A number of members of Emerge Australia have been successful in nominating funding from Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres to go towards participating in a health retreat such as the Highwood and Gawler Foundation Health Retreats listed below. Refer to the Respite section for more information on how to contact these centres for more information.


Located in the Yarra Valley, Benwerren provides practical support in the form of ‘time-out’ in a peaceful environment, addressing the physical, educational, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. For women and children. It has a Christian ethos; with references to religious values yet is non-denominational.

Ph: (03) 5967 1021

Highwood Health Retreat

A natural therapy oriented lifestyle centre located in Narbethong, Victoria promoting wellness through healthy lifestyle choices and natural treatments. Five-day stays start at $1795 for those on a pension or with a Health Care Card. Day spa option (from $225) also available.

Ph: (03) 5963 7000

Gawler Foundation Health Retreat

Located in the Yarra Valley, the Gawler Health Retreat offer programs that use a combination of self-help techniques and holistic approaches to healing. Three day retreats for people with chronic illness start at $640.

Ph: 1300 651 211

Kewn Kreestha – Family Care Sisters (Grey Sisters)

Based in Croydon, Kewn Kreestha accommodates up to six women each week. A daily program is provided which aims to increase coping skills. Cost is dependent on the circumstances of the applicant.

Ph: (03) 9723 7697

Ronald McDonald Family Retreat

Ronald McDonald Family Retreats are available at no charge to families caring for a child diagnosed with or recovering from a serious illness. Please be aware that travel costs are the families own expense. For enquiries:

Ph: (03) 9345 6300

St Julian’s Retreat & Spirituality Centre

All meals provided, must be able to wash and be mobile. No doctor’s referral necessary. Payment is by donation although a suggested contribution of $60/night is recommended ($50/night concession).

Ph: (03) 9583 2087

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