ATCA Conference 2017

Site Visits, Tuesday 31st October. Conference full day Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd October and half day Friday 3rd November. Conference Dinner Thursday 2nd October.

About the Conference and Conference Advisory Committee

Each year the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) hosts an international conference bringing together professionals working in Therapeutic Communities, researchers and clinicians in the Alcohol and Drug (AOD) field and affiliated areas.  Therapeutic Communities (TCs) are an integral element of a comprehensive response to alcohol and other drug issues in our community, nationally and internationally. The ATCA Conference reflects this and has a broad appeal to those working in the field of addiction, mental health, justice and child protection. It tackles issues of significant importance around comorbidity, youth and the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Mãori and Pasifika peoples.

This is the 31st Annual Conference of the association and will be held in Brisbane from 31 October to 3 November.  The conference is organised by Conference Online and supported by a Conference Advisory Committee of:

Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne

Gerard has spent the past 28 years working in the AOD field initially in a counselling role, then as a Program Director, and currently as the Operations Manager for The Salvation Army Recovery Services across NSW, QLD and the ACT.

During this time Gerard also worked, on a contractual basis, in the private and government AOD sectors for 11 years, providing a range of specialist AOD assessment, referral, intervention and case management services.

Gerard holds qualifications in Social Sciences, Alcohol and Other Drugs Work, Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision, Business Management, Human Resource Management and Training and Assessment. Prior to working in the alcohol and other drug sector, he worked in the banking and finance sectors.

Gerard has held Board positions on peak bodies such as the Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies NSW (NADA), Queensland Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (QNADA), Alcohol Tobacco Other Drugs Association ACT (ATODA), Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA), holding Executive positions on most of these Boards.

Mitchell Giles

Mitchell Giles

Mitchell Giles is the CEO of the Lives Lived Well which has three Therapeutic Communities: Mirikai, Logan House and Shanty Creek. Mitchell also served as an appointed member of the ATCA Board for a number of years

Mitchell is a Registered Nurse, holds a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Health Science (majoring in Mental Health). Mitchell is also on the Board of the Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA).

Trevor Hallewell

Trevor Hallewell

Trevor has been involved in the alcohol and other drug sector since 1985. He has served on the boards of several Not for Profits involved in providing help for those with alcohol and other drug problems, including 18 years with We Help Ourselves (WHOS).

Eleven years ago, Trevor was instrumental in the establishment WHOS Najara, a residential drug treatment program.  He has overseen the implementation of the initiative to improve the service’s Dual Diagnosis capability, and is the program manager of the WHOS Najara service.

Trevor is very active in the Queensland AOD NGO sector. Working with other state NGOs in the establishment of a Peak body to serve their interests.   After receiving funding from Queensland Health in 2005 for a secretariat, the Queensland Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies was set up, Trevor currently serves on this board as president.

Rachel Ham

Rachel Ham

Rachael is a proud Ewamian and Western Yalanji woman born and raised in Cairns Far North Queensland.  She is the Manager of Operations, Performance and Treatment Services, FNQ for Lives Lived Well and shares her time between the Shanty Creek Therapeutic Community near Mareeba and Cairns. 

Rachael is passionate about empowerment and providing safe spaces for people suffering from worries in their lives and in particular alcohol and drugs.

Rebecca Lang

Rebecca Lang

Rebecca is the CEO of the Qld Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies (QNADA), the peak body for the non-government alcohol and other drug treatment sector in Qld. QNADA represents and provides support to 44 organisational members operating in over 75 locations across the state, providing drug education and information, early intervention, outreach, detoxification, residential rehabilitation, psychosocial and medical treatment, relapse prevention and justice diversion services.

She previously worked with the West Australian Network of Alcohol and other Drugs Agencies (WANADA) to develop the Standard for Culturally Secure Practice (AOD Sector), the first AOD sector specific accreditation standard.

