is a Therapeutic Community?
Therapeutic Communities Research 03

Waters, G. (2001). The Case for AOD Treatment Courts in New Zealand.
Waters, The case for AOD Treatment Courts in New Zealand 2011

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2009-10: report on the National Minimum Data Set
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420496

Around 170,000 treatment episodes for alcohol and other drug use were provided in Australia in 2009-10. Almost half were for treatment related to alcohol use-the highest proportion observed since the collection began in 2001. As with previous years, counselling was the most common type of treatment offered. One in ten episodes involved more than one type of treatment.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in New South Wales 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420789

In New South Wales in 2009-10, 258 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies and outlets provided 35,202 treatment episodes. This was an increase of eight treatment agencies and 309 episodes compared to 2008-09.Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern, rising from 51% of episodes in 2008-09 to 54% in 2009-10. Cannabis accounted for 18% and heroin for 10% of episodes. The proportion of amphetamine-related episodes fell slightly from 9% to 7%. Counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided (34% of episodes), followed by withdrawal management (20%) and assessment only (16%).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Western Australia 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420899

In Western Australia in 2009–10, 52 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 17,187 treatment episodes. This was an increase of eight treatment agencies and 272 treatment episodes compared with 2008–09. The median1 ages of persons receiving treatment for their own drug use (30) and those seeking assistance for someone else’s drug use (47) were similar to 2008–09. Alcohol (49%), cannabis (19%) and amphetamines (14%) were again the top three drugs of concern. As in 2008–09, counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided (63% of episodes), followed by withdrawal management (8%), rehabilitation and information and education only (both 6%).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Queensland 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420900

In Queensland in 2009-10, 118 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 23,090 treatment episodes. Alcohol and cannabis were the most common principal drugs of concern at 38% and 36% of treatment episodes respectively, followed by opioids (8%).The greatest proportion of treatment episodes was for information and education only (42%) followed by counselling (28%) and assessment only (17%).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in the Australian Capital Territory 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420901

In the Australian Capital Territory in 2009-10, 10 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 3,585 treatment episodes. Alcohol was the most common principal drug of concern (55%), followed by cannabis (17%) and heroin (14%). These proportions were similar to the previous year. Episodes reporting amphetamines as their principal drug of concern dropped by 3 percentage points from 9% in 2008-09 to 6% in 2009-10. The most common form of treatment in 2009-10 was counselling accounting for 30% of treatment episodes, followed by withdrawal management (21%).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in the Northern Territory 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420902

In the Northern Territory in 2009-10, 20 government-funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 3,798 treatment episodes. This represented one less treatment agency and around 40 extra treatment episodes compared with 2008-09. Alcohol was the principal drug on concern for 69% of treatment episodes in 2009-10 the highest proportion of all states and territories. The most common form of main treatment provided was assessment only (39% of episodes), followed by counselling (21%), and rehabilitation (16%). The proportion of clients receiving withdrawal management (detoxification) as their main treatment fell from 15% of episodes in 2008-09 to 7% in 2009-10.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Victoria 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420903

In Victoria, 138 publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment agencies and outlets supplying data provided 52,133 treatment episodes in 2009-10. This was an increase of two agencies and about 5,000 treatment episodes compared with 2008-09. Alcohol (46%), cannabis (23%), opioids (19%, with heroin alone accounting for 14%), and amphetamines (5%) were the most common principal drugs of concern. Counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided (accounting for 51% of episodes) followed by withdrawal management (detoxification) (19%) and support and case management only (13%).

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in South Australia 2009-10: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420904

In South Australia in 2009-10, 59 publicly-funded government and non-government alcohol and other drug treatment agencies provided 9,092 treatment episodes. This was an increase of four treatment agencies but a decrease of 572 treatment episodes from 2008-09. Alcohol was again the most common principal drug of concern (56%), followed by amphetamines (11%) and cannabis (10%). Counselling was the most common form of main treatment provided in 2009-10 (accounting for 27% of episodes) a change from recent years, in which the predominant treatment type was assessment only.

Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Tasmania 2008-09: findings from the National Minimum Data Set (NMDS)
http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442475597

This data bulletin summarises the main findings from the 2008-09 Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Services National Minimum Data Set (AODTS-NMDS) for Tasmania.

 

Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy 2010-2015
http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au/internet/drugstrategy/publishing.nsf/Content/DB4076D49F13309FCA257854007BAF30/$File/nds2015.pdf

http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au/internet/drugstrategy/publishing.nsf/Content/545C92F95DF8C76ACA257162000DA780/$File/indigeval-final.pdf

 

Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy

http://www.nationaldrugstrategy.gov.au/

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Complimentary Action Plan 2003-2009

 

 

Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDFs

Contact / About ATCA

 

