The Sanctuary Byron Bay
hero banner image

Newsletter #1 - August 2007

In this issue:

Director’s Introduction – Michael Goldberg

Director’s Introduction – Michael Goldberg

Welcome to the first Sanctuary E-Newsletter. The purpose of this newsletter is to keep you informed of new developments in our constantly evolving Sanctuary model. This newsletter will be distributed a few times a year. In this edition, we include an introduction to some of our new programmes, a staff profile of our award-winning Head Chef, Luke Southwood and some words of wisdom from our Yoga consultant, Consta Georgoussis.

The Sanctuary Byron Bay is proud to be the leading therapeutic retreat offering a one-to-one integrative approach.  We combine the best of medical and complementary therapies and ensure these multiple perspectives and approaches are coordinated and integrated.

We deal with complex health and addiction issues that group programs have trouble treating appropriately and our ability to customise each and every program means each program is unique and designed specifically for each client.

We welcome private enquiries and you can be assured of your confidentiality and privacy.  Contact us any time or browse our website at for further information.

Yours sincerely

Michael Goldberg – Director

Staff Profile: Luke Southwood

Director’s Introduction – Michael Goldberg

The addition of Luke Southwood to The Sanctuary team in August 2006 was a huge bonus for all.  Not only is Luke an internationally renowned, multi-award winning chef with first-rate culinary talent, he is also an exceptionally warm and likeable person and is a natural when it comes to working with people.

Luke’s professional culinary career began in Barcelona, Spain, and spans a period of 22 years.  He has worked at some of the best and iconic restaurants in Spain, London and Australia and has used his renowned expertise to undertake extensive catering roles for a range of special outdoor events and festivals.  Luke’s most recent career change, before starting at The Sanctuary, featured him moving to Byron Bay to join restaurant owners Ben and Belinda Kirkwood at the multi-award winning Dish Restaurant Raw Bar.

As Head Chef at Dish, Luke was responsible for all aspects of kitchen operation and management in a highly seasonal environment.  He successfully instigated the daring change from Asian to modern European cuisine and created original dishes to service the renowned fine dining restaurant and popular cocktail/wine/oyster bar.  During Luke’s time at Dish the restaurant won the following awards: Best Restaurant and Bar – Gold Coast Magazine People’s Choice Awards 2004; Chef of the Year – Gold Coast Magazine People’s Choice Awards 2005; One star in the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide in both 2005 and 2006 and One Chefs Hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Moving from such a high-profile position to the private and discreet realms of The Sanctuary would seem an interesting career move, however, to Luke it was a welcome change.  Whilst working at Dish he met The Sanctuary’s Director, Michael Goldberg, and he cooked for numerous Sanctuary clients.  When he made the decision, after two decades, that it was time to take a step away from the fast pace, high stress and long hours of fine dining restaurants, he was immediately intrigued and interested to pursue a role at The Sanctuary.  Having a young family with which he wants to spend as much time as possible, working as a chef at The Sanctuary provides the means to achieve the perfect balance between career satisfaction and greater participation in family life.  When asked about his life changing decision Luke responds:

“The most rewarding aspect of a career working with food has been experiencing its ability to physically reward, positively affect and spiritually connect people in a way which can transcend many social, emotional or physical problems they may be experiencing.  Working for The Sanctuary allows me to handpick the very best fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients and use them with a creative licence most chefs can only dream of.  Having the chance to work with such a diverse, knowledgeable and dedicated team of therapists, practitioners and carers, tailoring a personalised, nourishing diet around their recommendations and creating original, healthy, nurturing dishes for a dining room with one table and the same client, makes for a thoroughly challenging and highly rewarding work environment.  The results can be very inspiring.”

Today, Luke brings with him an enormous range of qualifications and experience.  In the past he has been quoted as saying:

“To be successful in this industry, a chef needs to have a good understanding of the boundaries between artistry and production. Anyone can stage an event, put on a show, or throw a bash; to create a mood, enhance a setting and delight the senses requires talent, passion and a sense of balance.”

It is this talent, passion and sense of balance that results in consistently glowing reports from Sanctuary clients – not an easy feat given our clients are often in a tenuous state when they attend The Sanctuary and expect only the best.  These high expectations do not concern Luke.  He is clearly someone who has managed to capture the rare skill of putting troubled people at ease, whilst at the same time creating food that not only nurtures the mind, body and soul but also results in some of the most enjoyable culinary experiences a person ever thought possible.

A Yoga Teacher’s Perspective – Consta Georgoussis

Director’s Introduction – Michael Goldberg

If I could describe the approach we take at The Sanctuary in one word I would say: “Synergy”.  The Sanctuary programme is not based on just one modality but a combination of all aspects of health and well being.

Yoga and meditation is but one ingredient in the formula we have to offer: one stimulates and relaxes the body, the other the mind.  My main objective is for clients to develop a healthy introspection which creates an inner resource. As one Zen master describes it: “seeing things as they are”.  In meditation we are not trying to control or stop the mind, we are trying to watch it, and witness all its aspects, both good and bad, with equanimity.  The ability to do this can be very useful when dealing with career, relationships and family.

So this implies that you don’t have to stand on your head for five minutes or touch your toes in a forward bend.  It’s essentially about creating space, on the inside, which in turn helps us navigate the ups and downs that life inevitably constantly presents us.  One of the advantages of a one-to-one programme is that it can be tailored to anyone’s specification to create an optimum result.

My most rewarding professional relationships have occurred whilst working at The Sanctuary, both with colleagues and clients. Working individually means you connect more quickly and deeply in a shorter period of time, as opposed to working with a group. Given I’m also involved in client aftercare programmes, it means I can continue these relationships beyond the client’s attendance at The Sanctuary which is really fulfilling.  Working in a harmonious team also has the bonus of being supported and encouraged by my colleagues.

I feel privileged to work in an environment where care and excellence are the priorities. Having so many vastly talented professionals to consult with in our bi-weekly forums means everyone can have their say and share strategies in relation to a client’s programme. For this reason, the Sanctuary is a very stimulating and highly rewarding place to work.