Community Counselling Service

Professional counselling for at-risk  Sydney-siders

Mandala Community Counselling Service is  unique.  Mandala provides affordable, professional, ongoing counselling services to those most in need.

Mandala Story

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 continue. Mandala Community Counselling Service was then registered as an independent charitable organisation in 2003. Initially operated under the auspices of Centacare, Mandala became independently incorporated in October 2004.

Our first patron was the former Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, and the current patron is Professor Newman.

Mandala has always been a non-centralised organisation providing counselling where needed; in donated private rooms, or in association with other community organisations.  Ongoing premises in Ultimo were obtained in 2007 via an accommodation grant from the Sydney City Council.   

Quality clinical supervision is essential to the mission, vision and values of Mandala.  

As Mandala always has a waiting list of clients , increasing our number of counsellors is always a high priority. 

Mission Vision Values


Mandala’s vision is to alleviate distress and build resilience in vulnerable people. Mandala does this to maximise positive life outcomes and to prevent psychological damage to future generations.


Mandala’s mission is to provide, within Sydney, a community-based, not-for-profit organisation that offers a unique individualised professional counselling service to those most at need, for free, or at low-cost, for as long as needed. To achieve this we ensure our counsellors receive specialised training and clinical supervision to deliver the best service to our clients.


Mandala’s foundations are built upon the values of affordable, professional clinical treatment, which recognises the importance of a long term relationship with a professional therapist. Mandala is committed to ensuring clients receive the best quality and most appropriate supervised professional help. Thus we apply rigorous selection criteria to our counsellors and to strive to embody the highest professional and ethical standards at all levels of the organisation.

This involves: 

* The need to formulate, review and monitor standards of counselling services provided.

* To recruit and train new members on a regular basis. 

* To remain a charitable organisation that is committed to transparency and accountability in all its operation. 

* To provide an inclusive professional service to a diverse community. The representatives of Mandala value commitment, integrity and professionalism .

Our aims are

To provide relief of suffering and distress to those in the community who need counselling but are not able to afford the costs of counselling in the private sector.  Hence Mandala aims to assist those most at need to access long-term professional help. 

  • To make the service available to the public, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexuality or gender.  The service is limited solely by need, and those individuals who are in a position to access private counselling services will be referred on, reserving Mandala’s services for those who have fewer options.  
  • To provide the highest quality counselling service  Mandala ensures professional, regular supervision for all volunteer counsellors. Additionally it monitors and supports professional development and training. 
  • To recruit and train new members on a regular basis. 
    • To operate on a non-profit, charitable basis for the benefit of the community.


    Friends of Mandala

    Community Organisations

    • Sydney City Council
    • Pyrmont Ultimo Network of Services
    • Centacare
    • Legal Aid
    • Ultimo Community Centre
    •  Surry Hills Community Centre
    • Exodus Foundation
    • Leichhardt Women’s Health Service

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