ATCA’s Executive Officer and Board
The Association
Role of TCs
Harm Minimisation
2015 ATCA Constitution
Organisational Development
Special Programs
Ethics and the ATCA Standard
Intrepretive Guides to the ATCA Standard
TC Training Course
Research
ATCA’s Executive Officer and Board of Directors
click on the photos below to view Board Members’ biographies
    Lynne Magor-Blatch, Executive Officer
    Dr Lynne Magor-Blatch, MAPS, FCFP, FCCLP PhD, M.Clin.Psych; M.Psych (Forensic); B.A. (Hum & Soc.Sci); Grad. Dip. Applied Psych.; Cert IV TAA. Honorary Principal Fellow, School of Psychology University of Wollongong Lynne commenced her training in TCs in the United Kingdom in 1974, working at both Alpha House in Portsmouth and the Ley Community in Oxford.
    Garth Popple, Chair
    Garth Popple is Executive Director, WHOS (We Help Ourselves) and currently holds the following honorary positions: Chair and Director of the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA); Treasurer, Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies NSW (NADA) ; Garth has been working in A&OD management roles since 1986 and in honorary committee and board positions since
    Carol Daws, Deputy Chair
    Carol Daws has been working in Non-Government AOD sector since 1988. Carol has worked at Cyrenian House in a variety of roles from clinical work through to management and is currently the CEO of Cyrenian House. Cyrenian House operates two Therapeutic Communities (TC) the Rick Hammersley Therapeutic Community (RHTC) in a semi-rural setting in the outer northern suburbs of the Perth Metropolitan area and the other, Serenity Lodge in Rockingham. Within the RHTC it also offers the Saranna Women’s Program to support women with dependent children. Cyrenian House also offers a comprehensive non-residential service that includes outpatient counselling services, prison programs and aftercare for people with drug and alcohol use and associated problems.
    Gerard Byrne, Treasurer
    Gerard has spent the past 25 years working in the AOD field; and is currently the Clinical Director for The Salvation Army Recovery Services, which covers NSW, Qld and the ACT. He holds Board positions on NADA, Queensland Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (QNADA), Alcohol Tobacco Other Drugs Association ACT (ATODA), and has been the Treasurer of ATCA for the past 6 years.
    Eric Allan, Secretary & Public Officer
    Eric is Executive Manager of Residential Programs Odyssey House Victoria, and a member of the International Advisory Panel for the International Journal for Therapeutic Communities. He has been a Director of the ATCA Board since 2000 and past President 2002/2004. Eric is the treasurer of Visionary images, a community group dedicated to providing real collaborative opportunities between young people, artists, and government a past board member of Reclink Victoria, a not-for-profit charitable organisation dedicated to advocating for and improving access to sporting and recreational opportunities for disadvantaged people and the benefits which flow from this, such as community connectedness and improved health and well being.
    Bernice Smith, Director
    Bernice is CoCEO at Goldbridge Rehabilitation Services on the Gold Coast in Queensland.  Bernice was Service Manager at Goldbridge for 5 years from 2010 - 2015 before heading to Toowoomba to become Executive Director of Sunrise Way TC for six months.  Bernice was previously elected as an ATCA Board member, however stepped down when she left Goldbridge and went to Sunrise Way.
    Scott Wilson, Director
    Scott is the Director of Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council, (ADAC). He is an Aboriginal man from the Stolen Generation.  Scott has a background of polydrug use, which brought him into contact with both law enforcement and health agencies during his youth.
    Carole Taylor, Director
    Carole has a great deal of knowledge of that sector as she commenced her time in the NT working solely in remote areas, something she continued to expand as the CEO of CRANAplus. Her son and husband are both Aboriginal and from unrelated regions, with her son deriving his roots from the Arrente people of Central Australia. Carole has, for the past seven years, been a very strong representative on a number of round tables and expert advisory groups representing remote Australia, and feels that such a representation would benefit ATCA. For example, around 95% of DASA clients are Aboriginal and whilst they too benefit from the TC model, Carole believes we could do a little better in catering for the needs of such a group and maximise the impact even more than we currently do. She also has a passion for Governance and ensuring that organisations are transparent and relevant.
    Mark Ferry, Director
    Mark is the Chief Operating Officer with the Ted Noffs Foundation, which provides services for young people in New South Wales and the ACT. He has worked in the alcohol and other drug field for the past 25 years, including working in Therapeutic Communities for the past 15 years. In all this time the vast majority of his work has been with young people, and in the TC context, with young people aged 13-18. Young people form a large part of the people we work with in the AOD sector, yet their voice is not always heard. ATCA has recognised this through their work on the ATCA standards for adolescent TCs and Mark is keen to represent the views and issues of young people, the TCs they are a part of and contribute to the wider issues facing ATCA today.
    Jenny Boyle, General Manager of Operations, Odyssey House Trust, New Zealand Jenny Boyle, Director
    Jenny originally trained as a registered nurse and has 25+ years’ clinical and management experience within the Addiction and Mental Health Sector in New Zealand. Jenny has worked in a variety of settings within both NGO and Government agencies. Jenny is passionate about providing effective evidence-based services for people living with mental health and addiction

The Association

Our 44-member agencies provide more than 70 Therapeutic Communities (TCs) and associated services across Australia and New Zealand. These TCs vary in size from 10 to 150 beds, with their residential program length from short to medium to long term. Therapeutic Communities also vary in their program structure and content, some based on a 12 Step Model philosophy, others on a family therapy model or cognitive behavioural interventions, and others with a combination of some or all of the above.

