SANDAS works to lead and strengthen community responses to the harms caused by alcohol and other drugs.
SANDAS facilitates networking, collaboration, research, information sharing, advocacy, training and policy review to reduce the harmful impacts of alcohol and other drugs. We are the voice of our members and stakeholders at national and state levels.
The work of SANDAS is underpinned by 5 core values:
Health and Wellbeing: We work to reduce individual and community harm associated with alcohol and other drug use. Our work is underpinned by a belief in the rights of people to health, social justice, equity, reconciliation, cultural safety and social inclusion.
Evidence: We support alcohol and other drug treatment using evidence based interventions, provided by workers who are qualified and supported to deliver high quality, culturally appropriate services to individuals, families and communities.
Lived experience: We value the lived experience of clients, families, peer workers and communities as integral to the provision of effective treatment services.
Collaboration: We enable the strengthening of connections between individuals, organisations, communities, the alcohol and drug and other related sectors, to facilitate collaboration and co-operation.
Representation: We represent the AOD NGO sector knowing our united voice is stronger than individuals or organisations acting alone. We actively engage our members in the development of our representation work with the community, government, media and other stakeholders.
SANDAS produces Annual Reports to provide members, funding bodies and the community with a comprehensive picture of our work over the previous financial year.
The reports are distributed at the AGM and subsequently by email to all members.
You can download a copy here or to obtain an email or hard copy please contact email@example.com.
Michael White – Executive Officer
Michael is the Executive Director at SANDAS. He has over 25 years’ experience in the community services and health sectors.
Michael has held a range of positions in other organisations. Most recently he was the Senior Project Manager – Workforce Development at the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University where he was responsible for a broad program of work including sourcing project opportunities; collaborating with external stakeholders; establishing projects overseeing them from conception to completion; developing resources; participating in national and jurisdictional VET qualification committees and representing NCETA at national and state level on a number of workforce development committees. Michael presented conference papers on child and family sensitive practice, workforce development, vocational education and training in the AOD sector, workplace health and safety, and inter-sectoral practice.
He was co-convenor of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) 2014 Scientific Conference, a member of the Conference Organising Committee and Scientific Committee (2013-2016).
Previous roles included Workforce Development Leader, Australian Centre for Child Protection UniSA where he was responsible for managing the ‘Protecting and Nurturing Children: Building Capacity, Building Bridges project. He also co-convened (with other key stakeholders) the “Children, Communities, Connections Conference 2010”. Michael also worked as senior project manager with an industry skills council.
Previously he was Executive Director of the Victorian Community Services and Health Industry Training Board. Director, Learning and Development, Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CECFW).
Michael has developed and delivered a broad range or training programs to Graduate Certificate level. Topics have included: governance; quality improvement; change; career transition; conflict resolution and mediation; and supervision skills.
Sam Raven – Senior Policy & Project officer
Sam has a background in Social Work, Alcohol and Other Drugs and Mental Health, Training and Community Services Management.
Previous to her current role she was the State Manager for Drug ARM Australasia, an organisation that provides treatment services for people experiencing harms associated with the use of alcohol or other drugs.
She is passionate about work in this sector and has taken on her role at SANDAS in order to further advocate for the needs of workers and clients in the Alcohol and Drug Sector.
Michelle Lindblom – Admin/Finance Officer
Michelle has worked in the homelessness sector for over 30 years in a broad range of roles spanning management, administration, finance, housing, advocacy and direct client support.
Michelle is passionate about social justice and has a thorough understanding of both client and service needs and the importance of strong advocacy for marginalized, vulnerable people and the organisations that assist them.
She is pleased to be able to contribute to SANDAS’s work through the Finance and Administration role.
Lesli Bevan – Assistant Projects & Communications Officer
Lesli joined the SANDAS team in November 2014.
She has an extensive background in the SA community services sector, with experience in administration, contract management, quality improvement, project and service management, policy and procedure development, human resources and event coordination.
She looks forward to working with and supporting the AOD sector to continually improve the way in which we serve our clients.
Helene Nielsen – Chair
Helene Nielsen is an organisational member of SANDAS, representing Centacare. She has been on the board since 2009 AGM, and the chair since 2013.
She currently works for Centacare in the role of Executive Manager, where she is responsible for services across alcohol and other drugs (AOD), mental health, employee assistance programs, registered training organisation, and school retention. Centacare have a variety of AOD services, including Centacare Drug and Alcohol Services. These services have a focus on working with young people 10-30 years and their families, individuals from the LGBTIQ community confronted by AOD issues, Integrated Youth Substance Misuse Service (residential rehabilitation, outreach and sobering up service for young people) and Police Drug Diversion. She has also worked juvenile justice, mental health and homelessness services, both in management and client related roles, both in Australia and overseas.
Cheryl Lierton - Secretary & Deputy Chair
Cheryl Lierton is an organisational member of SANDAS, representing Uniting Communities. She has been on the board since 2018.
