News & Events

Festive Family Dinner… for 220 people

10 Sep 2019

Having our loved ones over for dinner is something most of us take for granted: nothing warms hearts and lifts spirits quite like connecting with family over a home-cooked meal. When your current home is the Odyssey House Residential Rehabilitation Program – and your family includes 80 other men and women undertaking treatment for drug and alcohol dependence – ‘entertaining the relatives’ takes on a whole new dimension.

The menu for the family dinner

More than 220 people came together over a delicious three-course meal at the bi-annual Odyssey House Family Dinner at the main Eagle Vale facility, celebrating Christmas in July amid festive decorations and good cheer. Parents, partners, siblings, children and even grandparents of residents enjoyed quality time with loved ones, met their extended Odyssey House ‘family’ members and chatted with therapists and other staff.

Odyssey House CEO Julie Babineau said people who overcome drug or alcohol dependence in the long-term most often have family support, so the event is just one way Odyssey House involves family members in the recovery journey. “Family support and encouragement can help residents persevere with treatment, reinforce why they’re here and remind them of the new happy, healthy life they can live when they leave the therapeutic community of Odyssey House,” Julie said.

“It was great to see so much love around the tables at the Family Dinner and to hear guests say how glad they were to share the wonderful evening and see their relatives making real progress. “Many of the relatives have also made progress themselves: dealing with grief, stress and relationship breakdowns they may have suffered due to their relatives’ drug or alcohol problems and behaviours before they came to rehab.

“Some family members have participated in our six-session Better Relationships In Every Family (BRIEF) counselling program, are connecting with their mum or dad in rehab through our Parents in Contact group, or live in our Parents’ and Children’s Program.”

The sumptuous Family Dinner was made possible by a sponsorship from Interlink Roads, which is based at Hammondville in south western Sydney. “Through our two businesses – the M5 South-West Motorway and E-way tolling – we support the growth of Sydney’s south-west,” said Interlink Roads Marketing & PR Manager, Jan Werner.

“That isn’t just by keeping traffic moving and providing access to toll roads. Interlink is very much a local business and we are keen to give back and contribute to the community with worthy partnerships like this,” Jan said.

More info: