Key Features

  • Our membership is comprised of services operating under the Therapeutic Community Model or aspiring to become a therapeutic community.
  • Our membership provides residential treatment, day programs, withdrawal management services and prison-based alcohol and other drug treatment programs, across Australia and New Zealand.
  • The Standard for Therapeutic Communities and Residential Rehabilitation Services has been developed as a benchmark of quality for residential treatment services.
  • We support our members who adopt the ATCA Standard as a pathway to accreditation.
  • We provide our members with unique opportunities to share information and learn about new innovations and practices within therapeutic community and residential rehabilitation services.
  • We are committed to supporting our member’s workforce development activities by the provision of training and education about the Therapeutic Community Model.
  • We have the needs of our members as our core business, and also engages with a wider audience to promote the Therapeutic Community Model.

Our Mission and Values

Our Vision
The Therapeutic Community Model of treatment is recognised and embraced by consumers, communities and governments across Australasia.

Our Mission
To support and represent our members and advocate for the Therapeutic Community Model as an evidence-based model that restores a sense of wellbeing for consumers of our member’s services.







ATCA's Board of Directors

Vanessa Dumbrell

Executive Officer

Vanessa Dumbrell
Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Prince 2 Practitioner
Certificate IV in Alcohol and other Drugs

Vanessa commenced work in Therapeutic Communities 15 years ago, supporting clients during their intake and later coordinating transitional housing programs. She expanded this experience working in feminist organisations delivering drug and alcohol and homelessness services to women based in the philosophy of gender informed practice.

Most recently, Vanessa has been employed within the ACT Directorate of Justice and Community Services, which comprises several agencies and is responsible for a wide range of activities and services in the areas of justice, the law, emergencies and commercial practices.

As Directorate Liaison Officer, Vanessa has supported the Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, and the Minister for Corrections and Justice Health.

She is passionate about women in custody and exiting the prison system and is an advocate for change in this space.  Vanessa brings with her a strong sense of social justice principles and a desire to develop and promote policy that make real and positive change to the lives of marginalised people.

Vanessa has joined ATCA after gaining a wealth of experience in Government Justice, advocating and developing policy for victims of crime, developing governance structures, policy development and working with Ministers across a large and varied department. She has extensive experience supporting boards across Government.

Vanessa is passionate about TCs and is inspired by the changes that people can make in their lives and the role that TCs have.  She is excited to bring her life and diverse work experiences to ATCA.

Gerard Byrne


Gerard has spent the past 30 years working in the AOD field. Working initially in a counselling role, then as an AOD Program Director, then in senior positions within The Salvation Army AOD Services including Operations Manager for NSW, ACT and QLD

Gerard’s current role is Operations Manager for WHOS Treatment Services.

Gerard has also worked in the private and government AOD sectors for 11 years, providing a range of specialist assessment / referral, intervention and case management services.

Gerard holds or has held Board positions on AOD 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).

Gerard holds qualifications in Social Sciences, AOD Work, Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision, Business Management, Human Resource Management and Workplace Training and Assessment.

Carol Daws

Deputy Chair

Professional Qualifications:

  • Masters in Clinical Psychology
  • Registered Clinical Psychologist
  • Bachelor of Science Psychology (First Class Honours)
  • Bachelor of Science Psychology (With Distinction)
  • Member of Golden Key Honour Society for Academic Achievement
  • Associate Diploma Social Science (With Distinction)
  • Enrolled Nurse.

Carol has been involved in the non-government Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) sector for the past 30 years, working in a variety of roles in both clinical and management in residential, non-residential and community drug service settings.  She is currently the CEO of Cyrenian House Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Service, a position she has held since 2002.

Carol has been involved with the ATCA for the past 20 years as both a participant in annual conferences and a member of the Board. She has found this experience to be invaluable, particularly in terms of understanding the merits of the Therapeutic Community (TC) model. She currently operates four TCs in the Perth Metropolitan area in Western Australia.  She would strongly recommend any organisation interested in working with the TC model to join ATCA.
Carol brings to her role of board member, a sound understanding of governance issues and the need for effective accountability mechanisms at an individual, organisational and sector level.  She is committed to maintaining the highest possible ethical standards and seeks to act professionally and strategically to support the ethos of the ATCA and the member agencies that it represents.

Carol is a strong advocate of the TC Model and has a sound understanding of its application in residential treatment settings.  She has been involved with ATCA during the development of the TC Standards and Cyrenian House was one of the first agencies to be involved in piloting these standards. Cyrenian House has achieved accreditation under the ATCA TC standards under the group membership category.  She is also a TC Training Course facilitator.

Mark Ferry


Mark first started working for the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse doing street work and progressed through a variety of youth work roles working with homeless and disadvantaged young people.  For a time, Mark worked in several large housing organisations, secure facilities for young people and children’s homes.  He worked with young people and adults with alcohol and other drug issues, including running a twenty-five bed unit within a large men’s hostel.

