Each year the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) hosts an international conference bringing together professionals working in Therapeutic Communities, researchers and clinicians in the Alcohol and Drug (AOD) field and affiliated areas. Therapeutic Communities (TCs) and other residential Rehabilitation Services are an integral element of a comprehensive response to alcohol and other drug issues in our community, nationally and internationally. The ATCA Conference reflects this and has a broad appeal to those working in the field of addiction, mental health, justice and child protection. It tackles issues of significant importance around comorbidity, youth and the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Mãori and Pasifika peoples. This is the 33rd ATCA Conference and will be held in Adelaide from 28 – 31 October 2019; with skills based workshops offered on Friday 1 November. On Wednesday 30th October, the day will provide A Focus on Restorative Practices, with presentations from speakers working with clients within the justice system and in partnership to provide options that restore hope.
The following are confirmed keynote speakers and presenters:
Naya Arbiter Naya Arbiter began her work at Amity (USA)in 1981 and has been responsible for the total transformation of this organisation and its recognition nationally and internationally as one of the most innovative and effective. She has developed restorative paradigms for those marginalised through addiction, poverty, racism, sexism, trauma, and violence. She has been recognised for the development of pro-social strategies for people that represent populations that have confounded the mainstream; her efforts in prisons have evidenced the highest recidivism reduction with the most criminogenic population ever studied. Naya has authored 14 volumes of TC curriculum, which foster personal growth, emotional literacy, and social responsibility. She has served on the Inter-American Commission for Drug Policy; Vice-President of Therapeutic Communities of America; Chair of the Standards and Goals Committee of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities; and she has served on numerous scientific committee advisory boards including that of the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES). Her life’s work has been to construct chances for those in seemingly impossible situations. She lives in Arizona with her husband of 41 years, three cats, three dogs, three parrots, and hope.
Rod Mullen began his work in therapeutic communities in 1967, when he was a non-resident member of Synanon, shortly after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley he was involved in civil rights and anti-war activities and was arrested in the Free Speech Movement. In 1968 he moved into Synanon, serving over the next twelve years in a variety of positions— Director of several of Synanon’s facilities in California, as well as its in-house school. He joined his wife, Naya Arbiter, at Amity in 1982, and together they built what had been a small, troubled non-profit organisation into one respected both nationally and internationally. Rod served as Chief Executive Officer for thirty-four years and is currently serving as Amity’s President. He is focused on leadership development, training, and modelling a large teaching and therapeutic community in which all employees are deeply committed and involved in the community, no matter what their jobs. He currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.