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The process is

  • You lodge a written application (someone can help you do this) which includes legal
    documents if you have Legal matters including Parole or Bonds, or we request them.
  • If you cannot access this form either through a service or online you can ring for a
    time for an assessment with the intake officer.
  • You call and speak to our Intake Officer (within 48hrs of lodging the application
    (9am to 4pm Monday to Thursday) who will check your information, ask you for any information not supplied, confirm you consent to do our program and assess your clinical need for Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation.
  • If suitable you will be accepted and placed on a Wait list (there are rarely immediate beds available and we have a priority system in place for local Health referred applications) –You must ring weekly from this point.
  • You may need some form of detoxification prior to admission into the program. We will discuss this with you during assessment.
  • You are admitted – transport and other arrangements are discussed when you have been allocated a bed date

Namitjira Haven reserves the right to refuse entry to any person who does not supply sufficient information to determine eligibility or who fails to provide information later seen to affect eligibility rules. Applicants must:

  • Communicate with us themselves during the assessment process – no applicant will be admitted via third party without communication with us – this can relate to consent.
  • Be willing to change behaviour – if it is found after admission that you are not interested in change then Namatjira Haven reserves the right to discharge you
  • Agree to abide by all of the Rules of Namatjira Haven during residency, including complete abstinence from alcohol and drugs (except where prescribed and within our criteria) and non-violent, non-threatening community participation.


IT IS UP TO YOU TO CONTACT US – WE WILL NOT CHASE YOU we will hopefully find someone to support you while you wait to help you if needed

Wait Times vary and your position on the Wait List will be determined by our assessment of your circumstances. Priority will always be given to local Aboriginal men who have no current Court matters or Orders and have compromised health.

Information for applicants

Namatjira Haven Drug & Alcohol Healing Centre is an Aboriginal residential drug and alcohol service offering respite for up to 26 weeks to men needing intensive support in dealing with a drug and/or alcohol problem or dependency. Namatjira Haven is situated in a rural setting just outside of the village of Alstonville, midway between Ballina and Lismore on the Far North Coast of NSW.
We offer the Gulgihwen Program which aims to support you in your efforts to make changes in your life. We will encourage you to utilise your own strength, motivation and enthusiasm to reach your goals.

The Gulgihwen (Change) Program consists of:

  • Daily groups which focus on becoming more self aware and self motivated and thus more independent. We use several facilitators to cover social & emotional well being, drugs, alcohol and health education, relationships, enhancement of life skills, strengthen culture, lore and connections and developing new coping skills to enable you to manage day to day life.
  • One to one case management and counselling
  • A Culturally specific focus and relevance. This includes: Elder/Uncle Mentor Support, Cultural activities, a Talking Circle and participation in cultural events
  • Stress reduction activities and creativity
  • Access to a range of health services such as GP, pathology, diagnostic imaging, sexual health and immunization services
  • Peer support group access

Note: Namatjira Haven primarily follows a harm reduction focus in line with current Public Health Policy. We are not a 12 Step focussed Centre but we do enable voluntary attendance at AA, NA & SMART support groups during the week. Namatjira Haven’s prevailing attitude towards men with drug and alcohol issues is one of compassion and empathy. We are strengths based and have a focus upon CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) based strategies.

At Namatjira Haven we realise that each man has his own story and that each person’s drug or alcohol use is different to another’s. We therefore will try to personalise your experience by considering the particular circumstance which relate to you, including the impact of trauma and cultural harm. Although we do require you to be a drug and alcohol free while at Namatjira Haven we will work with you on what your long term goals may be. We expect that all residents attend all program activities. We also require respect for self, others, property, for Aboriginal Culture, Lore and the land Namatjira Haven sits on.


Admissions are accepted during Office Hours – Monday to Wednesday

Admissions outside these times must be negotiated with Intake Officer
No person will be collected from an early morning ex Sydney (3.30am) train. You MUST discuss travel arrangements with us when you are allocated a bed date.

Program Cost

The rent is set at 65% of your Centrelink Support payment (before rent assistance is added) and is deducted via CentrePay. Rent is required 2 weeks in advance. If you do not arrive with enough money then you will be required to pay additional rent until your rent is fully 2 weeks in advance. (Do not get an advance payment from Centrelink before arrival) You will also be charged a linen and cleaning fee on exit if you do not return cleaned linen and leave your room clean on departure. All residents are charged a $50 non-refundable administration fee.

