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Welcome from Windana’s Peer Support Group. This page covers what Peer Support is, how our meetings work, and how you can join in to benefit from shared experiences - at any stage of your journey with alcohol and other drugs.

Fast facts

  • Type of group: Weekly meetings (attend as often as you wish)
  • Location: St Kilda (in-person), or join online over Zoom
  • When: Mondays 1:00-2:30pm (ex. Public Holidays)
  • Eligibility: Aged 18+ with experience of alcohol/drugs
  • Referral: Contact Windana directly
  • Cost: Free

What is Peer Support?

Peers are people who have similar experiences. In this case, peers are people who know what it’s like to have issues with alcohol and other drugs.

‘Peer Support’ is when peers use their experiences to help each other.

Peer Support can make a positive difference in your life. It can:

  • Help you build hope for reaching your goals (recovery, work, family, health, or anything else you want to achieve)
  • Provide you with positive role models
  • Offer a welcoming place to meet new people
  • Help you find a sense of belonging and shared identity in a place where you are understood
  • Pass on new skills and knowledge
  • Help you build your confidence and self-esteem
  • Give you encouragement from people who have had similar experiences, and give you the opportunity to help others too (which feels great!)
  • Be a place to learn about peers’ experiences with different Windana and TaskForce groups, programs and services – including Counselling, the Family Program, ResetLife and Driver Behaviour Change Programs.

Our Peer Support group

Windana’s Peer Support Group meets at our Community Services Building – located on Bunurong Country at 88 Alma Road, St Kilda. People who can’t make it in person can join this same meeting via Zoom.

The group meets weekly, except on Public Holidays.

Meetings are led by Windana’s trained Peer Leader and are attended by people who share experiences of drug and alcohol use. 

This is an ongoing, open group – meaning you can come as often as you need. You’re welcome to try a meeting just once, attend every week or come back whenever you feel the need of support from peers.

Attending Peer Support meetings is completely free.

Before coming to a meeting for the first time, please contact us and we’ll give you more information.

What happens in a meeting?

“In our Peer Support meetings, you can ask for feedback and share ideas that support your recovery – such as practicing self-care every day, trying yoga, going to a 12-step program, going to the gym, stopping smoking or going back to TAFE and studying.” – Peer Leader

Each meeting is different. That’s because members steer the chat based on what people wish to share and discuss in the meeting.

Peer Support meetings give you an opportunity to talk about the things that affect you, learn from others, find common ground and encourage your peers to make positive changes.

To give you an idea, here’s how a typical meeting is structured:

  • Acknowledgment of Country.
  • Welcome members and record attendance.
  • Choose a volunteer to read out the group guidelines.
  • Feelings check – Each person introduces themselves and shares how they’re feeling. After a member shares, they are asked whether they are open to hearing feedback from the group. This discussion is the main part of the meeting and is where topics come up – such as emotions, family, relationships, health, goals and more.
  • Check-out: Each member shares how they feel at the end of the meeting.

Sometimes, a Guest Peer might join a meeting. Guest Peers are people with many years of recovery experience, who share special insight to help others at different stages of their journey.

What do we mean by ‘feedback’?

Feedback is not about judgement or giving advice – but is about offering people something to consider based on personal experience.

Eligibility: Is this for me?

Windana’s Peer Support Group is open to anyone in Victoria aged 18 years or above who has experience of alcohol and drug use.

People at all stages of their journey are welcome – whether your drug use is in the past or you are still using. We just ask that you are not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs when you join us in-person or online.

Under 18 and interested in Peer Support? Check out SHARC.

Referral: How do I come to a meeting?

Before you come to a Peer Support meeting for the first time either in-person or online, we will have a quick chat with you to run through a few details about the program, including confirming the meeting time.

Please contact Windana Reception by phone on 03 9529 7955, by email at or by coming to the Community Services Building in St Kilda (88 Alma Road). Reception is staffed Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 4:30pm.

If you’re already connected to Windana, feel free to speak to a staff member about coming to a Peer Support meeting.

Important: If you need support immediately or someone to talk to about accessing drug and alcohol services in Victoria, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 (available 24/7) or visit www.directline.org.au.

Common questions about our Peer Support group

How many people usually go to a meeting?

This varies. Meetings usually have between eight and 15 people, plus Windana’s Peer Leader. Most people come in-person, with about four or five people joining us via Zoom.

