APSAD 2023 Keynote Speakers
Early Career Researcher and Clinical Psychologist, University of Wollongong
Dr Alison Beck is an Early Career Researcher and Clinical Psychologist. She works part-time at the University of Wollongong as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Meaningful Outcomes, an NHMRC CRE focused on substance use treatment and part-time in clinical practice at a therapeutic community. Alison’s research is focused on improving the quality of treatment for people who use alcohol and other drugs. She has a special interest in mutual help groups and treatment fidelity.
Professor in Public Health at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland & Academic Director of the National Institute for Health Innovation
I am a New Zealander of British and Polish descent, with strong roots in Aotearoa New Zealand. I work as a Professor in Public Health at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, where I am the Academic Director of the National Institute for Health Innovation, a member of the Centre for Addiction Research and Centre for Heart Health. I trained as a physician, and after a decade in clinical practice mostly in Papua New Guinea, trained as a public health medicine specialist. My group’s research generally involves large pragmatic clinical trials of affordable and scalable interventions. We have shown the effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions such as text messaging, pre-quitting nicotine replacement therapy, e-cigarettes, cytisine, and reducing nicotine content in cigarettes. I have published over 250 peer-reviewed articles and am President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.
Registered Nurse, early career researcher and Program Lead, RISE Team (Research, Innovate, Strengthen, Embed) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW
Sara is a Registered Nurse, early career researcher and Program Lead, RISE Team (Research, Innovate, Strengthen, Embed) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. She is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of priority populations through combining co-design with research methods to plan, implement and evaluate programs and services that are highly acceptable and effective. Her program is focused on working collaboratively with communities in rural and regional NSW to tailor health services and health initiatives to their setting. Her PhD research focused on facilitators to conducting high-quality and culturally-appropriate research in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She has research experience working on qualitative designs, embedding evaluations into service delivery and RCTs. She has an interest in novel approaches to service evaluation, using routinely collected data and pragmatic trial designs. She has a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and has worked in the Philippines and the Pacific on several programs including communicable disease control and maternal and child health. She has also worked on health promotion programs in Australia.
Executive Director of the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA)
Chris Gough is the Executive Director of the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA) and The Connection health service and is the President of the Board of the Australian Illicit and Injecting Drug Users League (AIVL). He identifies as a person who uses drugs and Chris’ expertise centres around peer and consumer driven programming including peer education, peer treatment support, community development, consumer representation and advocacy.
The University of Queensland
Nicole Hewlett is a proud palawa woman from lutruwita (Tasmania) with over 14 years of demonstrated knowledge translation experience working in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander public health around Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), justice, alcohol policy, palliative care and wellbeing. Nicole is currently undertaking a PhD, holds two positions with University of Queensland, and during 2018-2023, was a board member and Treasurer of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD). At The University of Queensland, Nicole works in the First Nations Cancer and Research Wellbeing Program as well as at the Child Health Research Centre to embed Aboriginal healing-informed, strengths-based and culturally responsive practices into Australia’s revised Guidelines for the Assessment and Diagnosis of FASD. From 2016 – 2021, Nicole was a committee member of the NHMRC Alcohol Working Group, appointed to update Australia’s alcohol drinking guidelines.
McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation and Co-Director of the Drug Policy Research Center at RAND
Beau Kilmer (he/him) is the McCauley Chair in Drug Policy Innovation, codirector of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. He is also a Professor of Policy Analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and the Vice President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy. His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with special emphasis on crime control, substance use, illegal markets, and public policy.
Some of his recent projects include assessing the consequences of cannabis legalization (with a special focus on social equity); measuring the effect of 24/7 Sobriety programs on impaired driving, domestic violence, and mortality; facilitating San Francisco’s Drug Dealing Task Force; analyzing changes in illegal fentanyl markets; and evaluating the evidence and arguments made about heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites.
Kilmer’s publications have appeared in leading journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and his commentaries have been published by CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets. His coauthored book on cannabis legalization was published by Oxford University Press and his coauthored book on the future of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids was published by RAND. He received his Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University, M.P.P. from UC-Berkeley, and B.A. from Michigan State University.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW
Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin (BSc(Psychol)Hons. PhD) leads a program of research into stimulant use epidemiology and interventions at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. Rebecca’s current aspiration is to develop and disseminate effective treatment and harm reduction options for people using methamphetamine. Her work includes developing and evaluating online psychological self-help tools, pharmacotherapy trials and evaluating community-based treatment options. She is passionate about improving the coverage of treatment and other health services for people who use methamphetamine, and she has also done much research to help understand the relationship between methamphetamine use and mental health outcomes. Rebecca has consulted to the United Nations; she is a former NSW/ACT Young Tall Poppy, a Senior Editor for Addiction, a member of the UNSW Academic Board, and a member of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.
Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre
Professor Suzanne (Suzi) Nielsen is the Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre. She has published > 180 peer-reviewed publications in the alcohol and other drugs field. She has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years, specialising in the treatment of substance use disorders in community and specialist drug treatment settings in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Her current research focuses on upscaling opioid treatment and overdose prevention, and on understanding the impact of opioid policy on prescribing and opioid-related harm. Her work has directly contributed to changed policy (for example, the rescheduling of codeine) and practice (for example, increased pharmacy naloxone supply).
Suzi holds honorary appointments at the Burnet Institute, Turning Point, UNSW and Alfred Health, and is a consultant for the World Health Organization contributing to the work of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence and international surveillance of emerging substances.
Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Medicine at the ANU Medical School
Dr Olsen is Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Medicine at the ANU Medical School. Her interdisciplinary program of research combines practical and critical approaches to public health, with a particular interest in marginalised populations and qualitative methodologies. Current research includes: drug checking; opioid overdose prevention; drug use and motherhood; domestic and family violence; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health; and ethical practice in social research. She values collaborative approaches to research and has extensive experience working with government and community on evaluation and research projects.
CEO Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (South Australia (ADAC))
Scott Wilson is a well-respected Aboriginal leader and CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (South Australia (ADAC) for over 30 years,). He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. His other past leadership roles include being Deputy Chair of both the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee and the Alcohol Education Rehabilitation Foundation (FARE).
Scott’s personal and professional experience in substance misuse has made him a valued member of nearly every major governmental and non-governmental committee in Australia for more than 30 years. He has received several awards including the Australian Centenary Medal and the Sister Alison Bush Award from the University of Sydney.
Scott is also the Lead Convener of the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network (SAACCON), and represents not only the specific needs of the SA Aboriginal community, but our NFP organisations at the National level, through the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation of Peaks (Coalition of Peaks), of which he is the Deputy Lead Convenor. The CoP is made up of 80 Peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Organisations from across Australia.