Registrations are open for this year’s SANDAS Symposium and we have announced our first guest speakers.

Keynote speaker:
Professor Dan Howard SC was the Commissioner of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’, and delivered his final Report to the Governor and Premier of NSW in January 2020.

Dan is a retired Senior Counsel (NSW), teacher and academic. He is former President of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal and was instrumental in establishing the NSW Mental Health Commission and the review of the Mental Health Act. He has held academic positions at a number of universities and published widely on the law and its reform. Dan is a man of compassion and deep intellect who had a history of taking on important issues, especially where stigma creates a barrier to reform. Under his leadership the Special Commission Terms of Reference were expanded and looked at the regulation and possible interventions for all drugs. The Inquiry brought down a broad range of recommendations including reframing drug policy from a health and social perspective, decriminalising personal use, increasing treatment availability, implementing drug checking and establishing a state-based governance model led by a dedicated Minister.

Dan’s keynote will be followed by a discussion panel and we are delighted to announce panel members:

Dr Nicole Lee is Founder and CEO at 360Edge and Adjunct Professor at the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University. She is an international leader in evidence based policy and practice. She is a psychologist with 32 years clinical, research and teaching experience in the alcohol and other drug and mental health sectors. Nicole is a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and other Drugs (ANACAD); Chair of the Clinical Governance Committee and Board Member at Hello Sunday Morning; Board Member at the Australian drug checking service, The Loop Australia; and Fellow of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy.

Associate Professor Caitlin Hughes is a criminologist and drug policy researcher at the Centre for Crime Policy and Research, Flinders University. Caitlin has spent 18 years researching drug and alcohol policy, including 12.5 years at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, working as part of the Drug Policy Modelling Program. Her research seeks to advance Australian and international drug policy by improving the evidence-base into the effects of different legislative and law enforcement approaches to drug use and supply and working directly with policy makers. Caitlin is also Visiting Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW and Vice-President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy.

Also presenting will be: 

Paula Ross – Paula is one of Australia’s most experienced alcohol and other drug trainers. She is an expert in training in interventions and working with families. Paula is a practising psychologist with postgraduate qualifications in counselling and psychology. Her real-world experience in clinical practice, as well as teaching and supervision, brings learning to life and ensures that 360Edge workshops are always clinically current.

Help! I’ve been subpoenaed! (Mini Workshop)

This practical mini workshop is specially designed to assist practitioners to be court ready. Court preparation and court appearance skills will be the focus. Participants will also gain understanding of the differences between subpoenas and requests and how to respond.

Key learning outcomes

  • To increase understanding of subpoenas and requests and how to respond
  • To facilitate improved court preparation and effective court appearances

Daniel Raffell – Dan is the Senior National Program Manager and Trainer with SMART Recovery Australia. Originally from Scotland, Dan has nearly 20 years experience working in addiction recovery, peer education, youth and homeless sectors in the UK and Australia.

Dan’s qualifications include an Honours Degree in Addiction Studies, Diplomas in Integrated Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Certificates in Mental Health and Health and Social Care.

Dan has a real passion seeing people who are experiencing addictive behaviours gain more control over their lives. He is a strong advocate for challenging stigma and believes in peer support and those seeking recovery are the experts in themselves. His desire is to see those affected by addiction be equipped with the necessary tools and strategies and empowered to live more balanced and fulfilled lives.

Labels are for Jam Jars: Destigmatising behavioural change and influencing public policy
The word addict, druggy, or other captious and stigmatizing terms such as junkies can create a visualisation and a judgemental perception of individuals and their situation. It is fueled by what we are presented with by the media, the language we use, our personal and societal core beliefs and inadequate public policy.

This presentation will explore how we can continue to challenge ourselves to work towards a more general recovery approach that is supportive rather than punitive. By challenging stigma and the labels that are so deeply entrenched regarding addiction and by adjusting our language, our thinking and our approaches to public policy, we can support and influence long term change.

The event will be held on the 21st of September 2022, 9:00am – 4:00pm at The Bradley Forum, UniSA City West Campus. The event includes lunch and morning and afternoon teas. More speakers to be announced soon!

Register to attend in person here:
Register to attend virtually here:



The 2021 SANDAS SYMPOSIUM was held on the 13th of April. This event is our premier professional development and networking event for the South Australian Alcohol and Other Drug Sector.

Slide presentations from speakers for this year’s Symposium are available for download below:

Associate Professor James Martin
Swinburne University of Technology
The Dark Web and COVID-19
Professor Iain McGregor
University of Sydney
Medicinal Cannabis
Dr Matthew Dunn
Deakin University
Working with people who use performance enhancing drugs
Jennifer Duncan
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Alcohol & other Drugs Council
“Collaboration, Not Integration”

Exploring the place of alcohol and other drug services in the mental health system – by Nicole Lee & Steve Allsop (referenced in Jennifer’s presentation)

Helene Nielsen
Neami National
Australia’s first Urgent Mental Health Care Centre
Mateo Sewillo
Penington Institute
Working with people who use GHB
Ben Hopkins
Baptist Care SA
“Tumbelin Farm – Developing an Adventure Therapy Residential Rehabilitation program for young people”


SANDAS SA State AOD Treatment Services Forum

This year’s forum was held on the 31st of May at the Adelaide Pavilion. Thanks to everyone who joined us for a morning of networking and information sharing with colleagues. We heard from SANDAS and relevant funding bodies about developments in the AOD sector, as well as the opportunity to participate in a consultation that will inform our work in relation to workforce development.

