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.