The CEO of a long-running and successful residential rehabilitation program will be guest speaker at this year WRAD annual general meeting.

Odyssey House Victoria CEO Dr Stefan Guernert will deliver a treatment perspective at the December 9 meeting at South West TAFE.

Dr Gruenert is a registered psychologist with more than 18 years of experience in the drug and alcohol sector as a clinician, researcher, and manager and is the immediate past-president of the Victorian Alcohol and other Drug Association (VAADA).

Dr Gruenert has worked as a senior counsellor in a range of settings and has conducted research on alcohol use, treatment effectiveness, intimacy, family work and fathers. He has contributed to several resources for workers around parenting and family violence, and he regularly provides advice to government and presents at national and international conferences.

Odyssey House Victoria was founded in 1979 and is one of several Odyssey Houses in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. It provides long-term, intensive residential treatment for individuals and families in a 143-bed therapeutic community in Lower Plenty, along with other residential and community-based treatment and support services to address drug and alcohol problem and any associated mental health, vocational, health, relationship and family issues.

WRAD Director Geoff Soma said Dr Gruenert would provide first-hand experience of the success of residential rehabilitation centres.

“Stefan has significant experience advocating on behalf of the alcohol and other drug community and leads the major residential rehabilitation centre. He is well placed to talk about the value of these centres and their success in engaging people in recovery,” Mr Soma said.

The AGM starts at 5.30pm on the third floor of South West TAFE B Building in Timor Street.

WRAD is continuing with its mission to make the Lookout residential rehabilitation centre a reality for local clients and families.