Plenary Presenters

Julaine Allan

Julaine is Deputy CEO The Lyndon Community. She is a substance use researcher and practitioner with over thirty years’ experience in social work, family therapy, child protection and alcohol and other drug services. She provides clinical supervision to AOD and mental health practitioners, is a member of the Western NSW Partners In Recovery consortium, the Western NSW Homelessness Action Plan Committee and an associate member of the Orange Aboriginal Women’s Corporation. She also holds conjoint positions at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW and as a social work academic at Charles Sturt University.

Andrew Bruun

Andrew Bruun  is the Chief Executive Officer at Youth Support and Advocacy Service, the Director of The Centre for Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Practice Development and an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry.  He has worked in the field of adolescent health as practitioner, educator and researcher since the mid-1980s. His special interest is in young people and families experiencing alcohol and drug-related problems and is committed to enabling service providers and policy makers to better understand and respond to their needs.

Adjunct Professor Neils Buus

Adjunct Professor Niels Buus is the St. Vincent’s Chair of Mental Health Nursing at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at University of Sydney and adjunct professor at Faculty of Health at the University of Southern Denmark. His PhD, awarded by the University of Southern Denmark (2005), was an inquiry into communication between clinicians on mental health hospital wards. He has a broad research profile within mental health and health services research, which includes suicide prevention, treatment adherence to antidepressants, clinical supervision of mental health nurses, continuity of care and recovery-oriented health care delivery models.

Associate Professor David Caldicott

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. Dr. Caldicott designed and piloted the Welsh Emergency Department Investigation of Novel Substances (WEDINOS) project in the UK, a unique program using regional emergency departments as sentinel monitoring hubs for the emergence and spread of novel illicit products associated with harm. He has replicated this work in Australia with the ACT Investigation of Novel Substances (ACTINOS) Group. 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. He remains a staunch advocate for harm reduction, maintaining that drugs policy is an issue of public health, and not political morality.

Dr Daryl Chow

Daryl Chow, MA, Ph.D. (Psych) is a practicing psychologist and trainer. He is a senior associate of the International Center for Clinical Excellence (ICCE). He devotes his time to workshops, consultations and researches on the development of expertise and highly effective psychotherapists, helping practitioners to accelerate learning and improve client outcomes. His work is featured in two chapters of two edited books in 2017, Cycle of Excellence: Using Deliberate Practice to Improve Supervision and Training, and  Feedback-Informed Treatment in Clinical Practice: Reaching for Excellence. He is the author of several articles, a contributor to edited books, and the co-editor of The Write to Recovery: Personal Stories & Lessons about Recovery from Mental Health Concerns .  Daryl’s blog, Frontiers of Psychotherapist Development, is aimed at inspiring and sustaining practitioner’s individualised professional development. Currently, he maintains a private practice at Henry Street Centre, Fremantle, and continues to serve as a senior psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. In a previous life, he was a youth worker. He lives in Western Australia with his wife and two kids. He continues to obsess about the craft of psychotherapy and music. For more information, visit

Jessica Cocks

Jessica Cocks is a social worker and researcher with over 25 years’ experience in child and family practice including out-of-home care. She is the national practice lead for children, young people and families at Life Without Barriers. Jessica is the founding President of Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter, a parent and worker co-led organisation based in New South Wales, which promotes family inclusion and parent-led change in the child protection system. In 2018, Jessica completed a Churchill Fellowship researching family inclusion in child welfare in the USA, Canada, Norway and the UK.

