Prof Robin Room

Robin Room is a sociologist who has directed alcohol and drug research centres in the United States, Canada, Sweden and now in his native Australia. He is a Professor at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University in Melbourne and also has an appointment at Stockholm University. Professor Room has been an adviser to the World Health Organization since 1975. His research is on social, cultural and epidemiological studies of alcohol, drugs and gambling behaviour and problems, on social responses to alcohol and drug problems, and on the effects of policy changes.


Prof Paul Dietze

Professor Paul Dietze is the Director of the Behaviours and Health Risks Program at the Burnet Institute. With over 20 years’ experience he is one of the leading researchers in the alcohol and other drug sector in Australia with an extensive history of significant and innovative research into the impact of alcohol and other drugs in the community. He has established significant work groups at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre and the Burnet Institute and collaborates widely with researchers from Australia and internationally. He has played a pivotal role in work examining drug overdose and responses since the late 1990s, including the development of WHO guidelines for the community management of opioid overdose in 2014.


Andrew Bruun

Andrew Bruun (ADCW, BSW, Dip AOD Work, Hon Fellow, Dept Psychiatry, Uni of Melb) is Chief Executive Officer at YSAS, the Director of The Centre for Youth AOD Practice Development and an honorary fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry. He has worked in the field of adolescent health as practitioner, educator and researcher since the mid-1980s. His special interest is in young people and families experiencing alcohol and drug-related problems and is committed to enabling service providers and policy makers to better understand and respond to their needs.


Dr Stephen Bright

Dr Stephen Bright has worked as a clinically-trained psychologist within the Mental Health & AOD field for the past 18 years. He is currently Senior Lecturer of Addiction at Edith Cowan University and Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute. Stephen is a strong advocate of harm reduction and an evidence-based approach to AOD legislation. He is also interested in the role of certain substances (entheogens) to facilitate spiritual experiences and their role in psychotherapy. He is vice-president Psychedelic Research In Science & Medicine (PRISM), a not-for-profit Australian charitable organisation that aims to facilitate, initiate and fund psychedelic science in Australia (www.prism.org.au). Through his role with PRISM, Stephen has co-authored papers in The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry and Drug & Alcohol Review to raise awareness among Australian academics and healthcare professionals of the international psychedelic science renascence. He also gave a Tedx Talk at the University of Melbourne last year.


Assoc Prof Katherine Mills

When roughly one-third of Australians with substance abuse problems also experience a concurrent mental illness, A/Professor Mills is figuring out why. She has developed a range of resources for clinicians that are used in Australia and internationally, assisting practitioners choose optimal treatments for different patients and circumstances. Named in 2016 by UNSW as an emerging research leader, Katherine’s hope is to have “a range of effective treatments for mental and substance use disorders, and a service system that will allow for the right treatment to be delivered to the right person at the right time”. Working at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales since 2001, Katherine is also a Senior Research Fellow at the National Health Medial Research Centre. She has received a number of awards for excellence in her research and also in recognition of the impact of her work on the community.

Jane Longhurst – Conference Facilitator

Jane Longhurst is an award winning actor, broadcaster, voice artist and popular presenter of events big and small. She has worked extensively in theatre, television and radio since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1990. Her television credits include Rosehaven, Death or Liberty, Blue Heelers, GP, Janus, The Flying Doctors, Neighbours and A Country Practice. Jane performed for Melbourne Theatre Company, with various independent theatre companies within Melbourne and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney.

Now based back in her hometown of Hobart, Jane’s recent theatre credits include The Events (Blue Cow Theatre), e baby by Jane Cafarella for Tasmanian Theatre Company and Narrator for Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s intra-Tasmanian school tour and Ten Days on the Island performance season of Finegan Kruckemeyer’s script You and Me and The Space Between. Jane’s other TTC credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? staged in the Esmond Dorney designed house in lower Sandy Bay, Tree Widows, set on the Soldier’s Memorial Avenue located on Queen’s Domain, Born From Animals and Bombshells. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was awarded a 2015 Tasmanian Theatre Award for Best Ensemble (Professional Category). Jane performed in the one-woman show Grounded directed by Annette Downs (awarded the 2016 Tasmanian Theatre Award for Best Performance by a Female, Professional Category), Terminus and the premiere and return seasons of The State of the Tasmanian Economy by Jonathan Biggins for Blue Cow Theatre.

With the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Jane has presented concerts aimed at toddlers (Mini Maestros), travelled the state presenting concerts to school children in their schools (Mini TSO) through to major outdoor events (Symphony Under the Stars) with audiences in their thousands. Jane will narrate Paddington Bear’s First Concert! with the TSO in March.

An avid sports lover Jane can be heard regularly discussing local, national and international sport on ABC Local Radio where she also works as a fill in presenter and producer for ABC Local Radio including ABC Rural, ABC Local Grandstand and ABC Classic FM.


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