Home » City Health Australia Asia-Pacific Conference 2019: Guest Speakers

City Health Australia Asia-Pacific Conference 2019: Guest Speakers


Samuel Andrews

New Zealand

Samuel has been with the Drug Foundation for the past five years, initially as an intern while completing an honours degree in sociology. As Harm Reduction Projects Adviser, he supports community responses to alcohol and other drugs, leads a culture change programme with the New Zealand Defence Force, and helped to establish drug checking at music festivals. Currently based in Auckland, he is completing a Masters of Health Science with a focus on reducing drug-related harm within the gay community.


Julie Bates


Julie is the principal of Urban Realists, a town planning, health and safety consultancy providing advice and support to non government organisations representing sex workers and people who use drugs illicitly. She provides specialist advice to the NSW sex industry and other stakeholders on various aspects of legislation and local government regulation, health promotion, harm reduction and research needs. Over the years she has also participated in a number of social research and evaluation projects including investigating community development needs for sex workers, evaluation of health promotion resource materials for organisations representing sex workers and people who use drugs illicitly.


Rebecca Bates


Rebecca has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Criminology and is currently a research assistant within the Violence, Alcohol and Nightlife team, Public Health Institute. It is through her current position within the institute that she has gained an increasing interest in violence related research, particularly in sexual violence, alcohol research and adverse childhood experiences. Rebecca has experience working on several research projects including; studies investigating the sale of alcohol to customers who are drunk in the night-time economy, Drink Less Feel Good, which aims to tackle high alcohol consumption and encourage people to drink less alcohol and a WHO project (Violence Information) which addresses five major violence types.


Sam Biondo


Sam has been Executive Officer at the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association since 2007. He was previously employed by Fitzroy Legal Service since 1989. With a background in education, social work and criminology his principal work has involved social research, the preparation and production of educational and training materials, community development, and advocacy work. Sam has a keen interest in social justice and open and transparent systems of institutional accountability. He has been involved on a number of community sector Boards, reference committees, and NGO associations.


David Caldicott


Associate Professor David Caldicott is an Emergency Consultant at the Emergency Department of the Calvary Hospital in Canberra and a Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the Australian National University. He is a spokesperson for the Australian Science Media Centre on issues of illicit drug use and the medical response to terrorism and disasters. He has published widely in the peer-reviewed literature, and presents nationally and internationally on the subject of the use of the emergency department as an observatory for the surveillance of novel psychotropic substances as they evolve, as well as their effects in acute overdose.


Edward Chandler


Edward is an AOD worker from Alice Springs and is from Luritja and Western Arrente blood lines and has a cinematic story like no other to share. Originally one of the participants supported by the Methamphetamine Through Care program during his recovery and incarceration, Edward has gone on from this to work for BRADAAG in Tennant Creek and is undertaking his Diploma in AOD through RMIT and offers a huge array of skills for all the residents in the Rehab facility where he was originally placed in the program himself only to excel and be offered a job there by the CEO where he remains to this day. Edward is a proud and loving father and will be an asset to this sector for years to come.


Nico Clark


Dr Nico Clark is the Medical Director of Victoria’s first Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) based at North Richmond Community Health Centre. The MSIR opened 30 June 2018, some twenty years after the NSW facility was open at Kings Cross in Sydney. Dr Clark obtained his medical degree from the University of Melbourne and decided on a career as an addiction medicine expert. He holds positions as an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at Adelaide University and is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and has a Master of Public Health from Monash University. Currently, he is the head of Addiction Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.


Adam Drake


An advocate for young people and a long-term Territorian, Adam Drake founded Balanced Choice in 2014 to improve outcomes for young people in the justice system. Drawing on his 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry together with his training in acting and directing, Adam has designed unique programs that tie together fitness, team building and psychology to help troubled children make positive choices. Using a method called Hope Theory with the detainees at the Don Dale Detention Centre, Adam gives the children an avenue to share their goals and discuss ways to achieve them. Meeting with senior politicians, Adam is advocating for a mentoring program for troubled youth. He works with organisations such as the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and the Legal Aid Commission and inspires many as a motivational speaker. He has a passion for people at the margins of our community and never gives up on a client, no matter what they are going through.


Penelope Drummond


“My rationale is not very sophisticated, I’m afraid. I will perhaps be stating the obvious to some, whilst simultaneously courting the contempt of others. I find that when I am in conversation with others about the drug-taking culture we have become, I am usually talking to people with a personal experience, a family member or friend. It is personal. Whilst drugs continue to be sourced from the black market, should my children ever become addicted, I want them to inject safely. I want them to survive in the hope of recovery. My child is every mother’s child.”