Annette Coulter

Annette Coulter is an art psychotherapist, art educator and published author as well as an accredited (IDT) Interactive Drawing Therapy practitioner, trainer and supervisor. She is a Clinical Member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT), and a Clinical Registrant and Accredited Supervisor of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Her background includes working in child and family mental health, art education, child/adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy and family/couple therapy. Through the Centre for Art Psychotherapy she provides consultation, supervision, education and customised training for family therapists, relationship counsellors, art therapists and group leaders. She pioneered art therapy in Australia, Britain and south-east Asia and is a founder of the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA) and the International Networking Group of Art Therapists. Her publications include: The Introductory Guide to Art Therapy: Experiential Teaching and Learning for Students and Practitioners, 2014; Art Therapy ‘Down Under’: Perspectives on the Profession from Australia and New Zealand, 2015; Contemporary Art Therapy with Transient Youth, 2012.

Dr Kate Hall

Kate is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and academic who has specialised in the treatment of substance use and mental health issues for more than 17 years. She is a Senior Lecturer in Addiction and Mental Health at Deakin University and leads the Treatment stream for Deakin University’s Centre for Drug use, Addictive and Anti-social behaviour Research (CEDAAR). She is a clinical researcher whose current research involves the development of psychological interventions for disadvantaged young people that reduce emotion dysregulation. She runs a private clinical psychology practice in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr Bronwyn Milne

Dr Bronwyn Milne is a Pediatrician and Addiction Medicine Specialist working at the CICADA Center NSW, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. She has worked in Adolescent drug and alcohol services for more than 10 years and has a holistic approach, offering care and intervention for children and adolescents affected by drugs and alcohol. Her research interests include evidenced based interventions, models of care and early intervention for adolescents with substance use and co-morbidities.

Mary Jo McVeigh

Mary Jo McVeigh is the founder and director of Cara House, a place for healing, discovery and growth in Sydney. She is a trained trauma therapist and an accredited mental health social worker and has a passion for exploring and studying comprehensive bodies of knowledge, bringing this emphasis for diversity of wisdom to her work, creatively utilising it within her therapeutic and leadership practice. Mary Jo’s expertise has been sought on advisory panels. She has also written training programs for practitioners and managers. Mary Jo has published three innovative social work resources for working therapeutically with children and young people.

Associate Professor James Ward

James is of the Pitjantjatjara and Nurrunga peoples from Central and South Australia. He has extensive experience in sexual health and blood borne virus research, and alcohol and other drug use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and is recognised as Australia’s expert in the field of STI and BBV control among these populations. James is a member of a number of professional, technical and expert committees, including the Federal Ministerial Committee on STI and BBV and the Northern Territory Sexual Health Advisory Group He is regularly invited to present on his work at national and international conferences,. He is a current Board Member of the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine and is most interested in improving health and social outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Dr Trina Hinkley

Trina is an internationally recognised expert in child health behaviour and behaviour change. Her expertise includes identifying correlates of health behaviours, methods of measurement and development and implementation of behaviour change programs. In 2018, she transitioned into the AOD sector and now manages the research and translation teams at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. At the ADF, she also manages the Information Services portfolio of products, including online content, stakeholder and community engagement. Trina has harnessed the power of digital technology to deliver health behaviour change programs and support awareness raising in communities.

Dotahn Caspi

Dotahn Caspi is the Digital Manager at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and has worked in the digital realm for over ten years with a particular focus on user experience. Dotahn is particularly interested in how people interact with ideas, information and each other in an online space. He previously worked as a professional video artist in the club and rave scene for 10 years which sparked his interest in harm reduction and behaviour change using technology.

Trish Hepworth

Trish Hepworth is Director of Policy and Research for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, working with the policy, research and health promotion teams to develop strategic policy and research directions. Trish is responsible for the Foundation’s policy analysis and development, advocacy, research and research translation. A public policy specialist with a legal background, Trish has worked across non-for-profit, government and corporate sectors in five countries, and has consulted widely on strategic policy, government relations, research and analysis.

Jioji Ravulo

Jioji Ravulo is an Associate Professor - Social Work in the School of Health and Society, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong. He has an extensive history in working with young people and their families from diverse backgrounds within the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) field. This includes providing case management and counselling support, and creating empirical research on the varied attitudes of recreational and problematic consumption, and the associated role of help seeking behaviour.