The slide presentations of our speakers are available below:

Michael White, SANDAS – Drug Law Reform Position Paper

Dr Vicky Cock, DASSA – Managed Alcohol Program

Allan Trifonoff, Adelaide PHN – Workforce Development

The results of the morning’s consultation activities will be made available at the completion of the project.


Port Augusta Workshop:
Responding to Family and Domestic Violence in Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment

presented by 360Edge

This workshop includes:
– Understand DFV, the complex interplay of risk factors and its relationship to AOD use
– Learn effective responses to DFV including screening and assessment, risk and safety planning, assessing readiness to address, and integrating DFV into AOD treatment planning
– Find out how you can effectively work with people who use or experience violence
– Feel comfortable managing special issues such as children, workplace safety, effective referral and self-care

Wednesday 8th June, 9am – 4:30pm
Port Augusta Central Oval
10 Augusta Terrace, Port Augusta
Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea provided.

Register here:


National Comorbidity Guidelines Training

SANDAS is offering a training program for the Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (2nd edition).

This training program has been developed by 360Edge and the University of Sydney’s Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use to accompany the Comorbidity Guidelines and an associated online training program (available at Together, these resources aim to provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers with up-to-date, evidence-based information on the management of comorbid mental health conditions in AOD treatment settings. They are based on the best of available evidence and were developed in collaboration with clinicians, researchers, consumers, and carers from across Australia.

The intended outcomes for the training are:

  1. Increased knowledge and awareness of how to identify, manage and treat co-occurring mental health conditions in AOD treatment settings
  2. Improved confidence and skills of AOD workers
  3. Increased utilisation of evidence-based care.

For further information about the training and to register to attend the workshops, please download our Course Information Document.



Hosted by SANDAS and facilitated by Dr Suzie Hudson, Clinical Director, NADA. This workshop was held on the 12th of October, 2021. The workshop covers the basics of NMDS data collection and addresses some of the common errors and misunderstandings in recording the data.

Click here to view the recording of this workshop.


SANDAS September Seminar Series

Seminar 1 – 7th September, 12pm
Dr Stephen Bright : MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

Click here to view the recording of this seminar
Click here to download the presentation slides
Seminar 2 – 14th September, 12pm
Dr Tamara Mackean : Constructs of Care and Healing: The Value of First Nations’ Knowledges and Experiences
Click here to view the recording of this seminar
Seminar 3 – 21st September, 12pm
Associate Professor Caitlin Hughes : Challenges and opportunities of decriminalising or legalising illicit drugs in the South Australian context
Click here to view the recording of this seminar
Seminar 4 – 28th September, 12pm
Toni Karlsson and Dr Rachel Sutherland : Emerging Trends in Drug Use and Harms in South Australia, 2021
Click here to view the recording of this seminar


SANDAS currently provides the following networking opportunities. To enquire about joining any of these networks, please contact

Co-Morbidity Network Group

The Co-Morbidity Network Group focuses on connecting Alcohol and Other Drug Programs with the Mental Health sector with the aim of improving outcomes for clients with comorbidities and to share knowledge amongst organisations in these fields. Guest speakers are invited from AOD, Mental Health and other relevant service organisations, and information is shared between workers at the six-weekly meetings.

Membership from workers in the alcohol and other drug or mental health sector is welcome, provided their current role is relevant to the network’s focus. Contact SANDAS for more information.


Refund of registration fees

  • If a SANDAS event is cancelled, a full refund of any registration fees paid will be made within 30 days of the cancellation.
  • If a registered participant cannot attend an event for any reason, SANDAS should be advised by email at or by phone on (08) 8231 8818 as soon as possible. A full refund of registration fees will be made if this advice is received at least ten working days prior to the commencement of the event.
  • No refund is payable if cancellation advice is received less than ten working days prior to the commencement of the event. Whilst we understand that personal circumstances or work commitments can change unavoidably at short notice, SANDAS cannot accept responsibility for such changes.


  • No refund is payable if a participant is late for or fails to attend an event.
  • Where a person or organisation has registered to attend an event but has not paid fees in advance, they will be liable to pay those fees if they fail to attend without ten working days’ notice.

Substitutions and Transfers

  • Where a registered participant cannot attend, they may send a substitute. Requests for substitutions can be made by calling SANDAS on 08 82318818 and can be made at any time up to the event commencement date.
  • SANDAS does not offer a facility for registration fees to be transferred to another event.