Cheryl works for Uniting Communities as a Senior Manager in their Community Services division, where she has oversight of Uniting Communities’ alcohol and other drug (AOD) services, homelessness services, counselling, prevention of family violence, family support and suicide prevention services. Uniting Communities’ AOD services include Streetlink (a youth focused service with a medical clinic and comorbidity services), New ROADS (an adult focused service with both outpatient and community based residential rehabilitation across metropolitan Adelaide, Whyalla, the Riverland and Mount Gambier), Police Drug Diversion and Aboriginal Community Connect (an Aboriginal specific service in metropolitan Adelaide, Murray Bridge, the Riverland and Limestone Coast). Cheryl originally worked as a client practitioner in homelessness, juvenile justice and counselling services in Australia and the UK, before moving into management roles in the community services sector.
Paul Brianni – Treasurer
Having lost a close friend and family member to substance abuse, Paul is committed to supporting the operation of SANDAS, bringing extensive industry specific experience to benefit South Australians. As a Chartered Accountant and Manager at Rinaldi & Co, Paul utilises his strong finance background and small business knowledge to deliver an exceptional level of service to his clients.
Away from work, Paul can be found either at the beach or refining his soccer skills for Adelaide Red Blue Eagles in the SAASL Division 6 Amateur League.
Helen Graham is an organisational member of SANDAS, representing Mission Australia. She joined the board in December 2019.
Helen is a Provisional Psychologist working for Mission Australia as a Regional Leader in the Community Services division where she is responsible for youth and family alcohol and other drug (AOD) services, youth education, training and employment, adult mental health and psychosocial disability, youth homelessness and suicide prevention. Mission Australia’s AOD services the Hindmarsh Outreach program servicing young people across metropolitan Adelaide and the Youth and Family Alcohol and Other Drugs program in the City of Playford, Murray Bridge, Victor Harbour and Alexandrina council. Mission Australia’s other community services are situated across metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia including Whyalla, Pt Augusta and the Riverland. Prior to her time at Mission Australia, Helen worked in the vocational space providing psychological services to long-term unemployed people experiencing high levels of disadvantage due to complex comorbidities, including alcohol and drug use.
Chris has a long-standing interest, specialisation and commitment to the areas of mental health and alcohol and other drug service delivery. This has been achieved and sustained for over a decade through his work as a social worker; program and executive manager.
As Mental Health and AOD Manager with Sonder Chris is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Mental Health & AOD portfolio which supports an integrated suite of recovery orientated clinical mental health and alcohol and other drug services that support individuals across the western and northern suburbs as well as the Gawler Barossa region.
Margie is currently working at Hepatitis SA in the position of acting CNP peer Projects Officer. She has worked in the role of Peer Educator for Hep SA and SAVIVE for the last 6 years. Last year she worked at NSW Users and Aids association (NUAA) as a Peerlink Officer, training clients about Hep C, treatment, harm reduction, stigma and discrimination. She is passionate about peer work and the value a peer brings to a role. Being a peer is not something learnt but lived, enhancing interactions with clients. Margie believes the AOD sector need to work together as one to make the future more effective for clients and workers. She has presented at AIVL and has done CNP training sessions.
Sally Underdown joined the Alcohol and Drug Foundation as State Manager for South Australia and the Northern Territory in July 2018 with demonstrated success in delivering national policy and programs within the health, aged care, Indigenous affairs and sports sectors.
In her early career Sally was an Exercise Physiologist, working with clients, practitioners and allied health professionals in an Adelaide based hospital before she moved to Canberra to commence a 15 year career within the Australian Public Sector.
Working across a range of Australian Government Departments Sally demonstrated effective partnering and delivering social policy and health programs with a diverse network of service providers, government agencies and Ministers. A key feature of her work is her commitment to facilitate the genuine participation of Australian communities, including remote Indigenous communities in policy and service design. In 2013 Sally lead the negotiations and drafting of the inaugural Regional Partnership Agreement with the Australian and State Governments and the APY Executive for the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia.
In a working life that has spanned quantity surveying to nursing, lecturing to management, Tom Steeples’ CV reflects a diverse range of experiences. Since the mid-1990s Tom has worked in the youth health sector in South Australia. He was managed a wide range of programs for young people with high and complex needs including those experiencing homelessness, alcohol and other drug issues, child protection, mental illness, and broader health concerns. His volunteer work has included being a management committee member and chairperson of the Youth Affairs Council of SA and the Health Consumers Alliance, and he has held a ministerially appointed position on the Health Performance Council of South Australia. As a PhD scholar, Tom is researching the impacts of homelessness on the health and well-being of young people in Adelaide. His current role is as the Limestone Coast manager for FocusOne Health, a service providing alcohol and other drug interventions throughout the South-East.
As the peak body for non-government organisations working in the alcohol and other drug sector, SANDAS is governed by its constitution which sets out the objects and the governance structure of the association.
To download a copy of our constitution click the pdf icon.
As the peak body for non-government organisations working in the alcohol and other drug sector, SANDAS has outlined a set of Strategic Directions in line with our Vision and Mission.
To download a copy of the SANDAS Strategic Directions 2018 – 2021 click the pdf icon.
SANDAS is committed to continuous quality improvement in order to provide an effective service to the NGO AOD Treatment Sector.
Our Quality Policy and other Policies are available below for your information and use.