News & Events


People in recovery from substance misuse can share their stories and inspire others to follow their lead in a writing competition organised by the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD).

The short story competition across the Great South Coast will follow the theme Change, Challenge and a Brighter Future in Recovery.

The inaugural writing competition in 2021 attracted more than 20 entries and helped to break down stigma associated with addiction and helped people tell their important stories.

WRAD Director Geoff Soma said the competition was so successful in celebrating recovering and that it was decided to revive it in 2022.

“It’s important to get personal stories out into the community to improve understanding about substance misuse and the role treatment can play in recovery,” Mr Soma said. “This competition is about encouraging hope and celebrating people’s journey along the road to recovery.”

People who are in recovery are being invited to tell their stories, along with friends and family. Personal entries are preferred but people can also make anonymous submissions.  Fictional stories will also be considered as part of the competition.

Total prize money of $2,500 is being offered and winning stories will be published on WRAD’s website and social media platforms, newsletter with excerpts highlighted in the local media.

Warrnambool-based author and WRAD patron Paul Jennings is again supporting the competition.

Mr Jennings said the previous competition had significantly changed people’s lives. “The authors were rewarded with the knowledge that their stories had encouraged others who were still struggling with addiction and many parents, siblings and friends of sufferers had been moved by the stories of hope and courage so generously shared,” he said. “As a bonus, many of the entrants had discovered their own previously unrecognised literary talents.”

Mr Soma said WRAD wanted to generate discussion and understanding about substance misuse issues and to promote that treatment does work.

“Discussing substance misuse and recovery helps to destigmatise the problems and sharing personal stories will hopefully inspire more people to seek help and start their own journey,” he said.

The stories have a 1000-word limit. The competition starts on June 6 and entries must be lodged by July 29. For more information, people can contact competition organiser Rick Bayne on 0418 140489.

Submissions can be lodged to The WRAD Centre 172 Merri St, Warrnambool or email or


Our Vision & Values

WRAD HEALTH’s vision is to advance the health and wellbeing of those in the South Western Region of Victoria affected by Addictive behaviours and to promote optimal enjoyment of life.

WRAD HEALTH seeks to provide comprehensive, holistic support and treatment to individuals and others affected by addictive behaviors and associated issues.

The philosophy of harm minimisation underpins the delivery of all programs offered by WRAD HEALTH. This principle recognises that people in our society use both licit and illicit drugs, and that drugs can be used in ways that are more or less harmful to individuals, families and society. Harm minimisation offers a number of options designed to reduce the harm of drug use to the user and society.


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.