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No funding for Lookout


The Lookout Rehabilitation Centre has again missed out on State Government funding. WRAD director Geoff Soma said the absence of funding in the State Budget for the Lookout was disappointing and upsetting on many levels.

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New mural arts splash of colour


WRAD’s fourth mural has added a vibrant splash of colour to our walls.

Melbourne-based artist Marco Pennacchia completed the stunning image of a southern right whale and her calf.

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Sliding Doors video


Check out our new video about the Sliding Doors non-residential rehab program

Christmas opening hours


Christmas & New Year Closure

The Handbury Medical Suites incorporating WRAD will be closed from 3:00pm Friday 24th December 2021 and will reopen at 9:00am Tuesday 4th January 2022.

If you need assistance during the holidays, here are some of the services available:

Q Life (LGBTQI) 1800 184 527  (3pm-12am)

Yarning Safe N Strong 1800 959 563 

Men’s Line 1300 78 99 78 

Kid’s Help Line 1800 55 1800 

Emergency 000

Life Line 13 11 14   

Yarning Safe N Strong 1800 959 563 

Men’s Line 1300 78 99 78 

Suicide Line 1300 651 251 

Kid’s Help Line 1800 55 1800 

Life (LGBTQI) 1800 184 527 

Grief Line   9935 7400 

Beyond Blue  1300 22 4636

Watch the WRAD AGM livestream


WRAD patrons to deliver messages at AGM


WRAD patrons Uncle Archie Roach and Paul Jennings will deliver messages of hope at this year’s annual general meeting on Monday, November 22.

Mr Roach will provide a video message to the AGM and one of his songs will be played, while Mr Jennings will read one of the winning entries in this year’s WRAD short story competition.

The AGM will be livestreamed from 5.30pm on and YouTube at

Mr Jennings and Mr Roach were earlier this year announced as WRAD’s first patrons.

WRAD Director Geoff Soma said the patrons were helping to promote the organisation’s good work in the community.

“The AGM will celebrate a good year for WRAD across service delivery, quality improvement, partnerships and client engagements and outcomes,” Mr Soma said.

“Our staff continue to support the local community and clients and families with alcohol and other drug issues and those endeavours have been reinforced with the addition of our new patrons who will contribute to the AGM and share their messages of hope.”

Archie Roach, AM, was inducted in the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2020.  He was named as 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year and has been at the heart of Australian music for decades.  His songs go to the heart of people’s struggles and hopes and dreams.

Paul Jennings, AM, is a celebrated author who has written more than 100 stories and sold more than 10 million books.  He was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award from the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

WRAD AGM November 22


Reflect RAP


WRAD is delighted to be able to participate in the reconciliation program as we seek to promote optimal enjoyment of life for people of all gender, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ability, cultural or language backgrounds. We acknowledge the importance of creating a safe and welcoming place for all members of our community.

The ‘Reflect’ RAP represents our commitment to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to develop meaningful and connected partnerships to achieve this. Our plan identifies key strategies and actions designed to achieve these important goals. We could not achieve this without a lot of support from within the community and thank all those that have helped us to start on this journey towards reconciliation.

New family drug help sessions for south-west Victoria


A series of new free online support sessions in south-west Victoria will bring help for people whose loved ones are battling drug and alcohol dependency.

The InFocus sessions will start on October 21 and are specifically for the Great South coast region. 

InFocus is a free education program developed by Family Drug and Gambling Help that offers practical support, relevant information, coping strategies and the opportunity for people to connect through their shared experiences.

The sessions are a partnership between the Great South Coast Drug and Alcohol Consortium led by Western Region Alcohol and Drug Service (WRAD) and Family Drug and Gambling Help at the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre.

Family support group coordinator Fiona Anderson said online sessions allowed the convenience of attending without travelling great distances and for concerned family members to be anonymous if they wish.

“In regional communities, people can be worried about having their story known so being online can be helpful in that respect,” Ms Anderson said.

InFocus was developed by family members for family members and is facilitated by professionals who have also been impacted by someone’s drug and alcohol use.

“It’s more relevant to families because they’re going through the emotions, fear and stigma,” Ms Anderson said. “At times, others who have not had that lived experience may find those emotions difficult to understand.  While we acknowledge that there may be times that separation may be the safest choice in some circumstances, the vast majority of family members accessing our services really want to stay connected to their loved one who is using substances.”

The weekly 90-minute sessions include time for people to share stories and experiences and follow a detailed program with practical, relevant and valuable information for family members. Participants also receive a manual.

Ms Anderson said the sessions were not about telling family members what to do, or what not to do. “We understand and know what they’re going through, but we try not to give advice about what a family member should do,” she said. “We can say what works for other people and what the research tells us, and families have the opportunity to see what works best in their individual situation. The important thing is that they are not alone, and that support is available.”

Ms Anderson said sometimes others who have not been in similar situations may say that a family member can’t live with their loved one because of their behaviour, “but try saying that to a parent; the thought of their child living on the street would be gut-wrenching.”

The sessions discuss different options that might work for families and have led to many success stories, with the focus on the family rather than the person experiencing dependency.

“Many family members come to us and say how can I help them, how can I fix them, how can I make it better for them? Our program focusses on the family member. We challenge their thinking about how they can make it work for themselves and for the family, how they can make their lives more manageable while at the same time doing what they need for their loved one.  Family members often comment on how much their self-care has improved and that they are more able to cope.”

“We often find when a family member focuses on themselves, they become role models for their loved ones and, shifting family dynamics and reducing anger and resentment

“It allows them to have a relationship with their loved one. They can distinguish between the person they know and love and the substance they are using and their behaviours. They can love the person, but not love their behaviour.”

Ms Anderson said there had been an upswing in problems during the pandemic. “Alcohol use is definitely on the rise, along with depression, anxiety and family violence.”

“You don’t have to accept their behaviour, but we can though do our best to remember   they’re not doing what they’re doing to hurt you.”

The sessions run from 10.30 to 12 noon on Thursdays from October 21 to November 25, 2021.

Bookings are essential. Phone Family Drug and Gambling Help at SHARC on 1300 660 068.

People seeking help can also contact WRAD on 1300 009 723.


Need After Hours Help?

Emergency call 000
For medical issues call South West Healthcare 55 631666
For mental health issues call SWH emergency dep't 55 631 666 or 1800 808 284
For drug and alcohol issues call Directline 1800 888 236
For Lifeline call 13 11 14
Or click on the links below for help.