The symposium will open with the launch of our new report The Australian Drug Budget 2021-2022 detailing government investment across drug prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and law enforcement.

We will also have sessions exploring:

  • the benefits and challenges of drug law reform
  • drug treatment and unmet demand for treatment
  • representation and participation in policy processes
  • small ‘snapshots’ of other alcohol and drug policy research.

It promises to be an exciting, thought-provoking day to consider how we can make alcohol and other drug policy better.

You can register for the full day (in-person 9.30am to 3.30pm) or only for the morning Australian Drug Budget session (in-person or virtual 9.30am to 10.30am).


Tuesday 4 June 2024


UNSW Sydney, Kensington campus








Arrival and registration



Acknowledgement of Country & Welcome

Michelle Toy, Policy and Advocacy Lead, NUAA (NSW Users and AIDS Association)

Professor Verity Firth, AM, Vice-President – Societal Impact, Equity & Engagement, UNSW Sydney


Report launch

The Australian Drug Budget 2021/2022

Professor Alison Ritter, DPMP


Panel discussion

Chair: Dr Paul Kelaita, DPMP

Dr Annie Madden, Harm Reduction Australia

Dr Robert Stirling, Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA)

Dr Erin Lalor, Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Emma Maiden, Uniting NSW.ACT


Morning tea



Snapshots of DPMP research 1



Expanding conversations on drug law reform

Chair: Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop, Commissioner, The Global Commission on Drug Policy



Fields of green – regulating growing cannabis at home

Liz Barrett, DPMP


Legalising cocaine? Considerations for the regulated supply of drugs

Dr Paul Kelaita, DPMP


Black market tobacco in Australia

Dr Cheneal Puljevic, The University of Queensland


Discussion and Q&A






Snapshots of DPMP research 2



Dialogue on Participation Practices

Chair: Isabelle Volpe, DPMP



DPMP participation research

Isabelle Volpe, DPMP


Panel discussion

Professor Jason Grebely, UNSW Kirby Institute

Michelle Toy, NUAA (NSW Users and AIDS Association)

Dr Laura McLauchlan, Macquarie University

Dr Marianne Jauncey, MSIC Uniting


Alcohol and other drug treatment

Chair: Carmel Tebbutt, Odyssey House



DPMP treatment research

Professor Alison Ritter, DPMP



How many people miss out on treatment who need it?

Keelin O’Reilly, DPMP


A place for compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment? 

Dr Claire Wilkinson, DPMP


Discussion and Q&A



Closing comments

Professor Alison Ritter, DPMP





  • Policy and Advocacy Lead, NUAA (NSW Users and AIDS Association)

    Michelle Toy is a Dharug woman and is the Policy and Advocacy Lead at NUAA and has a personal interest in evidence-based drug law and policy reform that prioritises community-driven harm reduction and centres the lived and living experience of people who use drugs. Her professional background is in law and social policy with experience in strategic litigation, human rights advocacy and health and social service system reform.

  • Vice-President – Societal Impact, Equity and Engagement, UNSW Sydney

    Professor Verity Firth AM is the inaugural Vice-President Societal Impact, Equity and Engagement at UNSW Sydney. She is a Professor of Practice at the UNSW School of Education. Professor Firth has over 20 years’ experience at the very highest levels of government and education sectors in Australia. Prior to her role at UNSW, Professor Firth was the Pro Vice-Chancellor Social Justice and Inclusion at the University of Technology Sydney (2015-2022). She developed and delivered the UTS Social Impact Framework, a first of its kind for the Australian university sector and founded the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion.

  • Director, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Professor Alison Ritter AO leads research on drug laws, drug treatment, models and methods of participation in drug policy, and research focussed on policy process. Her work is supported by grants from competitive research funding bodies (NHMRC, ARC) as well as commissioned research from governments across Australia and internationally. She is past President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, and an Editor for the International Journal of Drug Policy. Professor Ritter has an extensive research grant track record and has published widely in the field.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Dr Paul Kelaita works on values in drug policy, focussing on policymaker and alcohol and other drug sector approaches to debate and reform. Paul is currently researching: how values inform drug policy debate; how the agenda gets set for the upcoming NSW Drug Summit; the conditions of support for drug policy reform; and models of drug regulation. Paul's previous research includes work on public health policy (COVID lockdowns), political participation (the marriage equality postal survey), and queer cultural geography (queer community and art practice in Western Sydney).

  • Executive Director, Harm Reduction Australia

    Dr Annie Madden, AO has been working in the areas of illicit drug use, blood borne viruses, AOD treatment and drug user representation for over 20 years. She holds a part time role as a Project Lead with the International Network of People Who Use Drugs. Annie has provided technical expertise to UNODC, WHO, UNAIDS and has been a member of Australian Government delegations to the UN General Assembly. In 2019, Annie was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her decades of work promoting the health and human rights of people who use drugs globally.