Mark has worked for the Ted Noffs Foundation since 2001, commencing as Assistant Manager, and has had various roles including managing a number of Therapeutic Communities, Program Manager and now as Chief Operating Officer with responsibilities over all TNF facilities.


Eric Allan

Secretary & Public Officer

Eric Allan is Executive Manager of Residential Programs Odyssey House Victoria. He lives in Melbourne and is a proud father and grandfather who enjoys the arts, the outdoors, cooking and reading. His qualifications include: Masters of Business Administration; Diploma of Community Service Management; Diploma of Alcohol Other Drugs and Mental health; and Diploma of Business Quality Auditing.

2018 marks 30 years of work in Therapeutic Communities for Eric.  He is a long-time advocate for TCs and a champion of any moves to further the development and reputation of TCs by: appropriately training staff, accrediting programs, studying processes and outcomes and advocating for realistic funding to achieve these objectives.

Both Odyssey House and Eric have a long history of assisting new and emerging programs to establish themselves in their own right.

Odyssey House Victoria currently operates two Accredited Therapeutic Communities in Victoria. Both of these programs are accredited under ISO 9000 and certified under the ATCA Standard.  The registration with Reconciliation Australia of the Odyssey House Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan in 2017 also marks a new high for the organisation in “Bridging the Gap.”

Eric believes that the end goal of these quality initiatives is to ensure that clients receive a credible treatment experience.

Eric’s work has included hands-on experience with youth, families and adults as part of a thirty-year career. The past twenty years have been spent in service management/development. Eric is proud to have been a Director of the ATCA Board since 2000 and past President 2002/2004, 2015/2016. He is a member of the Standards subcommittee and the ATCA’s Public Officer and Secretary.

Eric has been a board member and expert representative on a variety of Boards and reference groups that concern themselves with issues of homelessness, youth, community arts and development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development and, of course, drug and alcohol treatment.

Bernice Smith


Bernice is the CEO at Goldbridge Rehabilitation Services on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

Bernice started working at Goldbridge in 2010 as the Operations Manager.

Bernice has over 30 years’ experience in the Health and Community services sector.

Bernice has a Bachelor of Social Services, Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs; and Cert IV in Workplace Training, undertook training in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation through the Gestalt Association of QLD and was a member of the Steering Committee member for the Drug and Alcohol Summit held in 2001

Jenny Boyle


  • NZ Registered Nurse
  • Post Grad Dip Management
  • Post Grad Dip Mental Health

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 issues. She currently serves on a number of sector leadership groups and initiatives, both regionally and nationally. She is also a Board Member of Harmony Trust (interventions and support for people with multiple drink driving convictions).

Jenny is very familiar with therapeutic communities and continues to lead and champion this model within Odyssey, and also in partnership with other organisations such as Odyssey House Christchurch and Higher Ground. Together, they have developed and implemented some innovative services using the TC as a framework and model.

Jenny’s broad-based experience within mental health and addiction organisations, working from a clinical, funding and leadership perspective, provides value to ATCA’s program of work.

Joe Coyte

Executive Officer

Mr Coyte is currently employed as the Executive Director at The Glen Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre’s. Using a continuous quality improvement approach Mr Coyte has not only improved the efficiency of operational systems within the Glen but has led The Glen to achieve a record accreditation result against the Quality Improvement Council of Australia’s Health and Community Services Standards in 2015.

Mr Coyte worked hard behind the scenes (with the board of The Glen) to successfully lobby and advocate for “The Glen for Women” which is the first service of its kind in NSW. This service has secured funding of $9,000,000 and opened in May 2022.

Mr Coyte is a strong advocate of good governance. He enjoys a close and collegiate relationship with the board of The Glen. Mr Coyte is currently working with the Board of ADARRN (Aboriginal Community Controlled Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centres Peak Body) and has been since its incorporation in 2019. Mr Coyte is also sits on ANACAD and advises the Federal health Minister on Alcohol and Drug related matters.

Personally Mr Coyte is a loving husband and devoted father of three children 20, 17 and 14. He considers fatherhood is his most important role.

The ATCA Standard

The ATCA Standard

A major concern for the ATCA from its inception has been the implementation of a program of continuous quality improvement and associated with this, an evaluation process to ensure both the quality of service provided by Therapeutic Communities in Australia, but also to ensure adherence to the Therapeutic Community model.

About the Standard

The ATCA Therapeutic Community Training Course

The ATCA Therapeutic Community 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.

Annual reports

ATCA 2016-2017 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2014-2015 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2012-2013 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2011-2012 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2010-2011 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2009-2010 Annual Report

Annual reports

ATCA 2008-2009 Annual Report

Annual reports