Do I need to be a Windana client or resident to join?

No. We welcome all people aged 18 or older who have experienced issues with drugs and alcohol. Meetings are usually attended by a mix of people including people who haven’t been to Windana before, past clients, people in the later phases of their residential rehabilitation (Therapeutic Community) program and people connected to our other services – such as Care and Recovery Coordination, Counselling and our Family Program.

Do I need a referral?

No referral is needed, however please contact us before you come to a meeting for the first time so we can confirm some details. You do not need to go through a formal Intake and Assessment process to attend Peer Support meetings – you just need to check in with us first.

If you’re a referrer, you can encourage your client to reach out to us. For more information, also visit our ‘My client or patient needs support’ webpage.

What if I need more support at the end of a meeting?

Members are invited to speak with the Peer Leader after the meeting ends. This is an opportunity to access extra support or resources that relate to issues raised in the meeting.

Are meetings confidential?

In meetings – what’s said in the group stays in the group! This is one of our Peer Support Group Guidelines (more on these below).

When we speak with you before you come to a meeting for the first time, we will ask you some personal information. We collect this information as a requirement of our reporting procedures and to ensure ongoing funding for Peer Support. This information is not shared in the group.

What else do I need to know?

We have Peer Support Group Guidelines to ensure meetings are safe. We run through these in each meeting, but you can also read them below:

  • If you are substance affected, refrain from attending.
  • Physical and verbal aggression will not be tolerated.
  • We will respect each other and not talk when others are speaking and will follow the meeting format and feedback guidelines.
  • The group is encouraged to remain positive. We are here to support each other and learn from the experience of others.
  • We will be aware of how long we share and leave time for as many members to share as possible.
  • We will be mindful of the language we use and refrain from sharing traumatic events as this can be triggering for others.
  • What is said in the room stays in the room. This will only be breached if there are issues of safety for group members or others.
  • Please make sure your mobile phone is off or on silent.

If you want to include Peer Support at any stage of your journey, please get in touch.

“After hearing peers’ journeys, people often say “I could do that!””.

– Peer Leader

Last Updated on May 29, 2024
Wave Image

Peer Support Group

Welcome from Windana’s Peer Support Group. This page covers what Peer Support is, how our meetings work, and how you can join in to benefit from shared experiences - at any stage of your journey with alcohol and other drugs. .

Fast facts.

  • Type of group: Weekly meetings (attend as often as you wish)
  • Location: St Kilda (in-person), or join online over Zoom
  • When: Mondays 1:00-2:30pm (ex. Public Holidays)
  • Eligibility: Aged 18+ with experience of alcohol/drugs
  • Referral: Contact Windana directly
  • Cost: Free

What is Peer Support?.

Peers are people who have similar experiences. In this case, peers are people who know what it’s like to have issues with alcohol and other drugs.

‘Peer Support’ is when peers use their experiences to help each other.

Peer Support can make a positive difference in your life. It can:

  • Help you build hope for reaching your goals (recovery, work, family, health, or anything else you want to achieve)
  • Provide you with positive role models
  • Offer a welcoming place to meet new people
  • Help you find a sense of belonging and shared identity in a place where you are understood
  • Pass on new skills and knowledge
  • Help you build your confidence and self-esteem
  • Give you encouragement from people who have had similar experiences, and give you the opportunity to help others too (which feels great!)
  • Be a place to learn about peers’ experiences with different Windana and TaskForce groups, programs and services – including Counselling, the Family Program, ResetLife and Driver Behaviour Change Programs.

Our Peer Support group.

Windana’s Peer Support Group meets at our Community Services Building – located on Bunurong Country at 88 Alma Road, St Kilda. People who can’t make it in person can join this same meeting via Zoom.

The group meets weekly, except on Public Holidays.

Meetings are led by Windana’s trained Peer Leader and are attended by people who share experiences of drug and alcohol use. 

This is an ongoing, open group – meaning you can come as often as you need. You’re welcome to try a meeting just once, attend every week or come back whenever you feel the need of support from peers.

Attending Peer Support meetings is completely free.

Before coming to a meeting for the first time, please contact us and we’ll give you more information.

What happens in a meeting?

“In our Peer Support meetings, you can ask for feedback and share ideas that support your recovery – such as practicing self-care every day, trying yoga, going to a 12-step program, going to the gym, stopping smoking or going back to TAFE and studying.” – Peer Leader

Each meeting is different. That’s because members steer the chat based on what people wish to share and discuss in the meeting.