However, all TCs have one important factor in common – they are underpinned by the concept of ‘Community-as-Method’ in which the community itself is seen as the main vehicle for treatment and change. The TC model has proven to be a powerful treatment approach for substance use and its related problems in living (DeLeon, 2000; Magor-Blatch, Bhullar, Thomson & Thorsteinsson, 2014; Vanderplasschen, 2012).  All TCs take an approach that treats the whole person through the use of peer community, supported by a variety of evidence-based services and interventions related to family, education, vocational training, physical and mental health.

Members of ATCA are diverse in terms of the range of programs offered, to meet the particular needs of the client group. In general, programs aim to have enough structure to ensure a degree of order, security and clarity, while allowing room for residents to learn, make mistakes and learn from experience.  Therefore, some adopt a more traditional hierarchical model, with graded levels of responsibility within the resident structure, while smaller programs often adopt a ‘flatter’ structure – known within the literature as a ‘democratic’ model.

The desire to continually improve the service offered has led members to consult the research literature, to seek forums for exchange and to encourage client involvement and feedback on all aspects of service delivery. It has also led services to consider means of matching clients to services and to developing new initiatives. For example, brief intervention programs of 4 – 6 weeks are available, acting as ‘transition’ programs to support the client into a longer term residential TC if needed, or back into the community with the development of appropriate continuing care services.  Some programs offer services to clients on opioid substitution therapies, some offer residential withdrawal management services and groups requiring specialist approaches, such as women and families with children, people with co-morbid mental health conditions, young people and victims of physical/sexual abuse. Day therapeutic communities have also been developed by a number of our member agencies. 

It must be emphasised that whilst TCs maintain an environment free from illicit drugs and alcohol, this does not mean a rejection of medically prescribed substances. Residents may require psychotropic medication and all agencies have appropriate medical, psychological and psychiatric support. The use of methadone and other pharmacotherapies is supported by a number of TCs, either as a reduction and withdrawal regime, or as stabilisation and maintenance. Other programs offer a range of naturopathic therapies.

Our member agencies are cognisant of the public health risks of transmission of HIV and in particular of Hepatitis C (HCV) and the need to include safe sex, safe needle use and health education messages to clients.

Therapeutic Communities provide treatment which fit within the harm minimisation continuum, providing an opportunity for each person to make an individual treatment choice, based on their previous experience and attempts at treatment.

Role of TCs

Many residents entering a TC have previously attempted other treatment pathways – including detoxification, outpatient counselling, pharmacotherapies and other residential services. Many clients will enter a TC a number of times, sometimes succeeding, but relapsing at a later time. Others will respond to treatment at the first attempt. TCs tend to treat those with entrenched and more self-destructive dependence patterns and for whom the prognosis of recovery by less intensive methods may not be as good. It is important to understand that ‘one size does not fit all’ and therefore it is important that clients are offered a range of treatment options.

For many, the TC is an alternative to lengthy imprisonment. This is a positive option for both the individual and society, as the TC provides both a cost-effective option to prison and the opportunity for help and rehabilitation. TCs offer the possibility for complete lifestyle change, and treatment frequently leads to the individual becoming a contributing member of society.

TC treatment costs need to be examined in the context of alternative treatment costs – hospitalisation, imprisonment, the cost to the community, the cost of correctional services and justice interventions. The cost of substance use includes:

  • Direct costs – medical care and expenditure, its sequelae and non medical expenditure i.e. prison, law enforcement;
  • Indirect costs – loss of earnings due to death, imprisonment reduced human capital; and
  • Psychosocial costs – reduction in quality of life (Pitts, 2009).

It is estimated that for every $1 spent on treatment, there is a savings of $7 through reduced health, welfare and justice system costs. Most importantly, the person is provided with an opportunity of treatment, and the chance to change their life.

Almost all TCs are non-government agencies and in part reliant on non-government funding. Any cost/benefit analysis should recognise that TCs are one of the few areas of alcohol and other drug treatment where, to a degree, the ‘user pays’ principle has been implemented. Clients contribute their labour to reduce costs (as well as the therapeutic value of work they contribute).

Quantification of individual suffering and despair is difficult, equally so is the value of returning that individual to a fulfilling and productive place in our society. The wholistic approach offered by TCs leads to significant improvement in many areas of individual functioning. Success is also difficult to quantify – abstinence or reduction in drug consumption, shift from illegal to legal drug use, adoption of safe usage practices, improved work performance, reduced criminal activity, improved interpersonal relationships, increased self-esteem are all legitimate areas of success and all areas targeted by TC programs as part of a harm minimisation approach.

Harm Minimisation

Harm minimisation is an approach that helps to focus assessment on the range of factors that are contributing to the harms associated with a person substance use (and not just on the alcohol and other drug use alone).  It then enables us to design interventions to prevent or reduce those harms directly not just by trying to reduce or eliminate AOD use. Harm minimisation has three pillars which are:  Harm Reduction, Demand Reduction, and Supply Reduction. Therapeutic Communities, whilst being primarily a tertiary level treatment within the pillar of Demand Reduction, incorporate many harm reduction initiatives into their day to day practice. These include: HIV education, distribution of split/safe kits, education of residents on relapse, the dangers of alcohol, and safer sex practices.