Workshop Presenters

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has worked in the fields of health and education for the past 25 years. She is the Youth Drug and Alcohol Worker with the Shoalhaven Drug and Alcohol Service. Michelle has a Diploma of Paramedical Science, Bachelor of Teaching and a Master of Social Work. She is particularly passionate about early intervention and evidence based practice for young people with substance use and mental health conditions.

Dr Kate Bowles

Dr Kate Bowles is the Associate Dean for  Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong. Kate is the Senior Lecturer for Communication and Media Studies at University of Wollongong. Her research focuses on the emerging social media cultures, media practice and the use of cultural mapping tools. In her teaching she is interested in the impact of locality on media practices. Kate is passionate about valuing stories of individuals and strongly believes that understanding individual experiences and sharing of these can have impacts and implications for the story teller and for those it is being shared with.

Professor Joseph Ciarrochi

Joseph Ciarrochi is a Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, Australian Catholic University.  Joseph has published over 130 scientific journal articles and many books. His books include Get out of your mind and into your life teens; Thriving Adolescent;  Acceptance, and Positive Psychology: The seven foundations of well-being, and Emotional intelligence: A practitioner’s guide. He has been honoured with over four million dollars in research funding. His research focuses understanding and promoting flexible strength (or psychological flexibility). Flexible strength is the ability to use psychological skills in a way that promotes personal growth and builds vitality and valued action. The psychological skills that support flexible strength have been given many labels, including: emotional intelligence, mindfulness, emotional awareness, value clarity, self-compassion, growth mindset, creativity, willpower, resilience, persistence, and grit.

Emily Deegan

Emily Deegan has worked in various roles within human services in the ACT and Wollongong for the last 11 years, the past six of which have been within the Youth Drug and Alcohol team, Illawarra Drug and Alcohol Services. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science (Psychology), Graduate Diploma in Youth Mental Health and is currently completing a Masters Degree in Social Work (Professional Qualifying). She is passionate about helping young people reach full potential and in dispelling myths and negative attitudes towards drug use in our communities.

Dr Scott Griffiths

Dr Scott Griffiths is an NHMRC Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He leads the Physical Research Appearance Team, an award-winning research group in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences investigating how our physical appearance impacts our everyday lives. Scott and his team are currently conducting population-scale and clinical research on muscle dysmorphia and anabolic-androgenic steroid dependence.

Associate Professor Peter Kelly

Associate Professor Peter Kelly is a mid-career researcher at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and the School of Psychology, University of Wollongong. He is an experienced clinical psychologist and has worked extensively within the alcohol and other drug sector. He has managed ISLHD adult and youth drug and alcohol teams and was the Chief Executive Officer of Kedesh Rehabilitation Services. He has been the recipient of National and State awards including the Excellence in Research Award (National Drug and Alcohol Awards) and the Excellence in Research and Evaluation (NSW Non-government Drug and Alcohol Awards).

Dr Kelly Lambert

Kelly Lambert works with Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. Her PhD work focused on effectively delivering health messages and education to patients. Kelly is passionate about changing the way health professionals deliver messages to patients. She holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) research fellowship to develop and implement a new model of care  based on health literacy principles.

Kelly has extensive teaching experience and has also supervised more than 50 research students, including students from medical science, graduate medicine and other faculties.

Ellen Panaretos

Ellen Panaretos is a committed health professional with thirty years’ experience in health promotion and public health. Ellen has worked in a range of roles in local, regional and state government and her main area of interest lies in building healthy communities. Ellen is a Senior Community Development Officer with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and leads the Foundation’s Local Drug Action Team Program in New South Wales.  The Program provides the support and resources local communities need to develop their own community action plans and deliver activities that address alcohol and other drug harms.  Much of Ellen’s work has been building support systems and structures where children and young people have the opportunity to reach their potential.   Ellen has been responsible for the implementation of various models of peer support in the context of improving help seeking behaviours.

