Mandala Community Counselling Service was registered as an independent charitable organisation in 2003 and operated under the auspices of Centacare until it became independently incorporated in October 2004.  Whilst Mandala did not come into being until 2003, the counselling team has been making a difference in peoples’ lives since 1997, originally as part of Lifeline.  When the Lifeline face-to-face counselling service closed in 2003 due to financial constraints, the counsellors  established Mandala to ensure that the valuable work would be continued, and that those clients who were in crisis and receiving on-going counselling were offered the opportunity to continue this free of charge.


The first female Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, is known internationally for her passion and love of humanity and fairness to all.  Professor Bashir granted her patronage to Mandala Community Counselling in 2005.


From 2003 to 2006 Mandala continued the close association with Centacare using the Centacare premises in Surry Hills for management meetings and counseling sessions.  Since 2007, Mandala has received similar support from Exodus House in Ashfield.  However, Mandala has always been a non-centralised organisation providing counselling where needed in donated private rooms or in association with other community organisations.  Premises in Ultimo were obtained in 2007 via an accommodation grant from the Sydney City Council which has been renewed on more than one occasion and is still ongoing now.  Additionally other community organisations, such as Leichhardt Women’s Health Service have provided Mandala with premises for counselling, and other counsellors work from their own private practice premises.


Quality clinical supervision is essential to the mission, vision and values of Mandala.  Ms Celia Conolly, a counselling psychologist with over 23 years of experience, has been Clinical Supervisor of the group since it began working together in the mid 1990s.  She was joined by Ms Lorraine Rose as an additional Clinical Supervisor in 2007, and then by Ms Lyn Cottier and Mr Peter Blake following an intake of new counsellors in 2008.


A new intake of counsellors was trained in 2008, and another training course will begin in 2011.  As Mandala always has a waiting list of clients needing our services, increasing our number of counsellors is always a high priority.  Counsellors who graduate from the 2011 Training Course will begin offering counselling sessions in early 2012.