Carlo Fabian


Carlo Fabian is a Professor, Senior Researcher and Project Leader at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. He has a degree in Health and Social Psychology, is a Specialist Psychologist in Health Psychology (FSP) and has a Master of Advanced studies (MAS) in Coaching Studies. After several years as researcher and lecturer at the University of Zurich, the Swiss Institute for Health and Addiction Research and the FHNW, he worked at RADIX, a Swiss not-for-profit organisation, where he developed and implemented many projects in municipalities with a focus on participation. Since 2011 he has led projects at the FHNW addressing the subject of urban development, participatory planning and well-being.


Adrian Farrugia


Adrian is a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University. Adrian’s research focuses on understandings of ‘addiction’ and health, young people’s drug consumption, drug education and other health interventions. Adrian’s current research is on the impediments to the uptake of take-home naloxone in Australia.

Jason Ferris


Associate Professor Jason Ferris is a drug and alcohol epidemiologist and biostatistician with almost 20 years of public health research experience. He has a growing international reputation for his significant research contributions to advancing knowledge around drug and alcohol epidemiology and diverse statistical methods of analysis. A/Prof Ferris leads a program of innovative research at the intersection of Substance Use and Mental Health, at the University of Queensland (UQ). His extensive research portfolio represents his efforts to increase public understanding of the harmful impacts of substances on the mental and physical health of Australians. He is also leads the Research and Statistical Support Service (RASSS).

Loretta Gabriel


Loretta tried for 10 years to keep her heroin-addicted child alive. Sam died in a laneway in North Richmond on August 11th, 2016.


Geoff Gallop


Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC was a Member of the Western Australian Parliament for 20 years including 10 years as party leader and 5 years as State Premier. From 2006 until 2015 Geoff was the Director of Sydney University’s Graduate School of Government. He is currently a patron of City Health International, and an advocate for Harm Reduction Australia.


Chris Gough


Mr Chris Gough is the Executive Officer of the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA) and the Connection Aboriginal Health Service. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Honours in developmental parasitology from the University of Queensland. He has over ten years of experience in the blood borne virus and alcohol, tobacco and other drug sector, including voluntary work as a peer educator within regional cities in NSW, holding staff positions as NSP Outreach Worker and Peer Education Co-ordinator at NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA), Health Education Officer at the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) and has demonstrated his skill in community development.


Lz Inch

New Zealand

Liz Inch has been the communications manager at Northland DHB for the past seven and a half years. Liz holds the position of communications lead for Te Ara Oranga and produced the Te Ara Oranga ‘Let’s Make a Change’ music video and a series of social media ‘Tips for Change’ and ‘Handy Hints’ video clips with the Northland community.


Nick Kent


Nick is a passionate advocate for social justice through innovation in health and education policy. With a background in teaching, Nick has conducted research in drug and health education while working in both the secondary education system and harm reduction service provision. Nick now lead Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia, empowering students to engage with innovation and reform in drug policy. His passion for social justice includes ongoing research in mental health, education and indigenous policy.

Daniel Lloyd


Danny is an AOD clinician working out of the Central Desert in Alice springs for Drug and Alcohol Services Australia co-managing a unique Methamphetamine Outreach Program in and around the red centre. With a background of lived experience through addiction and educated through RMIT Danny has been working in the sector for 6 years with Youth and adult addiction and co-morbidity his controversial and innovative approach has become a mainstay with helping his clients out of addiction and into empowerment and change. This program it has become a foundation for success through the criminal justice system and given a platform for the program to advocate for change in thinking around addiction as a community in recovery not an individual.


Bobbi Lockyer


A proud mother of four sons, living a semi -traditional lifestyle identifying with her ancestral bloodlines Ngarluma and Karriyarra in the Pilbara and Nyulnyul, Yawuru and Jaru people in Kimberley in Western Australia. Her sons are her absolute source of inspiration and love for photography and art, her reason for being alive and loving, and naming her business Four Oceans Photography. Bobbi’s work and voluntary experience includes artist, graphic designer, and photographer. Bobbi is a renowned, published and reviewed local, national and global photographer. Aa an award-winning artist, feature articles described her work as ground-breaking, revolutionary and artistic.


Kahlie Lockyer


Connects and identifies with her ancestral bloodlines Ngarluma and Karriyarra in the Pilbara and Nyulnyul, Yawuru and Jaru people in Kimberley in Western Australia. Her passion and love are her children and family, fishing and healing ‘on country’. Kahlie is studying a Bachelor of Science at University of Western Australia and aspires to study medicine, specialising in paediatrics. Inspired from her experience nursing and caring for her second child in NICU/PICU with congenital medical issues, she developed resilience through the trauma in recovery and survival care for him. In addition, her natural artistic skills and her work experience as a graphic designer in an Aboriginal language centre.


Sylvia Lockyer


Sylvia is an Indigenous woman with Ngarluma, Karriyarra and Nyul-Nyul, Yawuru ancestry, raised in the Pilbara and Kimberley indigenous community and completed a BSc in Nursing from Curtin University. She completed an internship at Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2016 and still works in indigenous health.


Nathan MacDonald


Nathan is Principal Policy Lawyer at the Law Council of Australia, working primarily on issues relating to access to justice, criminal law, and policy matters affecting courts and tribunals. Prior to joining the Law Council, Nathan worked in the community legal sector where he provided advice and training to a wide range of not-for-profit community organisations, as well as working with commercial firms to encourage and broker pro bono support. He has also worked with asylum seekers in the past, including assisting refugee applicants in several remote detention facilities. In 2017, Nathan successfully completed a Masters of Comparative Law at McGill University in Canada.


Luke Nicholson


A Nganyaywana man from East coast of NSW. Having grown up on a mission with extended family before reconnecting to his parents in Queensland, Luke has developed a resilience to trauma and empowered himself to overcome many obstacles, by living off the land, 4-wheel driving, fishing and hunting. As a young Aboriginal man in Australia with barriers of racism, inequity and inequality already stacked against him due to racial profiling and systemic injustices, Luke has powered through establishing a sound work ethic and skilled himself in mechanics and engineering and other handyman life skills, completing several industry certificates working in the Pilbara mining industry for a time.


David MacKintosh


David MacKintosh is the Head of Community Safety for the City of London, and has also been the Policy Adviser/Director to the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum (LDAPF) since 2001. He has been involved in a number of innovative campaigns around issues including drug driving, substance misuse in the workplace and improving awareness around drug safety in clubs and pubs. The LDAPF is funded by the City of London as part of its commitment to improving the life of all those who live and work in London. For the last eight years he has also been seconded to the Greater London Authority to provide advice around substance use issues and health inequalities.


Stephen McGhie


Steve has dedicated his life to public service. He became a paramedic in 1981, serving the communities of Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Sunshine and St Albans. In 2008, Steve was elected to the position of President of the National Council of Ambulance Unions and served it’s 4,000 members until 2018.


Fiona McLeod


Fiona McLeod SC is a Senior Counsel at the independent Bar in Australia practising in the areas of commercial and public law matters. She appears in jury and judge-alone trials and appeals and is also briefed in common law and criminal matters. Fiona is recognised for her clear legal advice, advocacy and strategic thinking. She has been a champion for diversity and inclusion and has received numerous awards, including for her contribution to the advancement of women and human rights issues, in particular, human trafficking. She was appointed to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2014 and was awarded the AWL Woman Lawyer of the Year in 2018.


Peter Miller


Peter Miller is Professor of Violence Prevention and Addiction Studies at the School of Psychology, Deakin University. Peter has recently completed three of the largest studies ever conducted into licensed venues, comparing 11 Australian cities (and Wellington, NZ) over 5 years and talking to more than 15,000 patrons.


Jewel Reti

New Zealand

Jewel Reti – Alcohol and Other Drugs Nurse Specialist. Jewel is a registered nurse with 23 years’ experience and has worked in the addiction field for 18 years. Jewel is the Northland DHB Project Manager for Te Ara Oranga and is the clinical co-ordinator for Te Ara Oranga and the Opioid Substitution Service for Northland.


Gavin Ryan


Gavin has worked in leadership roles in not-for-profit, private enterprise and Government both in Australia and overseas. He has sat on various business and community boards, among them community health providers, running community campaigns. Gavin worked for many years as part of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum. In late 2018, Gavin joined with health professionals, researchers and public health advocates in forming the Progressive Public Health Alliance, an alliance that works to advocate and campaign across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region for universal publicly funded healthcare, and evidence based best practice in harm reduction and the detection, treatment and prevention of non-communicable diseases.


Judy Ryan


Residents for Victoria Street Drug Solutions (RVSDS). She started a grassroots community campaign for a Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) trial in 2016 in response to the escalating injecting drug crisis in her community: Judy was with a young woman when she fatally overdosed on Victoria Street. The RVSDS doorknocked the impacted residents, organised community education sessions in a local warehouse, and lobbied politicians. The “March to Save Lives rally” in August 2017 was the turning point of the campaign, with the Victorian Government announcing that a MSIR trial would commence in June 2018. Judy is a member of the Local Reference Group for the MSIR trial.


Skye Richmond


Identifies with her ancestral bloodlines Ngarluma and Karriyarra in the Pilbara and Nyulnyul, Yawuru and Jaru people in Kimberley in Western Australia. During her secondary experiences at Wellington High School in New Zealand and John Curtin College of Arts and Presbyterian Ladies College in Perth she faced obstacles and discrimination but was a spearhead for change and advocacy for Aboriginal cultural safety and awareness. Awarded an AIEF Scholarship in PLC and BHP Scholarship at Curtin University, Skye graduated at Curtin in 2018 with a Bachelor Arts and is an Aboriginal film maker and maintains her family connections to be a grassroots film storyteller. Skye currently studying a Masters in Community Development at Murdoch University.