Bernice Smith

Bernice Smith

Bernice has over 25 years of experience with working in the Health and Community services sector in Queensland with various agencies across the community, government and private sector. She was Service Manager at Goldbridge Rehabilitation Services from 2010 to 2015 before heading to Toowoomba as Executive Director of Sunrise Way Therapeutic Community. Bernice is now back with Goldbridge part-time in a Management Consultant role.

After starting her first career as a Nurse in 1977, Bernice then worked in various agencies across the community. Following the attainment of her Bachelor of Social Science from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 1998, Bernice undertook training in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation through the Gestalt Association of Queensland and then became a member of the Steering Committee for the Drug and Alcohol Summit held in 2001. She was Director of the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland and later worked for four years on the Hospital GP Accreditation project throughout Queensland and Australia. Bernice has been a member of many Boards including being a member of the Committee for the Queensland Community Service Strategy, and Member of the Queensland Taskforce Committee for Child Protection.

Bernice completed TC Standards training with ATCA in 2013 to become a Peer Reviewer and was a member of a Peer Review team in New South Wales. In 2014 Bernice led the Goldbridge project to
obtain ISO 9001:2008 standards to acknowledge Goldbridge’s robust continuous improvement processes and Quality Management Systems.

Lynne Magor-Blatch

Lynne Magor-Blatch

Lynne is the Executive Officer with ATCA and a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She holds a position of Visiting Fellow with the University of Wollongong, where she was previously an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology. Lynne has a long history with therapeutic communities and within the AOD sector, commencing with Alpha House and the Ley Community in the UK in 1974. She has worked in both the non-government and Government sectors, as a program and clinical director, policy officer, lecturer, researcher and consultant in Australia. In 2010, Lynne was inducted into the National Drug and Alcohol Awards Honour Roll.

Lynne has extensive clinical and research experience and has published over 30 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapter and monographs. She has also served as the National Convener of the Australian Psychological Society’s Psychology and Substance Use Interest Group and was the Chair of the Illicit Drugs in Sports Initiative. Lynne has held appointments to the IGCD National AOD Workforce Development Strategy Working Group, the Advisory Committee for the Review of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment Services Sector and the Of Substance Editorial Reference Group. She is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities.

Site Visits

The site visits play an important part in any ATCA Conference, as they provide the opportunity for delegates to visit the host programs and to experience first-hand the work which they are doing.  This year’s site visits will provide delegates with the opportunity to select one of three site visits, and to meet with staff and clients of these services.  Sponsorship will cover the cost of bus hire and lunch and refreshments.  Delegates will choose either Site Visit 1, 2 or 3 and will be transported by bus, leaving the hotel in the morning and returning in the afternoon.


Goldbridge Rehabilitation ServicesGoldbridge Rehabilitation Services (Goldbridge) is a Therapeutic Community established in 1987 by the local community in Southport on the Gold Coast.  Goldbridge provides alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services to a broad range of individuals and their families. The residential component of the program substantially contributes to the reduction of social, health and justice issues associated with drugs, alcohol and mental health problems.

Goldbridge’s residential program runs from a one month Induction to a six-month program and has a capacity to assist 28 men and women.  People need to have completed detoxification prior to entering the program.  The target group is adults 21 to 65 years who are affected by co-occurring alcohol, other drug and mental health problems.  Goldbridge, which is situated in the Gold Coast CBD, liaises with neighbours, the Gold Coast City Council and the wider community to provide key services. Residents progress to the Goldbridge 6-month Transition to Community program which includes family support and individual counselling.


FairhavenFairhaven is located at Eagle Heights (Mt Tambourine) Qld. Fairhaven provides an AOD Therapeutic Community for 56 people and an inpatient detoxification service for 11 people.  It is part of the Salvation Army Recovery Services, and also provides assessment, referral, aftercare and transitional housing programs from “Turning Point”, located in Scarborough St in Southport.








