Wollemi is a residential, non-clinical mental health respite and support space. It is designed to offer people hope, compassion, and a space to work on building connections, skills and resources to aid recovery.

Wollemi is designed to support adults who would benefit from a period of respite and are willing to engage in the program and are likely to benefit from what Wollemi offers. 

From January 2020 Wollemi is providing priority access to people from bushfire affected regions including people who:

  • Are from an affected region and have been impacted by the bushfire crisis 
  • Have been first responders involved in the bushfire crisis (e.g. RFS, SES, wildlife rescuers, health workers or other community volunteers)

Receiving support at Wollemi is not limited only to people who sustained property damage. Wollemi is open to anyone from an affected region who is experiencing trouble coping and would benefit from a brief respite stay.

Wollemi is an 8-bedroom house located in Bondi in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney offering brief stays to people who are likely to benefit from a brief stay to rest, reflect and recharge. The house is staffed by people who are trained in befriending – a non-clinical approach to listening and providing support using trauma informed approaches and open dialogue.

Wollemi offers you a space to simply be, where you can talk to one of our team members, participate in activities such as creative therapies, yoga or massage, make a plan to access services and supports or simply connect with other people who have had challenging life experiences and are available to listen and provide support.

People who need a break, and those who have been experiencing exhaustion, distress or trauma and who would benefit from a brief stay in a non-clinical, supportive environment to rest, reflect and recharge. Wollemi is open to individuals aged 18+ and you can request to bring a partner or support person to join you for your stay at Wollemi.

When you contact us about a stay at Wollemi, we will capture some brief information and we may make a time for one of our team to call you back to discuss your needs further and understand how Wollemi might best benefit you. 

Wollemi is a space for:

  • Human Connection 
  • Time and space to connect and be heard
  • Wellbeing Planning – enable creative avenues to develop a personal plan 
  • Peer mentoring and wisdom
  • Rest and a space to find a sense of peace
  • Finding links to future support, post stay

Why did we choose the name Wollemi?

In 1994 the Wollemi Pines, thought to be extinct were discovered in the Blue Mountains in Sydney, having survived in three areas since the Jurassic Period. We named the centre Wollemi in recognition of the uniqueness of the trees and their ability to thrive against all odds and their root system connecting them below ground to each other. Our hope is that guests at Wollemi will similarly form connections and roots and use their experience in the house as a foundation from which to thrive in the face of adversity.

Referral Pathways
Pathways into Wollemi may come from:

  • Primary Health Networks 
  • Self-referral (i.e. potential Wollemi guests)
  • GP
  • Psychologists/Social Workers
  • Counselling services
  • NGOs

As part of the referral process, we will contact you to learn more about your needs and we may also request a pre-assessment referral from your GP if there is information regarding your health or mental health issues that is important for us to be aware of to provide you with support. Our prioritisation of guests is based on likelihood of benefiting from what we offer at Wollemi and referral and planning will take into consideration compatibility with other residents, accessibility and any other specific requirements.

Our address and directions will be provided prior to your arrival. Parking is limited and we ask you to travel by public transport if possible. Your stay is free of charge. Wollemi has been funded by the Federal Government, and ICLA is using this funding to enable people to stay at Wollemi for free.

Wollemi offers one ground floor suite that has been designed for wheelchair access. There is also a wheelchair accessible bathroom on the ground floor and a second ground floor bedroom suitable for people with limited mobility.

We believe in self-empowerment at Wollemi. A variety of activities will be offered at Wollemi that guests can choose to engage in depending on how they feel. Our staff will not enforce any activity, and it is within the discretion of each individual to decide how they engage in activities throughout their stay. 

Wollemi staff have been recruited on the basis of their life experiences and empathy and have completed training in:

  • Trauma Informed Care
  • Safe Storytelling
  • Befriending
  • Open Dialogue

Wollemi is providing a non-clinical service and you do not need a diagnosis to be a guest at Wollemi. The main criteria for booking a stay is based on an individual discussion with you and whether a stay at Wollemi would be beneficial for you. Wollemi is not equipped to support people with active drug and alcohol issues and referral to another service may be more appropriate in this instance.

To book a stay at Wollemi please complete this form by clicking here. One of our staff will contact you to set up a time to discuss your needs.

About ICLA

Established in 1987, ICLA is a community organisation that provides mental health, suicide prevention, NDIS services and supported accommodation options for people living with a mental illness, as well as psychosocial and other disabilities. 

ICLA supports people to achieve their personal goals, increase their confidence, build independence, and receive opportunities for social and community connection. We believe that everyone has the right to the best care and support possible, and we are guided by the principles of trauma-informed, person- centred and recovery-oriented practice. Find out more at www.icla.org.au.

Wollemi Brochure

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