Odyssey House Victoria

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Koori Women’s Pilot Project

Odyssey House Victoria has been funded by the Department of Justice in a one-year pilot program to achieve improved justice outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians and to provide diversion and alternative initiatives to imprisonment to reduce Koori over-representation in the criminal justice system.

The pilot program will provide 4 residential treatment beds targeted to Aboriginal women (and their children) who are referred from the Victorian justice system, with priority given to women who are at risk of incarceration. This includes women on remand, on community-based orders, or completing the program prior to sentencing. It may also be available for women as a transition option post-release from prison including on parole.


Odyssey House offers Financial Counselling for Problem Gamblers

Odyssey House Victoria (OHV) has recently been funded through the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now DSS) to extend its financial counselling program to include those affected by Problem Gambling.  We are excited at this new initiative which builds on our capacity to work with those affected and or afflicted with multiple addictions.  Many of our existing clients are affected by Problem Gambling which leads to financial hardship and further complicates their road to recovery.  The capacity to offer this service to our current clients and the local community further cements the capacity of OHV to offer a holistic service to clients that deals with the causal nature of problematic behaviours and not merely the symptoms.


Partnership with Road Runner

Odyssey House Victoria is delighted to announce our new corporate partnership with Road Runner Mobile Tyres.  Our CEO, Dr Stefan Gruenert recently met with Road Runner’s Managing Director Steve McCarthy to confirm the partnership.  Road Runner specialise in providing and fitting new tyres at your home or place of work. Yes, they come to you! They take the hassle out of going to a tyre shop and waiting while your tyres are changed.  The benefit to Odyssey House is that they are making a donation to us for every tyre changed as well as promoting Odyssey House Victoria!  So, if you need new tyres, check them out at www.roadrunnermobiletyres.com.au or 1800 RUNNER.


Synthetic Cannabis

Recently there have been a number of media articles regarding the use and effects of synthetic cannabis on the mental health and actions of people who use it.

Over the last few years, synthetic cannabis products have become increasingly available, mainly as dried plant matter onto which, it is believed, a solution of the synthetic cannabis has been sprayed. Typically these are then sold on the internet or via speciality shops. In Australia, ‘Kronic’ is perhaps the best known example of the range of synthetic cannabis and has received a great deal of media attention. Other products available in Australia that contain synthetic cannabis include Spice, Kalma, Voodoo, Kaos, Marley and Mango Kush.

While much research has been conducted on cannabis, there is little scientific information regarding synthetic cannabis side effects, long term effects, potential for addiction and other health effects.  There is no official published safety data that we are aware of. Anecdotally we have had numerous clients report that synthetic cannabis is experienced as more addictive with greater detrimental impacts on their mental health.  However, this is hard to verify without proper scientific investigation.  In November 2013, three males were hospitalised with severe reaction to use of ‘Marley’ purchased in Pakenham, although the actual ingredients of the product are not known.  Symptoms reportedly may include agitation, confusion, seizures, vomiting, loss of consciousness, hyper/hypotension, myocardial ischemia (a restriction in blood supply to the tissues) or myocardial dysfunction.

A number of Australian States, including Victoria, have introduced bans on the possession and sale of products that include synthetic cannabis. In June 2011, Victoria introduced new regulations to allow for a rapid response to emerging drugs such as Kronic.  The Commonwealth classified eight synthetic cannabis-like substances as prohibited substances throughout Australia effective from July 2011 and continues to review regulation.   However, it is difficult to regulate the drugs when laboratories regularly change the chemical composition to avoid bans. According to the European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, since 2011, they are seeing a new drug in this category every week.

New Zealand has taken a novel approach on this issue with new policy allowing the sale of new drugs if testing and date verifies their safe consumption.


Open Day at the Residential Therapeutic Community

As part of our commitment to the sector, we run 3 Open Days per year inviting workers, managers, and students, with a professional interest in our work, to come out to our facility for a tour and morning tea, followed by a Q&A session with our staff and residents.
The days for 2014 are as follows:
·        Thursday March 27th  10am – 12pm
·        Thursday June 19th  10am – 12pm
·        Thursday October 16th  10am – 12pm
Expressions of interest can be forwarded to OpenDay@odyssey.org.au by no later than the Friday previous to the date you wish to attend. Numbers are limited, so get in early!


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Our Commitment


Artwork inspired by Chris Thorne.  There are five pillars that are upheld by the residents and staff at Odyssey House Victoria.

This artwork represents counting these pillars on one hand. They are Respect, Concern, Honesty, Trust and Love.


We acknowledge the traditional land owners of Australia and we welcome all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to our service.

Download our Reconciliation Action Plan

Did You Know...

Odyssey House Victoria provides prevention programs to schools and works with over 350 young persons in the community each year.