WHOS Sunshine Coast® TC - NajaraWHOS Sunshine Coast® TC - Najara is a 4 – 6 months residential Therapeutic Community for men and women set in the tranquil hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. Its goals are to help individuals find freedom from alcohol and other drug dependence (AOD) and discover a better way of living.





Logan HouseLogan House is a 37-bed facility located on a peaceful property and accommodates adults, aged 18 and over.  The tranquil environment at Logan House affords a unique healing opportunity within a rural location removed from the temptations and demands of urban living.

The treatment program usually takes place over a six-month period and the holistic program includes community based interventions and intensive therapies, and takes a therapeutic community approach to recovery.  One to one counselling, groups and case management are provided.never-give-up








MoonyahMoonyah is part of the Salvation Army’s Recovery Services and provides an AOD Therapeutic Community for 86 people and an inpatient detoxification service for 12 people. Moonyah also has a residential problem gambling service, aftercare and transitional housing, and employment programs.


Professional Development Workshops


Meet our Keynote Speakers:

Gala Dinner

The 2017 ATCA Conference Advisory Committee and the ATCA Board would like to acknowledge the donation of the original artwork:

Maliyan wulinya
(Flight of the Wedge Tailed Eagle)

by artist
Mr Robert Henderson, Wiradjuri

for Auction
during the

 ATCA Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony

 sponsored by WHOS. 


The Auction will take place at the Pullman Hotel on
Thursday 2 November 2017, commencing at 7pm.


This painting is about new horizons, meeting challenges, growth and development through a series of initiations. The energy in the middle is about focusing through mastery. The change of direction towards the top is about using everything learned and applying to head in new direction. To begin the process again. 

There are parallels to be drawn from this story with the process of recovery

Date:     August 2017
Size:       150cm x 100cm


We invite all ATCA members, interested guests and art lovers to attend the dinner and to take part in the auction.  Funds from the sale of the painting will be donated to ATCA as conference sponsorship to further support members’ professional development.

Rob Henderson artwork

Maliyan wulinya
(Flight of the Wedge Tailed Eagle)


We have negotiated a favourable accommodation room rate of $205.00 per room per night for conference delegates at the Pullman Tower, or $150.00 per room per night in the Mercure Tower. We encourage delegates to stay at the venue. Rate includes complimentary in-room WIFI.  Buffet breakfast is available for $25.00 per person per day, charged on consumption.

Accommodation will be charged in full within your accommodation booking, a separate tax invoice will be provided.

Pullman Tower Room

$205.00 per room per night
Breakfast: $25.00
Wi-Fi: Included
Parking: $35.00 per day

 Pullman Tower Room

Mercure Tower Room

$150.00 per room per night
Breakfast: $25.00
Wi-Fi: Included
Parking: $35.00 per day

 Mercure Tower Room

Accommodation Cancellation Policy:

Your accommodation will be charged in full on this invoice. A merchant service fee (1.96% Visa and MasterCard, 3.96% American Express) will be added to your accommodation booking. This fee will be calculated and shown on screen prior to payment.


Pullman & Mercure Brisbane King George Square

Cancellations received more than 30 days prior to arrival will forfeit one night’s accommodation as a cancellation fee. Cancellations received 14 days prior to arrival will forfeit 100% of accommodation booked. ‘No shows’ forfeit 100% of accommodation booked.


Refund Processing:

A refund processing fee of $25.00 plus GST is payable for all refunds requested and processed by Conference Online.


Accommodation Link

Book Accommodation Here

Organisations & Sponsors

Goldbridge logo  LLW logo Salvos logo WHOS logo QNADA


ATCA would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support, which has made the 31st Annual ATCA Conference possible

Silver Sponsor

The Henderson

ATCA Gala Dinner Sponsor

WHOS logo

James A.Pitts Orations Sponsor

Odyssey House - 40 Years logo

 Major Awards Sponsor

Travel Scholarships Sponsor

Matua Raki


SPP logo


Contact Name: Lynne Magor-Blatch
Company Name: Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association
Telephone: +61 422 904 040