The Glen Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre

Cyril Hennessey (born in Bourke in 1939) founds and coordinates The Glen Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre at Chittaway Point near Tuggerah Lake on the Central Coast. Three years later, he establishes The Glen Annexe at Rothbury in the Hunter Valley. In 2010, The Glen builds on Cyril’s legacy by establishing a Transition House at the Chittaway site (Halfway House for those who have completed the basic rehabilitation program). The founding motivation is to reduce the suffering of Aboriginal people at the hands of drugs and alcohol. Most especially, it seeks to get men out of the criminal justice system and into treatment for their addictions. The Glen treats individual clients in a holistic manner. This means working together to treat their addiction and empower men to take control of their lives and to become constructive members within their families and the community. The Glen program is based on Indigenous values and spirituality with a heavy emphasis on the consequences of the individual’s choices. “Ben” recalls his experiences of rehabilitation at The Glen:

“Malnourished and sleep-deprived, I came to The Glen a sick person in March this year. Drug use had taken its toll on my sanity. I no longer saw myself as a person of worth. I was not able to be a father to my daughter, or a husband to my wife. I had nowhere else to go. I came to The Glen for my family. I’ve stayed for myself. When I first got here I felt like thanking this place for saving my life. I’ve since learnt that hasn’t happened. It has given me a place to regather my strength, to stay clean. It has shown me that people whose minds work just like mine are able to be happy. It has given me the tools to achieve the same. It’s up to me to use them”.