Welcome to the Gathering Place.
We are delighted to share this beautiful place of peace, meditation, contemplation,
healing, renewal and learning.
Interested in venue hire? Skip to booking form >>
The history of the Gathering Place
The Brigidine sisters established this as a convent in the 1950s. When the convent closed, the Gathering Place was then created as a retreat and spirituality centre with a contemplative focus in 1994 by Meryl Bollard and Sister Lorraine Gatehouse.
It has been lovingly cared for as a place of contemplation, renewal and healing for over 30 years and has played a very important role in our community.
Simply Mindful was invited to take on the management and vision of the Gathering Place in 2019 and a new chapter of the Gathering Place began in mid 2020. This is now the home of Simply Mindful: Canberra Mindfulness Centre and our mindfulness programs. We are honoured to be here.
The Gathering Place is cool and has its own wacky vibe, being a former convent, and the garden has its own charm and character. — Weekend Retreat participant
The Gathering Place is nestled in a quiet neighbourhood, five minutes by car from the city centre. It is walking distance to the Dickson shops, local eateries, swimming pool, Dickson wetlands and the Mount Majura Nature Reserve.
4 Bancroft Street
Dickson ACT 2602
For program participants
When you register for our MBSR program, yoga classes or any of our other programs, you will receive an email with directions to the Gathering Place. If it’s your first time, please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to ensure that you give yourself enough time to find us and settle in.
Parking is available on Bancroft street or in the church car park (St Brigid’s) next door to the Gathering Place. Entry to the church carpark is off Wilshire St. Please don’t park in the driveway unless you need special access or have mobility issues. There is a pathway from the church carpark to the Gathering Place driveway. There is a bike rack located at the side of the building halfway down the driveway.
Once you enter through the front door, you will make your way to your practice room. This will typically be either the large meeting room (former chapel) or the Garden Room. We ask that you leave your shoes outside the room.
During walking meditations, we use the garden whenever weather permits.
Restrooms are located on the ground floor and upper floor, which is accessible by a staircase. There is also a kitchen with hot water, fridge and microwave, where you can store any items if your program includes a tea/meal break.
A serene and welcoming environment. It’s hard to believe you’re still in Canberra. — Silent Retreat participant
urban retreat centre
A garden oasis nestled in the heart of inner north Canberra.
Each bedroom has a single bed, cupboard, desk, chair, lamp, mirror and sink. All beds have electric blankets, doonas, pillows and 2 spare blankets. There are shared unisex bathrooms and toilets.
Although the Gathering Place is now a secular space, you will spot some reminders of its Catholic origins.
Our walls frequently display the work of talented local artists.
Stroll through our secluded garden, or find a quiet shady spot to rest a while.
The winding paths of the labyrinth create a safe space for personal reflections and contemplation.
The Gathering Place offers a safe, peaceful, welcoming and reflective environment in the National Capital. It has one medium and one large meeting room, simple accommodation (single bedrooms) and a beautiful garden. It also has a simple kitchen and dining area, bathrooms and showers. All facilities are clean and well maintained.
The Gathering Place offers some elements of the monastic traditions such as simplicity, meditation, reflection and learning, in a contemporary way.
We appreciate the willingness of all hirers to respect the Gathering Place and its purpose and to maintain it as a place of peace and healing.
Who we hire to
These are some of the events we have hosted in the past.
- Visual arts workshops
- Day retreats for small businesses and non-profit organisations
- Private meditation sessions for individuals or small groups
- Yoga classes
- Parenting programs
- Health and wellbeing workshops
- Choir rehearsals
- Memorial services
Note that we are not a suitable venue for birthday parties or very large gatherings.
If you would like to enquire about booking the Gathering Place for your event or activity, please fill out the form below.