Executive Director on The Exchange TV

Lighthouse Institute’s Executive Director, Rudy Gonzalez appeared on The Exchange TV alongside Hanover’s CEO, Tony Keenan, to talk about ‘Homelessness in our own Backyard’.

Below are some facts about homelessness which are discussed further in this episode of The Exchange:

  •  On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are homeless
  •  There are currently 105,237 people in Australia who are homeless
  •  The rate of homelessness (which takes into account population density) is 49 out of every 10,000 people (0.5% of the population)
  • 56% of the homeless population are male, with 44% being female
  •  60% of Australia’s homeless population is aged 34 or younger
  •  39% of homeless people reside in “severely” overcrowded dwellings
  •  Since 2006, the ACT, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales have recorded the highest homelessness rate among the population with 70.6%, 32.9%, 20.7% and 20.4% respectively. Conversely, the Northern Territory and Queensland are the two states to have had their homeless rate decrease since 2006 (7.8% and 5.1% respectively).
  •  30% of the homeless population were born overseas, and 25% are indigenous.
  •  Being homeless does not necessarily equate to a person living on the street; living in temporary accommodation is also considered (caravan, squat, boarding house).
  •  Homelessness can affect anyone you know. With causes such as domestic violence, disabilities, mental illness and marriage breakdowns, there is diversity among those in the homeless community which means that, with no single cause, more support is needed.

Calling for over-18s for a Lighthouse study

Carly Cameron, from Deakin University is looking for young people to take part in a study that’s exploring adult attachment. For her PhD research, Carly is running a study that aims to explore whether attachment makes a difference to the mental health and wellbeing of people who were “in care” as children/young people.

To take part in this study, you must:

• be over eighteen and

• have had an experience of Out Of Home Care, e.g. Foster Care, Residential Care or Therapeutic Care (e.g. Lighthouse)

There are two stages to the study. Stage One involves completing some questionnaires and an interview over the phone. Participants who agree to go on to participate in Stage Two, will be invited to come to Lighthouse for a face to face interview.

As a thank you for participants’ time, the study will provide a small reward for taking part. Participants who only wish to take part in Stage One will receive a $20 voucher for their time. Participants who take part in both Stage One AND Two would receive a $50 voucher. Everyone taking part will have a chance to tell their story and possibly help to change the care system for the better. All information provided by participants will remain anonymous.

For more information or if you’re interested in participating, please call Carly Cameron or Pauline McLoughlin on (03) 9093 7500

Journey to Recovery Conference, 2015

Lighthouse Institute is pleased to announce that Journey to Recovery: The International Conference of Attachment and Trauma Informed Practice, will be taking place again in Melbourne in 2015.

Building on the success of the inaugural conference in 2013, we invite you to Journey to Recovery 2015 to join practitioners, policy makers, researchers, consultants, carers and survivors of trauma from around the world. These people will not only come together to share their experiences, but also to reflect on practice and research into recovery-orientated approaches from an attachment and trauma informed perspective.

We are also pleased to present you with our Journey to Recovery 2013: Evaluation Report

For more information, please click here

MHPN Supporting Work of Royal Commission

MHPN is one of the four organisations chosen by FaCHSIA to support the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
MHPN will develop resources for practitioners working with survivors of childhood abuse by developing a series of webinars throughout the year.


GP professional development to enhance skills in recognising complex trauma
The first of a three part professional development series produced by the Mental Health Professionals’ Network, the Recognising and Responding to Complex Trauma webinar is government funded and provided free of charge to GPs.
Join an esteemed panel of leading experts including, Dr Cathy Kezelman, Professor Louise Newman, Dr David Walker and Mr Iggy Kim on 7 April as they discuss a case study of a patient whose presentation may indicate unresolved complex trauma.
No need to travel to benefit from this free, accredited PD opportunity. Simply register and log in on the night to participate from home, or anywhere you have a computer or tablet with a high speed internet connection.
Date: Monday 7 April
Time: 7.45-9.00pm AEST
Learn more and register now.

Executive Director Wins SACS Award

We are immensely proud of our Executive Director of Lighthouse Institute, Rudy Gonzalez, who was awarded the SACS Award for Excellence for Executives working in Not For Profit organisations at the SACS Leadership Awards on 21 August 2013.

