In an emergency, always call triple zero (000). It’s a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For other urgent medical issues, go to an Emergency Department.

Our Emergency Departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Our Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Services (MHAOD) are here to support people as they find solutions towards living well.

Both clinical streams span the geographical footprint of the District from Tweed Heads to Grafton. 

The Mental Health Services work with adults, adolescents, and children living with mental illness, to support them and their families and carers with options to assist recovery. The Alcohol and Other Drugs Services help people make positive changes to their alcohol or substance use.

Career opportunities are available across inpatient and community settings in a variety of clinical and non-clinical support roles. 

Our greatest strength is the commitment, resilience and warmth of our teams. We care about creating a connected culture where our people feel valued, empowered and have a strong sense of belonging. As a service we strive for excellence, prioritising patient safety, continuous improvement and professional development. We offer educational opportunities from our graduate nurse programs through to ongoing education for senior staff. We promote upskilling of staff by providing opportunities to relieve in senior roles as well as between services. We have embedded a new Clinical Supervision program for clinicians to support reflective practice and staff wellbeing and facilitates transparent and patient centred decision making and high standards of clinical practice.

Lismore MHAOD   Tweed MHAOD  Byron MHAOD

Explore current career opportunities in Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs in Northern NSW. 

Staff Highlights  

Kate Willock - Clinical Nurse Consultant with Perinatal Infant Alcohol and Other Drugs


Kimberly Barrett - Registered Nurse

Kimberly Barrett

A keen traveller with you two young children, Kim Barrett is passionate about reducing the stigma of patients with drug and alcohol addictions and mental health issues. The 2022 Quality Award winner never thought she would get this level of recognition for her work. 

Kim is a Registered Nurse with The Tweed Hospital’s Opioid Treatment Program who says working with patients dealing with addiction was the best decision she ever made. 

Kim’s passion and advocacy for her patients and her work was recognized at the Northern NSW Local Health District 2022 Quality Awards where she was presented with the Collaborative Staff Member of the Year Award.  No one was more surprised than Kim to be recognised for the work she does.   

Read more of Kim's story in the Northern-Exposure

Team Day - Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Service 


Alison Renwick - Workforce Manager - Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 

Alison Renwick

From the cleaning team at a small hospital in the ‘90s, to the management team of the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs Service today, Alison Renwick has put her hand up for countless opportunities over a 30-year career in health. 

“After I finished my HSC as a 17 year old, I had no idea what I wanted to do,” Alison said. 

“I just wanted a job and I needed to earn money.” 

Alison’s working life with the health service began as a Hospital Assistant Trainee at Ballina District Hospital, doing cleaning, kitchen and linen duties. 

“A lot of my colleagues were middle aged women, and there were some pretty tough characters,” Alison said. 

“But I loved it, and I am still in contact with some of those people I cleaned with. We had some fabulous fun; the hijinks and pranks we got up to. It was a great start!”

Alison went on to work as a cleaner at Ballina for 12 years, having two sons during that time. Once her sons had grown enough, she was ready for her next challenge.  

A couple of TAFE courses in medical terminology and office procedures gave Alison the confidence to try her hand at administration work, starting with some volunteer experience at the hospital. 

Read more of Alison's story in the Northern-Exposure

Trish Collie - Addiction Medicine Physician, Alcohol and Drug Service


Mental Health Services in our District 

• Tallowwood Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit
• Kamala Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit
• Lilli Pili Older Persons Mental Health Unit 
• Community Mental Health Services

Tweed Heads
• Kurrajong Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit
• Community Mental Health Services

Byron Bay 
• Tuckeroo Sub-Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit
• Community Mental Health Services

• Community Mental Health Services

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
• Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams
• SafeGuards
• Child and Adolescent Specialist Eating Disorders Service
• Got It
• School Link
• Perinatal Infant Mental Health Service

Learn more about Mental Health Services in Northern NSW Local Health District.

MH Unit - Lismore


Alcohol and Other Drug Services in our District 

Career Pathways  

Djirruwang Aboriginal Mental Health Trainee Program

The Djirruwang Program is conducted through the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health at Charles Sturt University (CSU). CSU in NSW provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with an opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health).
The course was developed in collaboration with Aboriginal community-based organisations, the mental health industry and CSU to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The objectives of the Training Program are to: 
• increase the number of qualified Aboriginal Mental Health Workers in the workforce 
• increase the knowledge of mental health services staff about health beliefs and needs of Aboriginal people 
• improve the responsiveness of mental health services to the needs of Aboriginal consumers 
• improve the effectiveness of mental health services, including promotion, prevention, early detection, intervention and treatment for Aboriginal people and communities 
• increase the number of Aboriginal people accessing the range of mental health services

NNSWLHD Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs Services currently has three trainee positions working in the Community Mental Health teams in Grafton, Lismore and Tweed Heads.


Business Administration Traineeship 

Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drugs Services offers Administrative Traineeship opportunities in partnership with MEGT and TAFE NSW. Traineeships includes the opportunity to achieve a Certificate III in Business Administration qualification during the 12-month duration of the traineeship.

Trainees in MHAOD have a unique opportunity to work in a variety of work areas during their traineeship employment including corporate, inpatient and community settings. Our traineeship program is a highly successful non-clinical pathway and many of our graduates have been successfully appointed to permanent administrative positions across the Local Health District.


Mental Health GradStart Program

Mental Health Nursing Practice GradStart program is offered at:

  • The Tweed Hospital
  • Byron Central Hospital
  • Lismore Base Hospital

The program commences in February each year and offers permanent part-time or full-time positions. GradStart participants will have an opportunity to rotate through a number of differing clinical settings, including Acute Inpatient, Sub Acute, Child and Adolescent and Community Mental Health.

All Graduates are required to work a 7-day rotating roster, including morning, evening and night shifts.

The mental health GradStart Program is delivered in collaboration with Southern Cross University providing structured learning and group activities on key mental health topics.

Throughout the program participants are assessed on their learning in various ways including written assignments and oral presentations to peers. In addition to experiential and structured learning, participants will be supervised and mentored throughout the program. A certificate of completion will be issued to participants on satisfactory completion of the program content. The program aims to prepare participants to undertake higher degree study in the area of mental health such as Graduate Certificate or Masters.


Explore current career opportunities in Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs in Northern NSW. 



Alison Renwick
Workforce Manager - Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs 
E: Alison.Renwick@health.nsw.gov.au
P: 0447 605 277 or 02 6620 7967


Other related pages: 
Working in Northern NSW 
Rural Health Workforce Incentive Scheme 
Employee Benefits
Our Staff