In 2008, a $5 million joint funding partnership between the Victorian Department of Health and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) was agreed on to establish Bunjilwarra, the first Australian drug and alcohol rehabilitation service solely dedicated to helping young Aboriginal people.


Bunjilwarra was officially opened on 15 December 2011 by the Hon Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, Women’s Affairs and Community Services.

Bunjilwarra is a 12 bed alcohol and other drugs (AOD) residential rehabilitation and healing service for Aboriginal young people (both male and female) aged between 16 and 25 years. The purpose-built, statewide service designed to be more culturally welcoming for Aboriginal youths is situated on a 1.7 hectare site in Hastings on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.

The Bunjilwarra service model is firmly placed in context of the Aboriginal-defined notion of healing and in a cultural framework, supported by trauma-informed practice; adolescent developmental framework; therapeutic community and recovery frameworks.


Media release ‘Australia’s first youth Indigenous drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility leads the way for future treatment services’

Fact sheet about the unique Bunjilwarra service model

Visit the Bunjilwarra website

Project date: 10 June 2008 – 15 December 2011

Organisation: Victorian Department of Human Services