On departure, any rent refund will be repaid into your bank account within 7 working days (one week) of leaving. You cannot get cash refunds. You need to plan your departure with staff 7 days ahead.

What to bring

  • Medicare Card, Health Care Card, Bank ATM card and any other ID you have.
  • Enough clothing for at least one week. It is important to bring covered shoes for work programs and warm clothing if in winter.
  • A bath towel, toiletries and liquid laundry detergent. You may bring your own linen if you wish.
  • Any other personal items which are allowed (you should ask prior to admission) and which may assist to help you feel at home. A beach towel in warm weather
  • You may bring your Mobile phone however there are strict rules on when you may use that and you must agree to provide us with the phone number and hand the phone in whenever it is requested to do so. Any person with a strict no contact ADVO may have further restrictions.
  • If on NEWSTART you need to let your job network provider know you are coming and get set up on MYGOV and Job Seek online with them. Please make sure you remember your log in and password information.
  • If you are going to want to transfer money to family during your stay you must be set up for online banking. See your bank for this. We do not have access to banks in our town.

What NOT to bring

  • Alcohol or drugs of any kind except where prescribed and allowed.
  • Valuable items.
  • Weapons of any kind, including pocket knives.
  • Pornographic or violent material including R rated DVD’s and CD’s. These will be confiscated
  • Do not bring any electrical appliance without first discussing with Intake Officer. No tvs or heaters to be bought in.

Namatjira Haven does not take responsibility for a resident’s belongings


Namatjira Haven encourages self-responsibility – we are not a prison but we do have to have certain rules that residents are required to abide by. The main rules are obvious – no drug/alcohol use and no violence. The other rules will be explained to you during admission period.

Phone Contacts

Residents are able to have their mobile phones while at Namatjira Haven, which may only be used during certain times and not available after 9.30pm. Any buying of second phones to get around this rule will result in eviction.


Visiting hours are on every Sundays between 12 .30 and 4pm. Visitors also are allowed each second non outing Saturday (same hours). Special arrangements may apply to persons travelling long distance to visit with approval. Please discuss prior to arranging a visit.
Residents and visitors must abide by any AVO/AVDO orders. Failure to do so can result in eviction and reporting. You are responsible for your visitors, including children. Visitors are to abide by the same rules as residents and will be asked to leave if they disregard these rules. Namatjira Haven cannot take responsibility for a visitor’s belongings


You will be allocated a single room if available as first choice on admission and linen will be issued. You will be responsible for cleaning your own linen and room and maintaining it in a tidy state.


No regular leave in first 8 weeks. Compassionate leave to attend funerals or other family emergencies will be granted on a case by case basis. After 8 weeks a day leave may be granted dependent upon progress and circumstances. Overnight leaves do not occur until week 12 if staying for a longer program.

Shopping and Outings

Shopping times and outings are scheduled in the program timetable


No smoking is allowed within Namatjira Haven Premises (and near our motor vehicles). Smoking is allowed in one designated outside area at front gate only ; failure to follow this rule will result in eviction.

Program calendar

An example of the Weekly Program is included at page 7 below. Please note this is subject to change.

Important Information:

All applicants MUST read the Application Information pages 1 to 7 before completing and signing the application form- the last 2 pages- all questions must be completed in full.

Consent to collect, use and share your personal information

signing the form gives consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information in order to assess your application. In signing and submitting your application, you agree that the staff from Namatjira Haven may collect, use and disclose personal information about your application with other government and non-government agencies (including but not limited to Housing Providers, Health & Wellbeing Services, Legal Services, Family and Community Services, Medicare Australia, Centrelink, Alcohol and Other Drug services, Employment & Education Providers) for the purpose of assessing your eligibility and suitability for our service and for evaluating our application processes.
Privacy law means any information we collect, use and share still remains confidential within our service and within any other service we share information with.
An online Application form will follow. Once completed in full and signed please fax to the Intake Officer on 02 66280520 (or scanned and e-mailed to Please be honest in your answers. You need to follow up your application within 2 days by phoning 02 6628 1098 and asking to speak to the Intake Officer. The Intake officer is only available Mondays to Thursdays 10am to 4pm. Any communication regarding this application is to be directed to the Intake Officer.

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