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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Tania is currently working for The Salvation Army – Towards Independence Network of Services, in the role of Manager of Client Services. The Network has a suite of programs which enables it to respond to people and meet them at their point of need. The programs strive to reconnect and support people who are experiencing issues associated with homelessness, alcohol and other drug use, and mental illness, and to support their efforts to sustain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Tania has 14 years’ experience working in the alcohol and other drug and human services sector. She has a Bachelor of Counselling and Communication and was initially trained as a Registered Nurse. Tania believes that working with people is a position of privilege and finds it to be a humbling experience.
Sue has been involved in the AOD sector for over 3 years and is currently the case worker at Drug ARM Warradale. Her previous career was in teaching English to migrants, most of whom came from refugee backgrounds and were experiencing complex trauma, PTSD and depression. This work led Sue to studying counselling and subsequently working in the AOD field.
She is passionate about helping those who are affected by addiction and dependency. She has a particular interest in the connection with mental health issues and criminal justice. Sue has served on previous boards including ICGC which reviews policy and clinical practice standards for Healthy Options Australia.
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.
Don was born and has resided in the Riverland his entire life and has strong connections with service providers and community throughout the region.
In his current role as Riverland Program Manager for the Aboriginal Sobriety Group Indigenous Corporation based at Berri, he provides leadership and management and positively led a multidisciplinary team through significant change and ensured the effective and efficient operation of this service.
ASG programs include substance misuse support, mental health, community transition and mobile assistance patrols.
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.