Dr Katinka van de Ven

Dr Katinka van de Ven is a Research Fellow as part of the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC). She specialises in the use and supply of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs). She regularly acts as a consultant regarding PIED policy for various government bodies such as the Health Care Inspectorate in the Netherlands and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK and provides PIED workshops to healthcare professionals in various countries. Katinka is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University. She is an Associate Editor of Performance Enhancement and Health and the Director of the Human Enhancement Drug Network (HEDN) which aims to provide evidence-based information, share knowledge and experience and provide harm reduction and human enhancement drug (HED) education. Her research areas include alcohol and other drug use, treatment service systems, drugs and the internet, drug policy, harm reduction, performance and image enhancing drugs, anti-doping, health, nutrition and sports.

Lucia Vellar

Lucia is the Health Literacy and Diversity Health Manager for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Health District. Throughout her working life spanning over 30 years, Lucia’s passion has been to make health more accessible and equitable for all. Lucia believes health organisations have a responsibility to work with consumers to create systems and processes that are easy to use and understand. Lucia, is actively involved with programs and systems to enhance consumer and carer understanding and experience. She has being instrumental in implementing ISLHD’s Health Literacy Framework, Patient Information Portal and Health Literacy Ambassador and Way-finding programs to improve the health literacy environment of this District.

William Wood

William is a Clinical Nurse Consultant at the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre and has more than 15 years clinical experience in mental health, emergency care, and in the alcohol and other drug field. His primary areas of expertise and research interest are harm reduction and safer injection. William has been running regular safer injecting workshops for the alcohol and other drug sector for many years. In response to the increasing demand for Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs (PIED) information, he developed a workshop module for healthworkers on safer PIED and has organised safer injection clinics. Will is a passionate advocate for equitable access to health care.

Preconference Workshop Presenters

Dr Coralie Wales

Dr Coralie Wales is the Manager of Community and Consumer Partnerships for Western Sydney Local Health District and in that role advocates for consumers to inform health system change. Coralie is the founder and current President of Chronic Pain Australia. Coralie has a deep understanding of the consumer experience of stigma, illness and  disability. On behalf of Chronic Pain Australia she convenes National Pain Week annually, aiming to de-stigmatise the experience of pain. Her work has been published in the Medical Journal of Australia. She has presented her research about Consumer experiences at the International Society for Quality in Healthcare Conference and has received awards for her work in Community Achievement and Co-design in Australia and also Internationally. In her spare time she likes to watch British TV drama and dance the tango.

Kerrie O’Leary

Kerrie has worked as the ISLHD Healthcare Redesign Lead since 2014 supporting clinical teams to undertake service redesign. Kerrie’s first experiences in Redesign were as a clinical nurse consultant in 2004, and since this time Kerrie has led service redesign in a variety of clinical settings. A key focus of Redesign methods is partnering with consumers to understand their experiences of healthcare and co-designing solutions for improvement. Kerrie has extensive experience in designing models of care including experience in developing national and state-wide safety and quality initiatives. Kerrie is currently an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Tasmania’s Graduate Certificate in Clinical Redesign training program.

Samantha Frain

Executive Director, Northcott Innovation
M.App.Sc (Developmental Disability), B.App.Sc (Occupational Therapy), Dip Business Management
Sam is passionate about collaborating with people with disability, their families/carers and communities in order to grow, trial and implement creative solutions that create meaningful and inclusive change. Underpinning her approach is a clinical background in Occupational Therapy, an understanding of human centred design methodologies, and limitless curiosity. Sam’s career as an Occupational Therapist started in the fields of early intervention and complex/multiple disabilities, she then expanded into assistive technology and the unspoken space of disability and sexuality. Sam’s career then branched out into management, business development and innovation.  As Executive Director of Northcott Innovation (NI), Sam and the NI team create unexpected ideas that seek to transform inclusion and participation by co-designing solutions alongside people with disability, their families/carers, frontline workers, professionals and local communities.