Peer Support meetings give you an opportunity to talk about the things that affect you, learn from others, find common ground and encourage your peers to make positive changes.

To give you an idea, here’s how a typical meeting is structured:

  • Acknowledgment of Country.
  • Welcome members and record attendance.
  • Choose a volunteer to read out the group guidelines.
  • Feelings check – Each person introduces themselves and shares how they’re feeling. After a member shares, they are asked whether they are open to hearing feedback from the group. This discussion is the main part of the meeting and is where topics come up – such as emotions, family, relationships, health, goals and more.
  • Check-out: Each member shares how they feel at the end of the meeting.

Sometimes, a Guest Peer might join a meeting. Guest Peers are people with many years of recovery experience, who share special insight to help others at different stages of their journey.

What do we mean by ‘feedback’?

Feedback is not about judgement or giving advice – but is about offering people something to consider based on personal experience.

Eligibility: Is this for me?.

Windana’s Peer Support Group is open to anyone in Victoria aged 18 years or above who has experience of alcohol and drug use.

People at all stages of their journey are welcome – whether your drug use is in the past or you are still using. We just ask that you are not under the influence of alcohol or other drugs when you join us in-person or online.

Under 18 and interested in Peer Support? Check out SHARC.

Referral: How do I come to a meeting?.

Before you come to a Peer Support meeting for the first time either in-person or online, we will have a quick chat with you to run through a few details about the program, including confirming the meeting time.

Please contact Windana Reception by phone on 03 9529 7955, by email at or by coming to the Community Services Building in St Kilda (88 Alma Road). Reception is staffed Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 4:30pm.

If you’re already connected to Windana, feel free to speak to a staff member about coming to a Peer Support meeting.

Important: If you need support immediately or someone to talk to about accessing drug and alcohol services in Victoria, call DirectLine on 1800 888 236 (available 24/7) or visit www.directline.org.au.

Common questions about our Peer Support group.

How many people usually go to a meeting?

This varies. Meetings usually have between eight and 15 people, plus Windana’s Peer Leader. Most people come in-person, with about four or five people joining us via Zoom.

Do I need to be a Windana client or resident to join?

No. We welcome all people aged 18 or older who have experienced issues with drugs and alcohol. Meetings are usually attended by a mix of people including people who haven’t been to Windana before, past clients, people in the later phases of their residential rehabilitation (Therapeutic Community) program and people connected to our other services – such as Care and Recovery Coordination, Counselling and our Family Program.

Do I need a referral?

No referral is needed, however please contact us before you come to a meeting for the first time so we can confirm some details. You do not need to go through a formal Intake and Assessment process to attend Peer Support meetings – you just need to check in with us first.

If you’re a referrer, you can encourage your client to reach out to us. For more information, also visit our ‘My client or patient needs support’ webpage.

What if I need more support at the end of a meeting?

Members are invited to speak with the Peer Leader after the meeting ends. This is an opportunity to access extra support or resources that relate to issues raised in the meeting.

Are meetings confidential?

In meetings – what’s said in the group stays in the group! This is one of our Peer Support Group Guidelines (more on these below).

When we speak with you before you come to a meeting for the first time, we will ask you some personal information. We collect this information as a requirement of our reporting procedures and to ensure ongoing funding for Peer Support. This information is not shared in the group.

What else do I need to know?

We have Peer Support Group Guidelines to ensure meetings are safe. We run through these in each meeting, but you can also read them below:

  • If you are substance affected, refrain from attending.
  • Physical and verbal aggression will not be tolerated.
  • We will respect each other and not talk when others are speaking and will follow the meeting format and feedback guidelines.
  • The group is encouraged to remain positive. We are here to support each other and learn from the experience of others.
  • We will be aware of how long we share and leave time for as many members to share as possible.
  • We will be mindful of the language we use and refrain from sharing traumatic events as this can be triggering for others.
  • What is said in the room stays in the room. This will only be breached if there are issues of safety for group members or others.
  • Please make sure your mobile phone is off or on silent.

More information.

If you want to include Peer Support at any stage of your journey, please get in touch..

Contact Windana.
Important to know:

“After hearing peers’ journeys, people often say “I could do that!””.

– Peer Leader

.