Organisational Development

TCs are dynamic organisations, evolving and responding to changes in the environment in which they operate, and to changes in client presentations. Agencies encourage continued development and training for their staff, and this is an area where increased government funds and support is necessary.  ATCA is grateful in this regard for the financial support of the Australian Government since 2006, which has enabled the establishment of the ATCA Secretariat and the development of the ATCA Standard.  We are also grateful for the financial support from the New Zealand Government, which has enabled the development of the TC Training Course.  This was firstly developed under the guidance of Matua Raki for New Zealand TCs, and then adapted for Australian audiences in 2017.

TCs have always provided integration services, however, over the last few years there has been a greater emphasis on re-integration and continuing after-care programs. TCs provide a range of aftercare services, including half-way houses. Programs also foster links with self-help programs, and/or run programs for ex- residents.  As TCs have evolved to meet demand and increase their range of services, staffing within TCs has also changed. TCs now employ multidisciplinary teams, including AOD workers, psychologists, medical personnel, social workers, group therapists, vocational trainers, teachers, sports instructors, childcare workers and family support workers. Staffing structures in TCs includes within the range of qualified staff, members who have themselves also completed a TC program. Staff members who bring with them the experience of recovery provide strong role models for residents in treatment and hope in the recovery process.

Special Programs

Like other treatment options, most TCs attract a majority of male clients. ATCA member agencies in the various states have implemented a range of strategies to encourage greater female participation – separate women’s program, childcare, parenting programs. The rapid expansion of methadone programs across Australia has also led to the need for creative solutions to the problem of providing support to those who wish to reduce their use.  Many TCs are providing this avenue, offering treatment to clients on opioid substitution therapies (OST) who wish to reduce and withdraw, or to stabilise on their medication, within the supportive context of counselling and treatment.  We endorse Mattick & Hall’s call for TCs and methadone maintenance programs to work more collaboratively.

Ethics & the ATCA Standard

Providing services based on ethical practice within a quality framework, is of paramount importance to ATCA.  We have adopted a ‘Staff Code of Ethics’ and a ‘Client Bill of Rights’, which all members must now incorporate these in their programs. 

ATCA launched its own ‘Quality Assurance Peer Review’ system many years ago in order to maintain and improve treatment standards within the TC. The nature of the TC means that as part of their daily operation all agencies have in place client grievance procedures and structures which provide checks and balances to staff and which protect client’s rights and provide TCs with a model of ‘best practice in management and client protection and rights’. In September 2009, ATCA launched the National Standards for Therapeutic Communities (Alcohol and other Drug) and Therapeutic Communities Training Package. The project was seen as part of an overall development of national standards for alcohol and other drug agencies, and as such will fit within a National Framework.

Peer reviews commenced against the Standard in 2010.  Peer reviews were undertaken by a team trained by ATCA and comprising members who were qualified by both their time within and commitment towards the TC movement in Australia.  Work then commenced towards certifying the Standard with the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).  To make the Standard more applicable to residential rehabilitation services, and therefore a more useful tool to a wider audience, some alterations were made to the original work.  It was also decided to link this Standard to the ISO 9001 Management Standard to enable organisations to undertake a review against the TC Standard and ensure that all other elements of their business could be reviewed for certification purposes in the one process.  However, it also became apparent to the ATCA that not all member organisations wished or needed to undertake a full certification review.  Therefore, ATCA resolved to take those elements of the Standard that related directly to the Therapeutic Community model ‘Community as Method’, and to offer these as a stand-alone review process which could be undertaken to become a certified member of ATCA, and to provide a quality assurance tool that specifically maintains the integrity of the Therapeutic Community model.

ATCA’s objective in developing the ATCA Standard, was to ensure the integrity of the ‘Therapeutic Community’ principle is maintained and will continue to stand as a model of best practice in the treatment of substance misuse and co-occurring disorders.  The aims of this project were to:

  • Provide specialist service standards which identify and describe good TC practice which can be incorporated into a national quality framework.
  • Therapeutic Communities to engage in service evaluation and quality improvement using methods and values that reflect the TC philosophy.
  • Develop a common language which will facilitate effective relationships with all jurisdictions (federal, state and territory).
  • Provide a strong network of supportive relationships.
  • Promote best practice through shared learning and developing external links.
  • Build workforce capacity
  • Enable Therapy
  • Unity within the AOD and comorbidity sector.
  • Create an environment for sustaining the ‘career paths’ of trained AOD workers within the NGO sector, including the valued practice of workers with ‘lived’ experience of the field. Therapeutic communities particularly value the experience of staff who are graduates of programs, and seek to incorporate learned knowledge and experience into their professional practice.

The ATCA Standard has been designed in two tiers to make it applicable to both therapeutic communities and the wider residential rehabilitation services sector.

The first level of the Standard allows an organisation to gain certification against a set of indicators that are directly applicable to residential rehabilitation service for alcohol and other drug use.  For services considering a transition to the therapeutic community model, working with the ATCA Standard will assist in providing guidelines to the expectations of a service that is a therapeutic community.  To achieve certification as a residential rehabilitation service, agencies need to meet 80% of criteria numbers 1–6 labelled as ‘essential’. This represents the minimum level of activity required to demonstrate competency in agency practice in the residential rehabilitation setting. 

