This Conference aims to engage participants in active discussions related to the content of the Conference. The Conference is divided into four sessions, each of which includes opportunities for participant engagement.

The program will include:

Please note this is a preliminary program and subject to change.


For further details on the conference please download the Conference Handbook which will be available via PDF on this website in the near future


Master of Ceremonies

Ingrid Cumming

Ingrid Cumming is a custodian and traditional owner of Whadjuk Nyungar country who has worked in many areas including national and local Indigenous media, consultancy, marketing and communications, state health, the arts, anthropological research, training and education. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Australian Indigenous Studies at Murdoch University, Ingrid has also graduated from the Management and Academic Leadership Program, presented at the 2007 International Anti–Racism Conference, came 3rd in the National Indigenous Comedy Competition – Deadly Funnies, selected to attend the National stakeholders forum for the FaCHSIA National Healing Foundation in 2009 and the Oxfam Australia Strait Talk Summit and the National Brilliant Young Minds Summit 2010. Ingrid has also been an advisor for post-graduate research and the Virgin Unite project for Virgin Australia. Ingrid recently travelled to Israel and presented a paper on women and youth equality with the United Nations. She is also a performer and teacher of Nyungar women’s dances, language and cultural practices and mentor and young leader in the Nyungar Community. Her aspirations are to be the first Aboriginal Woman Prime Minister, to inspire, mentor and lead youth into positions of leadership, to promote reconciliation and encourage the idea that positive minds and actions create positive futures.

Session 1

Leading the Way in Policy - Harm Reduction - morning of 20 March 2018

This session focuses on drug policy which includes discussions on harm reduction.

The program includes invited speakers with expertise in alcohol and other drug policy, followed by a panel discussion featuring the invited speakers and local experts.

Session 1 Confirmed Speakers

Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Professor Chikritzhs leads the Alcohol Policy Research team at the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University. She has qualifications in epidemiology and biostatistics, 20 years experience in alcohol research and a national profile as an expert in her field. She was a recipient of the Commonwealth Health Ministers Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research. She has published over 230 peer reviewed journal articles, reports and book chapters on evaluations of alcohol policy and alcohol epidemiology. Professor Chikritzhs is regularly invited to contribute to public debate on alcohol issues in the media and has contributed to hundreds of radio, television and newspaper articles.

ginopicGino Vumbaca, President Harm Reduction Australia, NSW

Gino Vumbaca is President and Co-Founder of Harm Reduction Australia. He 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. He is the former Executive Director of the Australian National Council on Drugs, previously worked in prisons, and was involved in the establishment of Australia’s first NSP. He is a Director of Justice Reinvestment NSW and President of the largest AOD NGO in Macau.

ginopicWill Tregoning, Founder and Director of Unharm Australia, NSW

Will's professional experience is in drug and alcohol program evaluation, social policy research, communications and campaigning. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and a PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney before beginning a career as a research and evaluation consultant to Australian government departments and agencies. Will’s personal and professional experience made him aware of scale, patterns and demographics of prohibited substance use across Australia, the barriers to good policy, and the need for new approaches. He founded Unharm in 2014 to work with communities of activists to promote policy innovation, wellbeing and practices of care.


Session 2:

Embracing New Opportunities - Criminal Justice – afternoon of 20 March 2018

This session features a key note presentation from an International speaker from the field of criminal justice.

This session also includes concurrent sessions where oral papers focussed on criminal justice are presented. Following the concurrent sessions, there will be a facilitated discussion.

Session 2 Confirmed Speaker

Michael Barton, Chief Constable, Durham Constabulary, UK

Michael has led new ways of tackling organised criminals with local beat officers and police community support officers through challenging traditional ways of policing and encouraging paradigm shifts. Durham is now recognised as a leading force in tackling serious and organised crime as well as managing offenders. A glance at the most recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Police Effectiveness, Efficiency and Legitimacy inspection will show a police force at the top of its game with an enviable slew of outstanding grades. He attributes this to inspired and positive staff that have their feet on the ground and a burning desire to look after victims of crime and anti-social behaviour. The most often repeated phrase of visitors to Durham Constabulary is ‘it feels different here!’