Nancy Sutthoff

New Zealand

Nancy is passionate about consumers having their voices heard in the narrative of THR and public health policy and is currently involved in two major movements in THR. She is one of the founders of and co-directors of AVCA NZ – the first consumer only advocacy organisation for users of electronic cigarettes, and other SNP, in New Zealand. She is the Executive Coordinator for the Coalition of Asia Pacific Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA). As the principal of Paraclete Associates Limited, Nancy provides policy guidance/consultation to the wider THR stakeholders such as public health officials, e liquid manufacturing companies and the independent vape industry with regards to policy development and advocacy advice and mentoring.


David Sweanor


David Sweanor is an adjunct professor, Faculty of Law, and chair of the advisory board of the Centre for Health Law, Policy & Ethics at the University of Ottawa and has been actively involved in tobacco and health policy issues since the beginning of the 1980s. He has worked globally, and with numerous groups, including the International Union Against Cancer, World Health Organization, World Bank and the Pan American Health Organization and played a key role in achieving many global precedents in tobacco policy. He currently focuses much of his tobacco and nicotine related efforts on risk reduction strategies.


Hal Swerissen


Professor Hal Swerissen has an extensive and distinguished record of achievement in health policy research and analysis. He has held senior executive positions as Pro Vice Chancellor (Regional) and Executive Dean of Health Sciences at La Trobe University. He has been a senior advisor to Commonwealth and State governments and has conducted a range of policy and research studies and inquiries. He has published more than 100 academic papers and research reports.


Ingrid van Beek


Dr Ingrid van Beek is a public health and addiction medicine physician who has worked at the sharp end of harm reduction for the past 30 years. She was the Director of Sydney’s Kirketon Road Centre, which is among the world’s most comprehensive primary health care services for ‘at risk’ young people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs. She was also the founding Medical Director of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, which was the first service of this kind in Australia. Ingrid was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in recognition of her contribution to public health in 2010.


Michael Varnam

New Zealand

Michael Varnam is an Acting Detective Inspector in the New Zealand Police. He commenced working for Police in 2006, qualifying as a Detective in Christchurch in 2012. He has worked in frontline policing investigations, organised crime targeting, prevention and project/programme roles. He is currently the Programme Manager of the multi-agency New Zealand Gang Strategy, formerly the Gang Action Plan.


Gino Vumbaca


Gino Vumbaca is the Principal of 3V Consulting Services. Mr Vumbaca has extensive experience in the HIV/ AIDS and drug and alcohol fields both in Australia and internationally. He is a Churchill Fellow, has completed a Social Work degree and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Sydney and is a qualified Company Director. Mr Vumbaca is the former Executive Director of the Australian National Council on Drugs – a position he held for over 15 years. Mr Vumbaca also continues to provide advice on prisons, HIV and drug issues for international organisations such as the United Nations & World Health Organisation.


Nick Wallis


Nick Wallis is a broadcaster and drug law reform advocate who produces the weekly radio show Enpsychedelia on Melbourne’s 3CR. He developed a strong interest in harm reduction for all people who use drugs, volunteering with Harm Reduction Victoria’s DanceWize program and working at many music festivals and events. Nick worked on novel psychoactive substance issues with the Eros Association and ran for parliament twice with the Australian Sex Party (now Reason Party) and was heavily involved with the development of its early drug policy. Nick is one of the founders of the Australian Psychedelic Society. Nick is a father of two young children and loving partner to Kula.


Sarah Wilson


Sarah is a transgender woman who grew up in eastern Australia. She will present on her experiential insights into opioid and drug use in Australia in the context of law, human rights, poverty, homelessness, rough sleeping, street-base population groups, overdose mortality, health and harm reduction. Sarah is an occasional client of the MSIR in North Richmond.


Alex Wodak


Dr Alex Wodak AM is a retired physician who is now President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. he works full time on drug law reform as a volunteer. Together with colleagues, he started the first needle syringe programme (1986) and the first medically supervised injecting centre (1999) in Australia when both were pre-legal. Dr Wodak was President of the International Harm Reduction Association (1996-2004). He has been interested in tobacco harm reduction since 1992 but only active in THR in recent years. Dr Wodak helped to start the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (1987).


Mark Zirnsak


Dr Mark Zirnsak is the Senior Social Justice Advocate, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia. He is a member of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council, the Victorian Liquor Control Advisory Council, the Attorney General’s National Roundtable on Slavery and Human Trafficking, the Victorian Alcohol Policy Coalition, the Australian Open Government Forum, the Asia-Pacific Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography and Chair of the Victorian Inter-Church Gambling Taskforce. Mark is also a member of the Secretariat for the Tax Justice Network​ in Australia and is actively involved in the anti-corruption movement Transparency International Australia.

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