The second level of the Standard allows an organisation to seek certification as a therapeutic community.  To achieve certification as a Therapeutic Community, 80% of all criteria labelled as ‘essential’ must be achieved (criteria 1–13).  The essential criteria relate to what policies and procedures should be in place, and how agencies identify with the therapeutic community model. The service delivery needs of the target community and what management, staff and consumers of the agencies should know about the therapeutic community model and delivery are also encapsulated within the criterion.

For agencies that have participated in other quality certification programs, a further set of criterion, called ‘good practice criteria’ has been developed.  These criterion are intended to reflect what are sometimes referred to as ‘systems elements’ and are primarily related to monitoring and evaluation of agency practices.  Your agency will be awarded ‘good practice’ certification if, in addition to meeting all of the essential criteria, all of the ‘good practice’ criteria are met.

Interpretive Guides to the ATCA Standard

Tom date, three Interpretive Guides for AOD residential services have been developed by ATCA, and provide examples of the way in which the criteria contained in the ATCA Therapeutic Communities and Residential Rehabilitation Services Standard might be interpreted. These are for adult services, youth services and services working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.  ATCA is currently developing an Interpretive Guide for prison-based TCs and other Correctional populations.  Each of the guides provides examples of the way in which evidence for a particular indicator may be assessed – recognising that each of these service modalities have differences, but that at the base, the TC method is evident.

Therefore, the Interpretive Guides are not intended to be definitive guides, but rather, to provide a framework for reviewers and agencies to both prepare for and to review against the ATCA Therapeutic Communities and Residential Rehabilitation Services Standard. 

TC Training Course

The Therapeutic Community (TC) Training Course has been specifically written for Australian audiences and adapted from the Aotearoa New Zealand context developed by Matua Raki, and is aimed at supporting practitioners working in TCs and other AOD residential rehabilitation services (RRS) or those wanting to work in the TC environment.  It is offered in both Australia and New Zealand.

The training course has been developed to assist in expanding the potential ‘TC work-ready’ workforce pool. The key aim of the course is to support AOD practitioners, support workers and other relevant professionals and students to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills that can be applied in the TC context.

The course is suited to those who have a base qualification and/or knowledge of addiction-related practice and who wish to develop knowledge and skills for application in the RRS and TC context.

The TC training is a 17-week course, with each participant completing:

  • 48 hours of face-to-face learning facilitated by a
  • a 40-hour supervised professional skills practicum in a
  • 12 hours of self-directed
  • Online cultural competence training module.

Participants who complete all course requirements to a satisfactory standard are awarded a certificate of completion.

Course details

Outcomes: Course participants will develop an understanding of TC theory, principles and key concepts and will demonstrate ability to effectively apply this understanding. There is an expectation that those completing the course will have developed an appropriate foundation to support their employment in a TC.

Research

The agencies which ATCA represent all endorse both the value of independent research and the need for increased research to assist us in continually improving the quality of our services. The ATCA website provides papers and presentations from past conferences and links to other websites which include research studies in therapeutic community treatment.

 

References:

De Leon G. (2000). The Therapeutic Community: Theory, Model, and Method. New York, Springer Publishing Company.

Magor-Blatch, L., Bhullar, N., Thomson, B. & Thorsteinsson, E. (2014). A systematic review of studies examining effectiveness of therapeutic communities. Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal for Therapeutic Communities, 35 (4), 168-184.

Vanderplasschen, W., Colpaert, K., Autrique, M., Rapp, R.C., Pearce, S.,  Broekaert, E., & Vandevelde, S. (2012). Therapeutic Communities for Addictions: A Review of Their Effectiveness from a Recovery-Oriented Perspective. The Scientific World Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/427817

 

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Scott Wilson, Director

Scott is the Director of Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council, (ADAC). He is an Aboriginal man from the Stolen Generation.  Scott has a background of polydrug use, which brought him into contact with both law enforcement and health agencies during his youth.

In 1994, Scott was appointed Acting Director of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (SA) Inc., and then in 1995 became the Director, a position he has held ever since. Since working at ADAC, Scott has drawn on his understandings from his own background and so ADAC has a harm minimisation focus. Scott’s commitment and involvement in the Indigenous substance misuse field sees him in a variety of organisations and committees, including:

  • 2001-2014 – Deputy Chairperson of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC; Formerly called the National Drug Strategy Reference Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples). Appointed by the Prime Minister.
  • 1997-2014 – Council Member and Executive member of the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD). Ministerial appointment.
  • 2001-2012 – Director and then Deputy Chairperson of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (now called the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education – FARE)
  • 1998-2007- Executive Director, the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA). Appointed by the Prime Minister.
  • 1997-2005 – Ministerial appointment, National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Council.
  • 2001-2004 – Ministerial Appointment, National School Drug Education Committee
  • 2001-2004 – National Inhalants Taskforce
  • 2004-2006 – Board Member, National Drug Research Institute
  • 1997-2003 – Board Member National Centre for Education and Training in Addictions
  • 1998-2002 – National Cannabis Strategy Taskforce
  • 2004-2005 – National Illicit Drug Strategy State Reference Committee (SA)
  • 1998 – 2011 – National Illicit Drug Strategy Media Campaign Reference Committee

Scott’s contribution has been recognised in 1997 by the ADCA Australia Day Award; in 2003 by the Australian Centenary Medal; in 2012 by the University of Sydney’s, Sister Alison Bush Medal and in 2017 APSAD First Peoples Award.

