Gulgihwen means "change" in the traditional local language.

Our Program is designed for Aboriginal men aged 18 years + and is intended to provide education and support towards addressing the issues of substance misuse and related harms such as criminality, and to improve health and well-being.

With the support of experienced Staff we offer a compassionate and culturally focused professional program of change, centered on self responsibility to achieve your goals in healing.

How long is the Program?

There is no set program length. The average stay is 3 months for Justice referrals, 6-8 weeks for under 21 year olds and there are options for 4-9 month residency for men addressing complex substance misuse and related issues.

How do I Apply?

Firstly, we recommend that you have a look at our brochure which you can download to see if you think our program would suit you.

Then we suggest you read the eligibility guidelines to see if you would be eligible. There are some health, well-being and legal situations which we cannot cater for - if you are unsure after reading the information, please ring and ask for the Intake Officer to discuss your situation before applying. You can read the eligibility guidelines below or download an application pack for more detail.

There are two ways you can apply:

OnlineClick here to go to the online form.

Paper formDownload and print the application pack, fill out the form and scan in PDF format and email it to or fax it to (02) 6628 0520. Note: if scanning and emailing please scan in PDF Format. Image format files such as jpeg, tiff, bitmap, etc will not be accepted.

If you are struggling with an urgent mental health issue please ring Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you need immediate support with a D&A issue please call the ADIS 24 hour support line on 1800 250 015.

Download the Gulgihwen Program Info Brochure
Download the Gulgihwen Program Application Pack

Note: The brochure and application pack are PDF Documents. You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader installed on your computer or tablet to open and read them.


To be accepted as suitable for admission you must:

  • Be an Aboriginal male (there are very limited beds for non-Aboriginal men);
  • Be aged 18 years or over;
  • Have a current drug and alcohol problem or dependency;
  • Have no requirement to attend court during your residency;
  • Have a desire and willingness to make change.

You will not be accepted if you:

  • Have Supreme Court Bail applications;
  • Have a Sentence Appeal before the courts;
  • Have Sexual offence charges/convictions;
  • Have Charges/convictions of major violence;
  • Have an ADVO/AVO where the victim is in our local area or there are strict no contact orders in place;
  • Are under the care of Public Guardian or a Trustee, or have high needs physically or intellectually;
  • Are on an Opiate Treatment Program e.g prescribed Methadone or Buprenorphine;
  • Are on anti-psychotic medications or opiate medications;
  • Do not consent to us collecting, using and sharing your personal information where needed so we can assess your application and evaluate our service

Any person referred who has current matters before the courts, or who is under the conditions of any Court orders, or where requested by the Intake Officer, will be required to provide the current facts, criminal history, bail or bond or AVO/ADVO orders.

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please call (02) 6628 1098 and ask for the Intake Officer before you submit an application.

When you have submitted an application, it is your responsibility to follow it up within 2 working days. Please call (02) 6628 1098 and ask for the Intake Officer.