Australian Drugs Conference

About the Conference

The Australian Drugs Conference connects research, policy and practice to illuminate the contributing factors and possible solutions to the challenges related to problematic drug use.

There is evidence within Australia of an increase in crystal methamphetamine/ice use; influenced in part by increasing purity and availability. Recent experience in Victoria shows how rapidly ice use can spread. Methamphetamine and emerging synthetic drugs pose new challenges in a time of stretched resources.

Combining a harm minimization framework with a biopsychosocial understanding of substance use, the conference weaves together perspectives from supply, demand and harm reduction to elucidate the impact of drug use on individuals, families and communities.

The conference also provides an opportunity to network with colleagues from diverse backgrounds across Australia. It brings together professionals working in health and human services, medical practitioners, policy makers, law enforcement personnel, consumers and affected communities, researchers and more.

The Conference is hosted by Penington Institute which aims to advance health and community safety by connecting substance use research to practical action.

Penington Institute emerged from the natural evolution of Anex’s activities and was named in honour of Emeritus Professor David Penington AC. It builds on Anex’s impressive achievements including its long history and expertise in organizing sector-wide conferences recognized for their professionalism, innovation and capacity to bring together multiple perspectives on current and emerging issues.

For more information on the evolution of Penington Institute visit

We are grateful to our Conference Advisory Committee for their invaluable advice.


Committee Chair:

Mr John Ryan
Chief Executive Officer
Penington Institute


Committee Members:

Professor Steve Allsop
National Drug Research Institute

Ms Wendy Anderson
Programs Manager
Hepatitis Australia

Ms Helene Delany
Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy Unit
ACT Health

Dr Malcolm Dobbin
Senior Medical Advisor (Alcohol & Drugs)
Mental Health & Drugs Division
Department of Health

Professor Michael Farrell
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Dr Matthew Frei
Clinical Head, South Eastern Alcohol & Drug Services
Head of Clinical Services, Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre and Eastern Health Alcohol & Drug Services

Mr. Stan Goma
Manager, Professional Services
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia – Victoria

Mr Robert Kemp
Manager NSPMU
Harm Reduction Unit
Queensland Health

Associate Professor Nicholas Lintzeris
Director, Drug and Alcohol Services, SESLHD
Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist, Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Office (NSW Health)

Dr. Sarah Maclean
Senior Researcher
Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit
Centre for Health and Society

Mr Geoff Manu
General Manager
Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN)

Magistrate Jelena Popovic
Deputy Chief Magistrate

Mr Scott Wilson
Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (SA)