  

The Salvation Army – Mount Isa Recovery Services

Phone: 07 4749 2553                                 
Fax: 07 4743 6617

Lot 1 Spear Creek
Barkly Highway

PO Box 602
MOUNT ISA, QLD 4825

Email:               [email protected]
Web Address:   www.salvos.org.au/recovery

 

Mount Isa Recovery Services provides for the recovery needs of people with gambling, alcohol or other drug addictions and has been adapted to suit the cultural needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from the north-west Queensland region.

Our program offers:

  • A family orientated residential program for the treatment of men and women over the age of 18 who are in addiction, and provide appropriate accommodation for their children
  • Strategies to ensure that all children are engaged in structured education and learning from the age of 3.
  • Life skills training such as nutrition, budgeting, parenting, relationships, numeracy and literacy classes
  • Vocational type activity that will improve work conditioning and preparation for clients in readiness for post-recovery transition
  • Regular culturally appropriate; primary health care and healthy lifestyle awareness
  • Education for clients, their families and the community about addiction issues, providing them with the knowledge and skills to help address these issues.
  • At least one comprehensive child health and development check.
  • Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Program

 

Ngara Nura Program (Modified Therapeutic Community )

Long Bay Correctional Centre
Phone: (02) 9289-2509
Fax: (02) 9289-2577
Locked Bag 23
MATRAVILLE NSW 2036
Email: [email protected]

The Ngara Nura program is an intensive medium term (six month) therapeutic and psycho educational integration program within a modified therapeutic community (TC).

Ngara Nura provides intensive learning environment for male offenders to address not just their substance misuse, other addictive behaviours, but also the factors underlying their addiction, misuse or dependence.

As a therapeutic community, Ngara Nura provide a secure and structured community environment facilitating positive change, recovery from addictions, developing healthy relationships and behaviours.

The program is full time. On a regular basis, participants attend a daily community meeting, a weekly in-depth community meeting, psycho-educational and therapeutic groups three days per week, and a minimum of two 12-step groups per week (AA and NA) and up to four meetings which may include meetings in the community under escort. They are expected to attend individual sessions to assist them with their full participation in group and in their post release planning.

As transition from custody to the community can be very stressful, especially those who have a lengthy history of incarceration and/or relapsing and re-offending, some decide to take a gradual step and move to residential treatment facilities or supported accommodation in the community to continue their recovery program; whilst others who return directly into the general community are introduced to appropriate support agencies.

The Ngara Nura program has a through care component, offering telephone support to all participants after their release, and through a voluntary fortnightly maintenance group available to all Ngara Nura participants residing in the community.

The Salvation Army – Pathways Shoalhaven

Phone: 02 4422 4604

31 Moss Street
Nowra NSW 2541

Po Box 280
Nowra NSW 2541

Email:               [email protected]
Web Address:   www.salvos.org.au/recovery

Pathways Shoalhaven is a service providing assessment, referral, treatment and support for people over 18 years experiencing problems associated with alcohol and other drug use. Whatever the journey that brings a person to our service, and whatever their personal beliefs and values, the goal of Pathways Shoalhaven is to assist people to develop the skills they need to be free of addiction and achieve the quality of life they desire.

Our qualified case workers assist people in developing their own recovery plan and provide support through:

  • One-to-one support and casework
  • Therapeutic and educational group sessions
  • Support and advocacy in accessing residential detox and rehabilitation
  • Referral to a range of other services and programs

Our therapeutic and educational group sessions include:

  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Relapse prevention and management
  • Developing a healthy and positive lifestyle
  • Values and goals identification
  • Strategies around harm reduction

The service is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am – 5.00pm. Clients can be referred from another service or self-refer either by phone or in person.

Newsletters

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ATCA E-News December 2017

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ATCA E-News June 2017

ATCA E-News January 2017

ATCA E-News July 2016

ATCA E-News May 2016

ATCA E-News April 2016

ATCA E-News July 2015

ATCA E-News February 2015

ATCA E-News  June 2014

ATCA E-News August 2013

ATCA E-News May 2013

ATCA E-News February 2013

ATCA E-News September 2012

ATCA E-News June 2012

ATCA E-NEWS August 2011

ATCA E-NEWS July 2011

ATCA E-NEWS May 2011

ATCA E-NEWS August 2010

ATCA E-NEWS November 2009

ATCA E-NEWS July 2009

ATCA E-NEWS April 2009

ATCA E-NEWS February 2009

ATCA E-NEWS December 2008

ATCA E-NEWS October 2008

ATCA E-NEWS July 2008

ATCA Newsletter Issue 7 – March 2008

ATCA Newsletter Issue 6 – July 2007

ATCA Newsletter Issue 5 – April 2007

ATCA Newsletter Issue 4 – January 2007

ATCA Submissions and Responses:

ATCA response to evaluation National Drug Strategy

ATCA response to evaluation NGOTGP

 

St Marks AOD Residential Treatment Centre

Untitled-1“The Family that Changes”

MISSION STATEMENT
St Marks aims to address problematic alcohol and other drug use and ‘at
risk’ behaviours by providing a family-like environment for clients to
gain life skills, to achieve personal growth by promoting a healthy body,
mind and spirit while encouraging social relationships and
family/whanau.

