Sector Development

VAADA’s Sector Development program delivers a range of projects aimed to support the Victorian AOD sector and assist to build the capacity of the workforce to respond holistically to consumer needs. The program remains flexible to reflect VAADA’s strategic priorities and also ensure that the organisation is in a position to support the AOD sector throughout the sector reform process. Recent years have seen a focus on capacity building within the AOD sphere, along with our colleagues in the broader community and health services systems as we continue to engage stakeholders from the range of settings who are impacted by AOD misuse in their work with service users. We have a focus on ensuring that service providers from regional and rural Victoria have a voice and continue to proactively engage members of the Aboriginal health and AOD sector to enhance relationships between Koori and mainstream services.

The VAADA program is tasked with delivering ongoing initiatives, but also discrete professional development activities which seek to enhance worker understanding, knowledge and skills.

Current activities

AOD Sector Reforms

We were funded to support and co-facilitate a number of advisory groups to provide advice to the Victorian Department of Health (DH) on the implementation of key reform proposals. This work includes support of the allocated groups, the facilitation of face to face and electronic consultations and communication with the broader AOD sector to assist greater understanding of what is being planned within the proposed reforms. More information.


National AOD Projects

The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) has engaged external providers to undertake a number of projects to inform the development, delivery and funding of the AOD sector in all states and territories.

VAADA is advocating for the need to engage with stakeholders and we will continue to promote opportunities for Victorian agencies to be consulted throughout each of the projects. Whilst acknowledging the busy schedules associated with the state wide AOD sector reform process, we believe it is important that service providers have input into these projects where possible to ensure outcomes are reflective of provider and consumer needs. More information.

Past activities

Victorian AOD Treatment Principles

As a component of the sector reform work we were tasked with facilitating consultation on the proposed treatment principles that have been developed by DH. We undertook electronic and face to face consultations and provided consolidated feedback to DH based on the two questions that were included in the consultation paper under each of the proposed principles. The overarching aim of this project was to inform a set of locally developed principles for the Victorian AOD treatment system. Read the treatment principles consultation paper here.


AOD Workforce Strategy consultation

VAADA undertook consultation with the sector to inform development of the AOD Workforce Strategy. It was envisaged that gaining sector advice on current workforce issues would encourage greater ownership of the new strategy. The key objectives of this project were to consult the sector to:

  • Develop position papers on professionalisation; attracting and retaining staff; and integration and collaboration
  • Provide consolidated feedback from the sector on the draft strategy to the Department of Health

In December 2012 DH released the final Workforce Framework and Implementation Plan. Both documents can be found here.


Drug Action Week 2012

Drug Action Week saw us bring together representatives from AOD; Mental Health; Indigenous Health; Children & Families; Youth; and Housing to focus on enhancing responses for people experiencing co-occurring substance misuse and mental illness. It was clear that these issues impact on all service systems and they require further support to respond to consumers accessing a range of different service types. This was a step to building stronger relationships with peak bodies of other community and health systems and we will seek continued opportunities to work together on areas of mutual interest.


Cognitive Impairment Forum

The relationship between the AOD, Mental Health and Disability sectors is complex and often the challenges in navigating the various systems are most adversely experienced by service users. This forum was funded under the Improved Services Initiative (ISI) and was designed to bring together people from the AOD and mental health sectors to hear about the incidence of intellectual disabilities and Acquired Brain Injury; challenges for people attempting to navigate diverse service systems; and effective strategies to support this marginalised group of people. This was an opportunity to build positive relationships amongst clinicians delivering services in frontline settings, with the aim to increase understanding of strategies to support people who have cognitive impairment and are accessing AOD and/or mental health services.


Four C’s for Courts: Court reporting, Case notes, Confidence and Capacity

In late 2011 VAADA facilitated a series of practice development forums across Victoria. Funded by FARE, these events aimed to increase understanding of AOD practitioners on the Victorian court system and its processes; highlight examples of existing good practice; and increase awareness of available resources and support options.

Other activities that staff within the Sector Development program deliver include:

  • Presentations at conferences and professional development events
  • Facilitation of external strategic planning activities
  • Continued relationship building between the mainstream and Aboriginal workforces
  • Chairing of a number of groups that exist to bring AOD stakeholders together

Thanks to all who have attended our events, participated in consultations and supported our advocacy activities. We appreciate that this period of sector change will bring both opportunities and challenges and we look forward to continuing to work with you all as the reforms begin to take shape.

Please contact Brad Pearce at if you have any queries.

Vaada Supporters

VAADA acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Victoria Government
aboriginal flag  VAADA acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Victoria.