The Sanctuary Byron Bay
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Winter 2016

In this issue:

The Sanctuary Organic Farm

It is coming up to three years since the establishment of The Sanctuary’s very own organic farm supplying fresh, organic vegetables to our clients, fresh from the farm to the table on the same day. The adjacent Koala Habitat corridor is also maturing, winning the 2014 Green Globe Award for Natural Environment Sustainability. We are committed to connecting our landscape to other wildlife corridors to ensure the protection of our iconic and much loved Koalas.

Clients at The Sanctuary are taken on a guided tour of our farm with our lead farmer Gavin, during their stay. The tour starts with a ride on our Kubota (our ATV), viewing all the new projects and plantings, discussing the benefits of organic farming, participating in planting a tree in the food forest and culminating in the harvesting of some fresh organic produce to bring home to cook with their own personal chefs

As we move into winter we are set to reap the benefits of all the hard work and plantings from the autumn months, and to enjoy the ever increasing diversity of wildlife. Our farmer, Gavin has noticed an amazing variety of birdlife now attracted to the farm since planting more native trees and the installation of a fresh water dam. 

We have resident families of swamp wallabies, ducks, plovers, bee-eaters and a number of other native birds.

We have been implementing a new rotational system of farming on a much larger scale, where every three months we turn over a quarter of the gardens and cover them in green and wood mulch, then allow those beds to rest for three months. After three months we turn the mulch into the soil creating a wonderfully fertile soil with the organic hummus the mulch has provided.

Our current two main recent initiatives are the Indigenous Food Forest and the Herbal Tea Plantation.

The Indigenous Food Forest is set to have a working bee throughout the winter months. It has been designed to create purposeful food to nourish and inspire our domestic and international guests. The plantings will create a forest of native fruits, berries, nuts and herbs including Bunya Nuts, Candle Nuts and Lemon Myrtle. We anticipate the Indigenous Food forest will take 2-5 years to come to fruition and we are very excited to reap the benefits once established.

With the Tea Plantation we are aiming to supply all our clients with fresh and dried herbal teas to nourish and enliven them while in program at The Sanctuary. We are starting our tea selection with plantings of the following herbs for their healing and vitality promoting properties:

The following recipes are sure to brighten your mood on a Winter's day. All produce sourced locally from our own Sanctuary Organic Farm

Vietnamese Beef Pho Soup

½ cup vietnamese mint leaves

Thumb-size ginger, finely chopped

½ red onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, smashed

½ cup thai basil

Packet baby corn

½ red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ghee

6-8 shitake mushroom

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup fish sauce

1 litre beef stock (good quality)

500ml water

2 shallots, chopped

2 star anise

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

400g eye fillet, sliced in ½ cm thickness

1 cup bean shoots

¼ cup coriander leaves


Add into a large pot ghee, ginger, red onion, garlic, chilli, cinnamon, shallots, star anise. Cook until onions are soft. Don’t let it burn. Add baby corn, mushroom, stock, fish sauce, water, tamari. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add more tamari if needed and then add Vietnamese mint. Cook rice noodles, drain and place in the bowl. Place beef over the top. Ladle liquid over the top until just covered. Top with bean shoots, coriander and extra Vietnamese mint. Devour immediately!

Spiced Quinoa Porridge with Cinnamon

This is a super healthy porridge and a great alternative to oats. It’s gluten free, dairy free and infused with warming spices and honey.

1 cup of quinoa

3 cups of water

2 slices ginger

2 sliced turmeric

2 cinnamon quills

1 teaspoon black sesame seed

1 vanilla pod

3 cardamom pods

1 tablespoon of honey or agave syrup

400ml coconut milk


Boil the quinoa in water for 10 minutes until the tails of the grain start to emerge. Strain the quinoa & put back into the saucepan with a lid on (off the heat) and leave for 10 minutes. Separate grains with a fork and add coconut milk, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and honey. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add sesame seeds and serve with poached pears or poached rhubarb, fresh figs or berries.