 

Phone: +64 3 578 0459
Fax: +64 3 578 0406

61 & 63 Main Street
Blenheim 7201, Marlborough, New Zealand
Email: [email protected]
Web Address: www.stmarks.co.nz 

Sponsors
Canterbury Community Trust
Kono Beverages Ltd.
Blenheim South Rotary
Community Organisation Grant Scheme
Pub Charity
Kaufman Trust

Good News: Wayne’s Story – Graduate of St Marks Programme 2014
(Wayne returned to speak at our annual fundraising dinner-attended by 300 supporters)

Hi, it’s great to be back in Blenheim amongst you all. Blenheim will always hold a special place in my heart, it was here that I was given an opportunity to save my life.

I was here over last summer for 5 months and what a summer it was. Sunshine every day which was great for the soul.

I loved being part of the Blenheim community. I got to experience some wonderful places in the region like swimming in the Wairau River, trips up to local forest areas, collecting shellfish at Whites Bay and many others.

The people up here are very cool. Everyone I met gave me a wonderful sense of belonging. I got chatting with this joker I met in town one day and I happened to ask him what he did for a living…..”Oh, I’m the Mayor” was his reply.

When I arrived at St Marks I was a very broken man. I’d been in recovery for about 4 months but was just hanging on by the fingertips during this time. Just before I came I’d had a small relapse and thought I’d blown my change of getting the help I needed.

I was scared, paranoid and alone, full of self-loathing and doubt.

For the previous 30 years I’d been running away from my emotions and fears by medicating myself with alcohol and drugs on a mostly daily basis. I’m now 46. In that 30 years I don’t think I would have put 3 days in a row together without getting hammered one way or another.

I came to realise that it had been a frightened little boy running the show.

Having finally been given the opportunity to reflect on my upbringing, I can now see that I was set up for failure.

I grew up in West Auckland with teenage parents who were both heavy drinkers and drug users. I can best compare my early home life as a cross between “Outrageous Fortune” and “Once Were Warriors”. Most of my childhood memories revolved around constant parties, people fighting and my parents fighting.

It was pretty usual to see either my father or my mother with a black eye or bloodied lip. My older sister and I looked out for each other because no one else seemed to.

When I was eleven I came home from school one day and found my sister dead on her bed, she had had a heart attack. This event certainly didn’t have any effect on slowing my folks down until when I was twelve my father took his own life.

So at this point it was just me and mum left. She continued to carry on her hard out partying lifestyle with me in tow. I was dragged around places I shouldn’t have been in and saw sights that a teenage boy shouldn’t see.

Around this time I started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana regularly.

My mum met her future husband and the day I turned 15 they told me it was time to “go forth and live your life son”, and they skipped town.

So at 15 and 1 week I was working fulltime and flatting with others. This is when my substance abuse became a daily habit.

One good thing to come out of my childhood was my involvement in playing rugby league. I started when I was four and finished in my early 30’s. Because I showed some ability at this sport, this was an area where people took notice of me and I got looked after. This is where I had some positive role models and got to learn about boundaries, discipline and leadership.

For the next 30 years I stumbled through life and it’s mostly been ok. I’ve had some very good and well-paying jobs in Sales and Marketing roles. I got married at 23, moved to Christchurch, split at 29, have two beautiful children who I have brought up in a shared custody capacity, travelled a lot through work and sport and partied as hard as I could.

The problem was I’d stopped growing up emotionally very early on. I’ve been pretty skilled at putting on a good front but behind the mask was a very tortured soul, bankrupt of any spirituality or sense of fitting in.

Around June last year my life had hit rock bottom. I was barely functioning as an employee, I’d lost control of my finances, I had no friends or support, my physical and mental health was very poor and I truly believed I was going insane and would soon be locked away.

In this insanity I found a moment of clarity and for the first time in my life I asked for help.

This was the start of my journey into recovery which took me into institutions such as detox at Thorpe House, supported residence at Elm Tree Lodge, AA and NA fellowships and finally St Marks.

What a gift St Marks has been for me and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to find myself. How many other people get the change to take 5 months out from their daily lives to spend just working on themselves? An amazing gift that is.

Being an addict I was an incredibly self-centred person who thought the world revolved around me, then to be thrown in with 13 others who thought the same way was the hardest thing I have ever done.

St Marks takes a therapeutic community approach to recovery which basically means “my recovery is your recovery”. So we were a group of very sick people expected to learn from each other.

I hated it! And for the first two months I started each day with the decision, can I handle this pain or shall I run away like I always do.

