What sets us apart

The Sanctuary model is a unique approach that focuses on a systemic change.


Organisation wide culture change

Experience has shown that the real benefits of Sanctuary are experienced when organisations adopt a system-wide roll out. A large- scale approach that targets all levels of leadership is critical in creating a sustainable organisation-wide culture change initiative. The MacKillop Institute offers a comprehensive three-year implementation and support program to ensure your success.

Investing in staff

Sanctuary recognises that trauma has an impact not only on the people who have experienced it, but also on the staff who work with them and organisations as a whole. Where some trauma models focus only on the clients being served by the organisation, Sanctuary drives a whole-organisation culture that strengthens the emotional wellbeing and resilience of staff, fostering more harmonious teams.

Proactive leadership

Staff working with those who have faced adversity or are in crisis, face many challenges and stressors. Overly stressed organisations may even begin to spend more time reacting to crises than planning for the future and may constantly feel like they are “playing catch up”. Sanctuary teaches leaders and managers to recognise these warning signs and reverse destructive patterns to place the focus back on resilience and wellbeing.

A focus on cultural capability

The concept of safety is central to The Sanctuary model. We understand the need for physical and psychological safety in service delivery and, increasingly, social and ethical safety are being recognised in the workplace.

We saw there was another domain that was fundamental to a person and organisation - cultural safety. No model can effectively support staff to understand trauma and adversity, and heal from it, without first providing a culturally safe environment in which to have open and honest conversations. Cultural safety is a recognised and integral part of The Sanctuary model.

The Sanctuary model is designed to deepen the cultural intelligence of organisations. Safety is also communicated through the lens of First Nation peoples. The 'Aboriginal-way' of safety relates to family and community, and the individual and country is acknowledged and respected. If an organisation chooses to deepen the knowledge of, and practice in, cultural capability, The Sanctuary model provides a unique and meaningful approach and structured framework to do so.

Homegrown practitioners

We recognise that Australia is unlike anywhere else in the world. We possess our own narratives of resilience, spirit, hardship and ingenuity. The Sanctuary model is supported by a National Faculty of Sanctuary consultants, drawn from organisation and community leaders across Australia. With expertise ranging from out-of-home care, to education, training, community and organisational development, mental health, human resource management, and clinical psychology from non- profit, government and Aboriginal-Community Controlled Organisations, you will be supported by a diverse range of expert practitioners with decades of local experience.