Ginger and Lemongrass Tea

To make a decent size pot of tea you will need:

600ml boiled water

3 lemongrass stalks – you use the white base part as this is where the nutrients are the highest

1 thumb-size piece of peeled ginger root


Boil the water in a pot and finely slice all the ingredients. Add the ingredients to the boiled water and let the tea steep for 5 min. If you would like a nice cool tea for summer, once the tea is strained and cooled, pour the tea into a large jug filled with ice.

Narrative Coaching - What's Your Story?

Narrative coaching is essentially a practice of optimism and understanding and is especially useful in times of transformation and change. It is a practice that does not necessarily involve writing or journaling. Narrative coaching employs a variety of creative triggers to spark reflection and an enriched conversation.

Through a series of sessions, we come to a bird’s eye view of our whole life story and then a closer view of the individual stories that have brought us to where we are. In the process, we uncover new insights to inform the creation of a new and sustainable story.

Your Journey Forward

It’s easy to forget the strengths, values and relationships that have been so useful in our life before now. These are things that we might have forgotten about ourselves or have been interpreted through a much younger lens. When we become re-acquainted, we come to see their value and how we might draw on them in our journey forward. They provide clues and encouragement. Our old stories can be a beacon, lighting the path.

Narrative coaching sessions are designed and customised for each individual. Each session is creative and enjoyable: a guided stroll through the landscape of who we were, who we are now, and who we want to be.

Learn more about other Therapies offered at The Sanctuary Byron Bay. Or Contact Us on +61 (02) 6639 8888 to learn more about our services.


Update on Sanctuary Recovery House

The Sanctuary Organic Farm

The Sanctuary Recovery House has now been up and running to great success for two years with encouraging results. We are now at a stage where our occupancy rate is now consistently at maximum with a recent follow-up study on ex-residents showing that 66% of our clients have maintained their recovery and are flourishing.  14% have relapsed and 14% were unable to be contacted. Only 6% of our clients have left the program early.

We set up the Recovery House in 2014 in response to a recognised need to develop a group program combining the best of long-term residential treatment approaches with the flexibility and connectedness of a Recovery House model, increasingly popular in the United States.

The Sanctuary Recovery House is designed to support up to seven residents who have completed detox and or a rehab program, and are ready to take the next step into creating a meaningful and drug free life for themselves. Residents completing our program all agree that our holistic approach is the cornerstone of the program’s success. Their feedback reveals that while each person values different elements on a personal level, not one element alone determines success – rather, the integration of all the components on offer to the residents seems to be the key factor instead.

Residents are supported daily by attending morning meetings, educational sessions, twelve step meetings and therapy sessions. A dedicated house manager oversees each resident individually and as a group, supporting them to create a meaningful weekly and daily plan for themselves as well as being available to help residents face their triggers and fears that could otherwise derail them in an unsupported environment.

The residents appreciate the freedom to go out into the community and put their plans into place and use the skills and tools they learn here to explore and experience a healthier dynamic lifestyle while enjoying a solid and unwavering support system to help them through any difficulties they experience. This combination of freedom and support enables our residents to experience and create deep inner change. 

We have a strong focus on aftercare utilising cutting edge technology by way of a specially developed App called Recov. This app helps residents to comply with their individually designed Aftercare Plan, using a monitoring geo-location system tracking their compliance to their agreed plan.

We are so excited by our results thus far, that we are now offering a One Year Guarantee to residents completing a minimum 2 month residency and a 90 day Aftercare program confirmed by Recov, our in-house App. If a resident relapses within 12 months of completion of both residency and aftercare programs, they are eligible to return to SRH for a further month, free of charge. We are the first recovery program in the world offering such a Guarantee.  

Samantha, a finance professional in her 40’s stayed in the Recovery House earlier this year, recently reflected:  “It is the best thing I have every done,” she states. “I had been to rehab prior to coming to the Recovery House.  I had learnt tools at rehab but was not able to put them in to practice. I discovered more about myself, I learnt to be by myself again and to find new interests. The Recovery house enabled me to do that with the security of coming home to a safe environment, with like-minded people in the same situation. This put me on my road to recovery”.

For more information, contact Sanctuary Recovery House.