In an impressive field of finalists, Rudy was the ultimate winner, receiving a prize of $7,500 as recognition for his outstanding leadership of the Lighthouse Institute. Rudy has grown the Institute’s influence nationally and forged significant international partnerships.

Congratulations Rudy.

Royal Commission Support Services

Lighthouse Institute has been selected from a group of 28 organisations nationwide, to expand our attachment and trauma informed training program across the country to support those who are taking part in the difficult process of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse.

Earlier this year the Australian Government commissioned an Independent Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Subsequently, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) announced $44 million in funding over 3 years, for services to provide support to individuals and families affected by the Royal Commission.

We will begin to provide training in complex trauma and trauma informed care in the 2013-2014 financial year by running 22 training sessions in each State and Territory jurisdiction.

These sessions will be provided free of charge to practitioners working in organisations that support individuals and families affected by the Royal Commission.

Journey to Recovery Conference 2013

A significant milestone for Lighthouse Institute, the Journey to Recovery conference was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 13th and 14th of August.

The Institute is a world leader in research on trauma recovery and this international conference brought together an inspiring group of world experts.

The event was filled with engaging and informative speakers, including keynote speakers: Dr Cathy Kezelman, Patrick Tomlinson, Dr Michael Merzenich and Professor Patrick McGorry, each of whom provided insights into different areas of practice, advocacy and research.

Between speakers, the Wellness Program volunteers ensured the conference was a safe and nurturing space for all involved, with activities such as Reiki, Remedial Massage and Sound Meditation.

We are especially proud of our Cheltenham Home’s Senior Resident, Shawn, who spoke about his own personal experiences, and our Residential and Community Care Manager Cheyne Bull, who talked of her journey as a Carer at Lighthouse. Shawn and Cheyne’s speeches were emotionally moving and inspiring, and provided real life examples of why Lighthouse Institute’s work is vital.

The conference used Twitter, encouraging attendees to hash tag the event #J2R2013 #LighthouseInstitute. Many speakers and attendees made productive use of the Twitter handle to raise awareness amongst the public and inform them of the conference.

Lighthouse would like to pay a special thank you to our conference partners, The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Inc, Each Social and Community Health, Orygen Youth Health, OzChild and Queen Elizabeth Centre for their generous support throughout the event.

Building Young Brains: Lighthouse Institute Partnership with PositScience

Lighthouse Institute is delighted to announce a partnership with PositScience from California, USA.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of PositScience, Dr. Michael Merzenich, is a neuroscientist and leading pioneer in brain plasticity research. You may have seen Dr. Merzenich if you tuned into ABC1’s Redesign My Brain at 8:30pm on Thursday nights for the past few weeks.

The exciting partnership between Lighthouse Institute and PositScience provides the opportunity to apply advances in brain sciences to change the lives of the many young people who may have had their brain development impaired, due to the impact of trauma. Through Lighthouse Institute, PositScience’s brain training programs will now be available to young people across Australia.

Lighthouse Model of Care National Expansion: Partnership with SYC

Lighthouse Institute is excited to announce an innovative new partnership with Service to Youth Council (SYC) and Families SA to deliver residential care in a way that has not previously been trialed in South Australia.

SYC through HYPA (Helping Young People Achieve), provides a wide range of support to young people in order to help them find and harness their talent so they can have a positive future. It has supported many thousands of young people since it began in September 1958, helping them to access and maintain safe accommodation, reconnect with family, school, employment and the community.

HYPA will be using the Lighthouse Therapeutic Family Model of Care™ (TFMC™) as a Therapeutic Residential Care Program for young people in out of home care. The program will provide much needed care to twelve young people across three homes in Adelaide.

The young people, who have come from backgrounds of long term neglect and abuse, will be provided with a therapeutic home environment. They will also experience the benefits of family life and around the clock therapeutic care.

SYC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gerrie Mitra said, “We are pleased to be given the opportunity to provide this proven model of therapeutic care to some of the most vulnerable young people in South Australia, and are delighted to be working with Lighthouse Institute in its delivery.”

This partnership is part of the implementation stage of the expansion of the use of TFMC™ across Australia, with the SYC being the first organisation in Australia to be licensed to use it.