I soon came to realise that this is all part of the process. I began to learn that taking on other people’s crap makes me sick, I was given tools that made me start to believe in myself and through therapy addressed and got rid of all that anger and fear that I had been carrying inside.

The staff at St Marks are truly amazing people. They gave me love and understanding and showed me that I am a worthwhile special person, not the waste of space I always believed I was.

Paul Hathaway could read me like a book and always seemed to have the right advice for me at the right time. I’m so grateful that he was my main support person and it showed me that men helping men is incredibly powerful and that has inspired me to go down the career path I am now pursuing. Gina, Sandie, Ginny and the other ladies gave me so much love and caring that I so needed at that time and Lois, once I bought into the programme, taught me that if I can trust her and her staff I will make the changes needed to have a wonderful life.

Not everyone finishes the programme at St Marks but even if you spent just one week there it can only have a positive effect on your life. Oh and the food must have been pretty good, I put on 10 kilo’s.

Because I choose to not put mind altering substances into my body my life is so different now.

First and foremost I believe in myself. I trust others and I just don’t let anything bother me. I’ve found a Higher Power who allows me to hand over my crap so I don’t have to carry it around with me.

I have a cool home again where my children live with me part of the time and in contrast to a year ago I have lots of wonderful people in my life who love me because I’ve learnt how to let them love me.

I’m studying fulltime for a Diploma in Mental Health at Polytech and in the future I’d like to get a degree in nursing.

Alongside study I work 20 hours a week as a Mental Health Support Worker which gives me the opportunity to help others and that in turn continues my growth as a person. I’m the dude now responsible for handing out the drugs to residents. Who would’ve thought!

I’m truly honoured to have been asked to make this speech and share some of my story on behalf of the other people to have gone through St Marks over the last year.

Life keeps getting better every day. I’m a little uncomfortable to be held up as a St Marks success story. Yes, today I am, and for that I am truly grateful and proud, but tomorrow will be here soon so I have to do the recovery work all over again. I can only try my best in this life – one day at a time.

Good News: Aimee’s Story – Graduate of St Marks Programme 2015

My Name is Aimee-jayne Talbot I am 33 years old and was born in Timaru.
For the past 12 years I have lived in Australia and worked as a Hospitality Manager, Trainer and Functions Manager. I have always drunk alcohol socially and never thought it to be a problem as everyone was doing the same, if not more and using drugs. It really didn’t interfere with my work or family and socially for years until I found my best friend who had taken his life at our apartment in March 2014, I found him at 4.40 am in the morning with a belt around his neck and it destroyed me. I drank away the pain and shock of what I had seen. I guess you could say that things started to really spiral out of control since this time.

It wasn’t until May of 2014 that I decided to move back to NZ to heal. But I didn’t heal I drank even more; in the mornings in the afternoons anytime I could get my hands on alcohol I drank. My relationship with my parents was really starting to suffer and I still didn’t think that I had a problem it was everyone else that had the problem.
I was aggressive, anxious, paranoid, miserable and I had very low self esteem issues, it wasn’t until I got drunk and drove a car and got pulled over by the police,( I didn’t remember this) that I knew at the bottom of my heart that I had a very serious issue with alcohol abuse. I sort help through an A&D counsellor in Timaru who asked me what I wanted to do, I replied I want to go to rehab and that was exactly where I went.

I have completed a 16-week programme at St Marks and Graduated on February the 19th with my Dad present. The support I have received from St Marks has been amazing, I have worked through issues that have impacted my life for a long time. My relationships are mended and I have been able to work through my grief, my self loathing, my anxiety, learning how to slow down and basically put myself back together again, so I can live a full happy life, I have never felt so good, my St Marks journey has been a ‘life changing’ experience for me and I am grateful for this opportunity as I now have so much hope, passion and drive for my future. I can achieve whatever I set out to do and feel supported in this. I can do anything in the world – I just can’t drink.

My counsellor spent time with me, I learned so much from these sessions and these lessons I will take with me forever, I’ve met some amazing people who I shared the journey with and it is something I will never forget. I consider myself very fortunate as addiction can ‘grab a hold of you’ and pull you into the worst places and I am lucky enough to be nearly 5 months sober and no looking back as I have laid the foundations for a healthy and happy recovery lifestyle.
Feb 2015

Reflections:
Jen-one year update
Jen’s moving speech, given at the Charity Dinner in 2013 was well received. In March 2014 Jen issued a “One Year Sober Birthday Newsletter” which she shared with us where she pays tributes to St Marks:

“where do I start?”- Thank you seems too insignificant. Thank you for taking me on one of the hardest journeys I have ever walked, for challenging me, for loving me but mostly for believing in me. Believing I could go from someone who was just surviving, not living, into a functioning and happy human being who is starting to give a little back.
Thank you also for your after care, your constant inspiration and a continued feel of belonging”
In her newsletter she tells of starting to put in a garden, enjoying feeling stable and being able to cope with “life’s ups and downs”, gaining the love and trust of her children, having a full driver’s license, owning a car, renting a lovely large home, a job that she loves and a wedding proposal from her loving, supportive partner.

Most of all, she says she is looking forward to staying sober.

Footnote: Jen has just celebrated her 2 yrs sober birthday with another thank you message to St Marks