Watch the video: An Introduction to Windana's Barwon Therapeutic Community

Windana's newest residential rehabilitation service

Barwon Therapeutic Community (BTC) is a brand-new service located in Geelong, Wadawurrung Country.

It offers a six-month residential program for alcohol and other drug rehabilitation. 

BTC was established as part of the Victorian State Government’s investment into regional rehabilitation services, letting people access support close to home. BTC also welcomes residents from around Victoria.

“The TC empowers residents by giving structure, through daily programs. Responsibilities through TC roles grow confidence and give a voice to the residents of the community.” – Resident at a Windana TC

A space for healing

BTC is in a quiet area on the northern fringe of Geelong’s suburbs and close to open areas. We are:

  • 10km (approx. 15 minute drive from Geelong CBD)
  • 66km (approx. one-hour drive from Melbourne CBD).

Our five acre (approx.) grounds offer space to breathe, with outdoor gardens and recreation spaces wrapping around the buildings. A central sweep of eucalyptus trees gives the setting a peaceful, natural character.

All buildings at BTC have been designed to create a space that supports recovery. The feel is modern and comfortable, with plenty of homelike touches.

Facilities include:

  • Six separate Residential Pods with bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Kitchen
  • Communal dining room
  • Lounge with quiet alcove
  • Large and small group rooms
  • Dispensary, Nurse and consult rooms
  • Intake and meeting room
  • Activity room
  • Art room
  • Sensorium
  • Laundry
  • Staff and administrative areas.

Outside features include:

  • Decking and paved areas
  • Walking track
  • Animal enclosures
  • Vegetable garden
  • Exercise station
  • Sport half court
  • Fresh air.

The BTC program

Our program is delivered through a number of phases. Each phase builds on the phase before, with more responsibility and freedom as a resident progresses.

  • Orientation – Watch, listen, learn and engage
  • Phase 1 – Participate in all aspects of the group
  • Phase 2 – Step up as a role model to peers
  • Phase 3 – Be a leader and prepare for life outside BTC
  • Phase 4 – Integration towards life after treatment
  • Aftercare – Move forward with new skills and ongoing supports

Five core elements form our rehabilitation model: work, education, therapy, health and peer support.

Activities and support:

  • Group work (Art Therapy, relapse prevention, harm minimisation, stress management)
  • Complementary therapies (naturopathy, mindfulness, exercise, recreation)
  • Case management and support services
  • Food as Medicine (nutrition)
  • Works Program (Kitchen; Garden, Grounds and Maintenance; Administration; Cleaning and Laundry)
  • Aftercare for when a resident leaves the TC.

The Therapeutic Community model of rehabilitaton

BTC is a place where the community itself – through self-help and mutual support – sparks change in its residents’ lives. The community gives people the space and structure to heal emotionally, and learn healthier ways to live. Residents work together to run BTC, as it’s their home. Every activity and job contributes to personal growth.

This peer-driven, holistic approach to recovery focuses on how alcohol and other drug use influences, and is influenced by a person’s relationships, thoughts, feelings and lifestyle. As residents move through the program’s phases, they become leaders and role models.

“Becoming a community member at BTC offers an environment to safely explore what healthy relationships with self and others mean, and how this might contribute towards changing pathways and opportunities.” – BTC Program Manager


In Victoria, a local catchment-based Intake and Assessment service is a person’s primary point of entry into alcohol and other drug treatment – including youth, adult, residential, non-residential, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, state and Commonwealth-funded services. To find a local Intake and Assessment service, contact DirectLine on 1800 888 236 (available 24/7). You can also go to

When a person gets in touch with their local Intake and Assessment service, they can expect to speak with a clinician about their relationship with alcohol and other drugs. The clinician will help the caller find the most suitable services. Callers are welcome to suggest Windana’s Barwon Therapeutic Community.

Windana can also respond to queries directly. Reception is available on 03 9529 7955 Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.


There is a $115 non-refundable Admission Fee to pay when a resident first arrives. After that, the resident will need to make an ongoing contribution to their program of 78% of their base Centrelink benefit. If preferred, this can be paid as lump sum.

If paying privately (not through Centrelink), fees will be negotiated before admission.

When our Admissions Team talks to a new resident, they will be able to answer any other questions about fees.

More information

Click below to download a detailed booklet about BTC. The booklet includes the information on this page with some more details on BTC’s program, site, staff, frequently asked questions and other details.

File size is approximately 2841 KB.

Download the Barwon Therapeutic Community Booklet

You can also view and download a short, 2-page leaflet about BTC by clicking here.

Photographs of BTC on this page are by Kane Jarrod Photography, Kane Jarrod Thompson.