  • CEO, Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies

    Dr Robert Stirling plays a key role in supporting member services in AOD and public health policy, advocacy, planning and funding, research and evaluation, performance and compliance, accreditation and quality improvement, governance, and sector and workforce development. Robert has worked in the AOD sector for almost 20 years, and holds qualifications in public health and community management. His doctorate explored performance measurement of NSW non-government AOD treatment services.

  • CEO, Alcohol and Drug Foundation

    Dr Erin Lalor, AM was appointed CEO of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation in 2017. Erin is a recognised leader in the health policy and not-for-profit sectors with over 20 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, advocate and leader. Erin is currently Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs.

  • General Manager, Advocacy and External Relations, Uniting NSW.ACT

    Emma Maiden currently co-manages the Social Impact & Advocacy Directorate for Uniting NSW.ACT. She has more than 25 years’ experience in social justice campaigning.  Emma’s work covers government relations, media, social media, and philanthropy, including the Fair Treatment campaign to remove criminal penalties for the possession of drugs for personal use and increasing healthcare. Emma was formerly Uniting’s Head of Advocacy & Media and formerly Assistant Secretary at Unions NSW. Emma is also a non-Executive Director of HESTA.

  • Commissioner, The Global Commission on Drug Policy

    Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop is a Commissioner with The Global Commission on Drug Policy, advocating to bring an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs and drug control policies to people and societies. He was a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1986 to 2006 and the Premier of Western Australia from 2001 to 2006. During his term as Premier he held a Community Drug Summit (2001) which resulted in a “prohibition with civil penalties scheme” for minor cannabis offences. He is a Patron of City Health International, a network of individuals and organizations engaged in the study of and response to structural health issues and health behaviours in the urban environment and an Advocate for Harm Reduction Australia.

  • Research Officer, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Liz Barrett's areas of interest include regulation, markets and participation in drugs policy. Liz currently convenes a national working group on strengthening harm reduction in prisons and is assisting in developing an AOD prevention framework for NSW. Her previous work has investigated experiences of cannabis reforms in the ACT, models of cannabis regulation for the Swiss government, and health and human rights for the UNODC. 

  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre of Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame, The University of Queensland

    Dr Cheneal Puljevic is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (UQ). Cheneal is also a core research team member for the Global Drug Survey (and is co-ordinating the Global Drug Survey 2024), an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Drug Policy, and the Research Convenor for The Loop Australia, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to implement drug checking (pill testing) services. In 2020, she was awarded the Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD)'s Early Career Award.

  • PhD Candidate, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Isabelle Volpe's PhD research uses critical social science approaches to explore ways that young people participate in drug policy in Australia.

  • Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, UNSW Kirby Institute

    Jason Grebely's research focuses on the epidemiology, natural history, and therapeutic strategies for acute and chronic HCV infection in people who inject drugs. He is co-Editor in Chief for the International Journal of Drug Policy. Jason is also the President of the International Network for Hepatitis in Substance Users, an international body for improving knowledge translation, education and advocacy for HCV among people who inject drugs.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Macquarie University

    Dr Laura McLauchlan is trained in multispecies anthropology, informed by material feminisms, environmental humanities scholarship, medical anthropology and trauma studies; with a particular focus on how transformative change takes place, particularly with respect to environmental and interspecies care and connection. Laura’s research currently studies how attending to bodies and relational neurobiology can make new conversations possible.

  • Medical Director, Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC)

    Dr Marianne Jauncey is a Public Health Physician who has worked at the pointy end of harm reduction for decades. Marianne is committed to ensuring Uniting MSIC provides unwavering support and meets the needs of its clients beyond supervised injection. She is not afraid to speak up or bang a few tables where needed. She has conducted countless media interviews and community led conversations to improve understanding about harm reduction and the nature drug use. She is always keen to get people talking. 

  • CEO, Odyssey House NSW

    Carmel Tebbutt joined Odyssey House NSW in 2023 following significant contributions in the mental health not-for-profit sector as a former CEO of the Mental Health Coordinating Council and Director at Mental Health Australia. Carmel was the first female Deputy Premier in NSW and during her parliamentary career held a number of ministerial portfolios including health, education and community services. Carmel is passionate about Odyssey’s mission to reconnect lives, families and communities.

  • Research Officer, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Keelin O’Reilly works on the Drug and Alcohol Services Planning Model, for WA and for Victoria, and as such bring a depth of knowledge around treatment planning. Keelin was the Australian representative for the 2022 UNODC Youth Initiative on Drug Prevention.

  • Senior Research Fellow, Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW Sydney

    Dr Claire Wilkinson is a Senior Research Fellow at the DPMP and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University. She is Vice President of the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol. She has served on the Editorial Boards of journals including the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and other Drugs and is currently on working groups for the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe.