Insight into Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Recovery

Through this presentation, we will present the history and establishment of Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Corporation and its current model and landscape of services.

We will provide an insight into data we have collected over the past 3 years, exploring trends, AOD use, system blockages and barriers to healing for mob in modern society.

We will showcase some positive news stories highlighting the importance of culturally responsive care. We will also be presenting a piece of work showcasing a design process that will lead to a defined model care for Aboriginal community in Ngwala recovery centres that we anticipate rolling out in Mid 2023.


Helena Gonebale, Director of Client Services, Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Corporation

Helena is a proud Wagiman (NT) who was born and raised in Naarm within the Koori community in Victoria. Helena has 25 years of experience working across the public service, community-controlled and private sectors in areas including policy reform, child & family welfare, housing, corrections, workforce development & training. Helena’s work is focused on ensuring that cultural practice and First Nations knowledge are at the forefront of program design, ensuring that models of care are therapeutic, trauma-informed, holistic and promotes healing and self-determination.

Gillie Freeman, Director Residential Centres and Clinical Services, Ngwala Willumbong Aboriginal Corporation

Gillie is a Jiddabul man from Far North Queensland and currently lives in Melbourne. His work with drugs and alcohol began more than 20 years ago, initially working with youth and then adults. He has a background in youth work, counselling and family therapy and has filled these roles within Ngwala over the years before moving into his current position.


Slides are not available for this presentation.