APSAD 2018
Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs


*More to be confirmed

Speaker Biography
Marc BeecroftMarc believes every consumer story is of value and if nurtured correctly can be the catalyst for both service design and delivery…

He loves his work in consumer positions especially in these pioneering years of peer support development. Marc has been working in the role of Regional AOD Consumer Advisor for the addiction sector for Canterbury, South Canterbury and West Coast since 2007.

Marc sits of several National Committees and Leadership Groups. He also sits on a number of local Planning & Funding working groups. More recently his role has expanded to Peer support project lead/team leader at Christchurch Central AOD Coordination.

Marc likes talking collaboration, especially around setting up and running support groups. Over the past 6 years he has worked with many agencies to work collaboratively in developing support groups in Christchurch, Timaru, Westport, Greymouth and Kaikoura. Marc has been designing, coordinating and facilitating support groups since 2003.
Chris Bullen
Chris trained as a specialist public health physician and worked in general practice and in community medicine in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, before moving into a career in research 15 years ago.

He has a PhD in Community Medicine from the University of Auckland and is Director of the University’s National Institute for Health Innovation, a large research group that specialises in clinical trials research and health informatics.

Chris has research interests in innovative smoking cessation interventions as well as in global health and the prevention and treatment of heart disease. He has over 160 publications, won more than $13M in research grants, and maintains active research collaborations in Australia, China, the US and Malaysia. He was principal investigator on the world’s first trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine patches, published in the Lancet. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, travelling, and listening to (and occasionally playing, badly) music.
Jane Buxton
Dr. Jane Buxton is a public health physician and professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is the harm reduction lead at the BC Centre for Disease Control where she oversees the provincial distribution of harm reduction supplies and developed the Drug Overdose and Alert Partnership in 2011 - an intersectoral collaboration including enforcement, coroners, emergency health services, public health and people with lived experience of substance use.

Jane led the implementation of the provincial Take-Home-Naloxone program in 2012 - which in 2017 distributed 60,000 kits with 15,000 kits reported used to reverse an overdose. Jane is also passionate about ensuring authentic engagement of people with lived experience (the experts) to develop policy; plan, implement and evaluate programs; and in research. She uses quantitative and qualitative approaches in her work and is involved with the BC opioid overdose crisis response.
Sandra Comer
Dr. Sandra Comer is Professor of Neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. She received her BS at Vanderbilt University and PhD at the University of Michigan for her research on the effects of abused drugs using preclinical models.

Dr. Comer’s current research focus is on the clinical testing of medications for treating opioid use disorder, methods to maximize the use of naloxone by opioid users, and evaluations of the comparative abuse liability of prescribed pain medications.

Dr. Comer recently served as President of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, the longest standing scholarly society in the U.S. devoted to research on substance use disorders, and currently is the Public Policy Officer for CPDD so she regularly meets with legislative offices on Capitol Hill. Dr. Comer recently joined the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the WHO and has over 140 publications on substance use disorders.
Elizabeth ElliottElizabeth Elliott AM is Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Throughout her career she has been dedicated to improving health and quality of life for children in Australia and beyond, through education, research, clinical care and advocacy. During 30 years she has established an international reputation for high quality laboratory, clinical and public health research and holds a prestigious senior National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship.

In 1993 she founded a national research resource, the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU), to facilitate study of rare childhood diseases, and is its Director. She helped establish and co-leads the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) system for inpatient disease surveillance, which was invaluable in monitoring pandemic influenza in 2009 pandemic. This project was named one of the ’10 of the Best’ of thousands of NHMRC funded projects for 2013.

Elizabeth is an advocate for children, particularly disadvantaged children with rare diseases, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and female genital mutilation; Indigenous children, and children in immigration detention. She consulted to the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2014 for the Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention.
Tuari PotikiTuari Potiki has had a rich involvement across the education, justice, mental health and Māori health sectors for well over 25 years. Before taking his current position as the Director of the University of Otago’s Office of Māori Development in 2012, Tuari was previously the General Manager of Strategic Operations with the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand and the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation. Of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Mamoe and Waitaha descent, Tuari is also the Chairman of the Drug Foundation.

He has also served as a Board Member of the Southern District Health Board, the Canterbury District Health Board and the Canterbury Community Trust. In 2013, Tuari was appointed to the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship. He has also previously been an Executive Member of the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ). He was also the Senior Māori Advisor to the National Addiction Centre who sit within the University of Otago.