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Order of Malta Australia


Christmas at Gorman House Alcohol and Drug Detoxification Unit


Gorman House residents

Gorman House Alcohol and Drug Detoxification Unit is a significant charitable project of the NSW Branch of the Order. The unit is part of St Vincent’s Hospital and provides ongoing, non-judgmental support for Sydney’s most marginalized people with drug and alcohol dependencies. Many of those who come to Gorman House are homeless, many have severe mental health problems and many have severe physical health problems. Some have all three.

 Seven years ago government funding was cut for Gorman House. The NSW Branch of the Order formed a partnership with St Vincent’s and the NSW Branch financial support has meant that Gorman House has been able to remain open 7 days a week 24 hours a day. To date the NSW branch has raised over $1million to keep the doors of Gorman House open to Sydney’s homeless and addicted who are seeking help.

 As many of those who visit Gorman House are homeless, the Unit is also provided with some of the Order’s specially designed ‘Coats for the Homeless’ to distribute during the winter months. The NSW branch has also established a library, offering residents a selection of second hand books on a non-returnable basis.

 In addition to fundraising for Gorman House, Members and friends of the Order attend thrice weekly barbeques for the residents.  These volunteers assist Gorman House staff and provide important companionship and interaction with residents.

Left to right: Gorman House BBQ volunteers, Linda, Sarah and Melissa.

 One of the most difficult times for residents is at Christmas. Every year the Order of Malta volunteers attend the lunchtime barbeque at Gorman House on Christmas Day and also distribute a small Christmas Gift to the residents.  The gift is usually a pack containing toiletries, socks and a t-shirt.

 $20 will buy a Christmas Gift for a resident of Gorman House this Christmas. If you would like to you can do this via our secure online gateway: 



Watch an inspirational video about Gorman House or read a volunteer’s account of their experiences helping at Gorman House barbecues.

 If you would like to learn more about volunteering at the Gorman House barbeque, please email


1,507 people were admitted for detoxification in 2012. Unfortunately many had to be turned away because the unit is consistently filled to capacity.

– Alcohol is the predominant substance residents identify as being their main concern (60%), followed by opiates (20%), then stimulants such as methamphetamine, amphetamine and cocaine (20%).

– The Unit provides care and support, particularly with physical health intervention, mental health and psychological support. 

– The length of stay is 4 – 5 days, which is the clinical period required for detoxification. Following, residents are encouraged to find stable accommodation and follow a long term rehabilitation plan.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.