Michael has long been a keen exponent of problem-orientated policing and integrated offender management, including restorative justice, and has successfully embedded these concepts in Lancashire and Durham. He is the National Policing Lead for Crime and intends to use this position to ensure British Policing is in the vanguard of tackling crime on the internet.

Michael has attracted a degree of media attention through his advocacy for a ‘grown up’ debate on drugs – challenging the efficacy of outright prohibition. He at his worst has been described as a maverick and at his best as a maverick. He has enjoyed a few scrapes and still pinches himself every morning that someone asked him to be a Chief Constable.


Session 3:

Leading the Way in Practice – Translating Research into Practice – morning of 21 March 2018

This session includes an invited national speaker with extensive experience at translating research into practice. Opportunities for participant engagement will be available through a panel discussion featuring the invited speakers and local experts.

Session 3 Confirmed Speaker

Professor Nick Lintzeris, University of Sydney, NSW

Professor Nicholas Lintzeris (MBBS, PhD, FAChAM) has worked in the AoD sector for over 25 years in clinical, research and policy roles. He is currently Director of Drug and Alcohol Services in South East Sydney Local Health District, and Conjoint Prof at University of Sydney. Clinical research is a key area of interest, and Nick has been involved in numerous research projects in AoD settings, using a variety of research designs. This presentation will examine the importance of clinical research, key challenges for both research and clinical practice, and some approaches that can further clinical research in the Australian context, including the potential for clinical informatics to transform the clinical research environment.

Doctor Matthew Gullo, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland’

Dr Matthew Gullo is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre For Youth Substance Abuse Research, The University of Queensland. He also holds an appointment as Visiting Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Alcohol and Drug Assessment Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital. Matthew's research focuses on the cognitive and neuropsychological mechanisms involved in impulse control and substance abuse. He has authored over 65 peer-reviewed scientific publications and been awarded over $2m in research funding. He is the recipient of the Early Career Researcher award from both the Australian Psychological Society and Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin (BSc(Psychol)Hons. PhD) is a Curtin Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug Research Institute.  Her research focusses on understanding and responding to methamphetamine (‘ice’) use, having authored over 130 papers on this topic.  She is currently leading a world-first trial of the novel pharmacotherapy, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), for methamphetamine dependence, and is collaborating on research to trial other pharmacotherapy options, develop online interventions and develop responses to methamphetamine use in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She has previously worked with the United Nations in Africa, Asia and Europe, and currently is a Regional Editor for Drug and Alcohol Review and an assistant editor for Addiction. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.


Session 4:

Leading the Way in Practice – Practice Issues – Afternoon of 21 March 2018.

This session features a national keynote speaker as well as concurrent sessions where oral papers, showcases and other presentations will be delivered along the themes of alcohol and other drug treatment, prevention and workforce development. The concurrent sessions will be followed by a facilitated discussion.

Session 4 Confirmed Speaker

Professor David Forbes, Phoenix Australia, Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne

David Forbes is the Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.

He has over twenty years’ experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in trauma survivors and in the provision of advice to a broad range of government, clinical and professional body agencies regarding best practice policy in the care of those affected by trauma. He led the development of the inaugural 2007 Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the revision published in 2013 approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and endorsed by colleges of psychiatrists, psychologists and general practitioners. Professor Forbes is also Vice Chair of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Committee for the development of their new PTSD Guidelines. 

He has a strong track record in the conduct of research both in the assessment and treatment of PTSD and translation research focused on implementation of service models. 

Professor Forbes has also a strong track record in the provision of training in evidence based treatments for PTSD and related disorders and in skills development for managers and supervisors in non clinical support for trauma survivors. He has published over 130 scientific papers in the international literature and sits on many Commonwealth government policy and scientific advisory panels and academic journal editorial boards.