The first Odyssey House opened in New York in 1966 as a residential rehabilitation program for people with a drug or alcohol addiction. The program was founded on the ancient idea of a therapeutic community. Central to Odyssey House’s philosophy is the conviction that a new, drug-free lifestyle can be created through self-discovery, behavioural change and new relationships. This can be achieved within a supportive environment, based on mutual respect and responsibility.

On this page

Our beginnings

Odyssey House Victoria was established in Melbourne in 1979. Today, several Odyssey Houses exist throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Australia offering a wide range of programs and services.

True to its origins, Odyssey House Victoria still provides long-term, intensive residential treatment for individuals and families (including parents with addictions and their young children) within a 143 bed Therapeutic Community in Lower Plenty. In addition, several other residential and community-based treatment and support services are also available to address drug and alcohol problems, along with any associated mental health, vocational, health, relationship and family issues.

Odyssey House Victoria has been a place of hope and positive change for individuals working towards breaking their pattern of addiction for over 40 years. We are a multi-service agency with a holistic approach to drug treatment.

Our logo

Odyssey’s logo, the symbol of the ship, is central to the psyche of the organisation, representing an odyssey or journey.

In Homer’s classic tale, The Odyssey, Odysseus embarks on a long and dangerous voyage. In the same way, Odyssey clients make their own fearsome journey of self-discovery.

Rarely is the journey easy or the pathway clear. It is perhaps the ultimate test of character for all of us – summoning the courage to honestly examine our behaviour and then choosing to change. For this reason it is hard not to respect the endeavours of our clients as they ask difficult questions of themselves and inevitably grow as they answer them.

Strategic plan 2016-2019

Our purpose

Odyssey House Victoria is a state-wide, specialist treatment organisation dedicated to improving the lives of individuals who experience significant or long-term problems from alcohol and other drug use. We are committed to working holistically, contributing to prevention, and to offering support to family members, including children, affected by someone else’s alcohol or other drug use.

Our Key Objectives and Activities

Enhance service capacity & outcomes
We will extend the number, quality and accessibility of our residential and community-based drug and alcohol treatment programs. We will deliver high quality and innovative training programs to more clients and professionals, and encourage employees to develop new and improved ways of achieving positive outcomes for clients.

Build a secure financial position
We will attract adequate financial resources to contribute to our ongoing viability by identifying and pursuing opportunities for growth, and developing and implementing sound financial plans and efficient and effective systems and management practices.

Develop our staff & our culture
We will enhance the job satisfaction and productivity of our employees by fostering a workplace culture in which staff are encouraged and assisted to reflect on and improve their capabilities and work performance.

Evaluate & communicate outcomes
We will continually assess the effectiveness of our programs, our policies and our practices, and inform stakeholders and the general community of our outcomes.

Emphasise relationships & partnerships
We will enhance our ongoing success by fostering positive and purposeful relationships with staff and other relevant stakeholders and service providers.