Extending The Glen's reach to women

Addressing a gap in the community

For more than 25 years, the Ngaimpe Aboriginal Corporation has been running The Glen on the NSW Central Coast - a drug and alcohol rehabilitation and treatment centre - exclusively for men from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds.

Photo credit: The Glen for Women
Photo credit: The Glen for Women

But in 2019, they embarked on a journey to establish The Glen for Women (Gulgul Nyugang) - a similar service to support women who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. The new service, which is funded by the Commonwealth, will eventually include accommodation for 20 residents and include a gym, meeting rooms and other amenities.

The Glen for Women is made up of an all-female board and received formal development approval in November 2020. The facility will be located in Wyong Creek, also in the Central Coast region, and will be NSW's first Aboriginal community controlled and culturally appropriate rehabilitation centre which is specifically for women.

The centre will address a gap in the community by providing an avenue of support for women. It will help those who attend to create a structured daily routine in an environment where families can be reunited and repaired. It will set examples of getting sober then successfully going back into the community and family unit.

Over the past two years The Glen team, along with the board of Ngaimpe and Gulgul Nyugang, has been busy sourcing and purchasing land and developing plans for the property.

Central to this process is the Women's Advisory Group. Comprised of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, the group has been undertaking planning workshops to determine how The Glen's operating model can be tweaked to work for women.

Allens has been assisting The Glen in a pro bono capacity for many years. For this project, Associate Isabel Burraston and Lawyers Alisha Arora and Julia Hong advised The Glen for Women on the design and construct contract for the new centre.

'It was rewarding to use our everyday skills to help progress this critical service for often marginalised women,' Isabel said.

Executive Director of The Glen, Joe Coyte said: 'For many years now, Allens has been providing really important strategic legal advice to The Glen, changing the lives of young men affected by addiction. We really appreciated how wonderfully talented and committed Isabel and Julia were in helping us to bring The Glen for Women to life'.

The facility will open in February 2022 with Allens' continued support.