VAADA comprises of a team of 3 core funded staff, a program manager and a team of project officers.
Sam Biondo – Executive Officer
Sam has been Executive Officer at the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association since 2007. He was previously employed by Fitzroy Legal Service since 1989. With a background in education, social work and criminology his principal work has involved social research, the preparation and production of educational and training materials, community development, and advocacy work. Sam has a keen interest in social justice and open and transparent systems of institutional accountability. He has been involved on a number of community sector Boards, reference committees, and NGO associations.
Greg Denham – Media and Policy Officer
Greg Denham has been actively involved in drug policy issues for over 25 years. A former police officer, Greg has local, national and international experience in drug policy with expertise in harm reduction and has been a strong advocate for evidence informed policy and practice. In his previous role as the Executive Officer for the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, Greg was a driving force behind the establishment of the Medically Supervised Injecting Room in North Richmond as well as the provision of Naloxone and needle and syringe dispensing machines. Greg has also worked with health and criminal justice agencies in developing countries advocating for the introduction of policies and practices that prevent the spread of HIV and other blood borne viruses through support for needle exchange programs, methadone and condom availability. Greg holds teaching degrees from Monash and Deakin Universities as well as a Graduate Diploma in Drug Abuse Studies from Victoria University.’
Chris McDonnell – Finance, Administration & Communications Officer
Chris has responsibility in three portfolios. Much of his work is the day-to-day administrative tasks within the office; which also involves working closely with the Executive Officer and board to maintain VAADA’s financial systems. He is also the Quality Manager, and works with the Executive Officer to ensure that VAADA maintains its high standards, to enable it to continue providing the services and representation its membership deserve. His main focus in the communications portfolio is the management of ENEWS, helps out in other areas within the VAADA communications suite as needed. Because VAADA has a small team, like all of his workmates from the EO down, Chris is an all-rounder, and may be pinch hitting in VAADA events or projects, answering doors, or taking out the rubbish. Chris has been at VAADA since 2002.
Scott Drummond – Program Manager
Scott is responsible for coordinating network meetings, sector development, stakeholder engagement and capacity building. Prior to starting at VAADA, Scott was employed as a Senior Policy Officer within the Department of Justice & Regulation with responsibility for AOD policy and service monitoring of AOD treatment programs in the Victorian public prison system. During his seven years in corrections, Scott also delivered AOD programs to prisoners at the Metropolitan Remand Centre and the Melbourne Assessment Prison. Scott’s AOD background also includes working for 10 years at Odyssey House’s therapeutic community where he worked as a group therapist, co-ordinated the recreation program and finally as the Therapeutic Community Administrator.
Jane Moreton – Co-occurring Capacity Building Project
Jane Moreton has worked at VAADA since June 2013 as the CCB Project Manager. Her role involves capacity building across the AOD sector in a range of activities including mental health, developing resources, advocacy, and workforce development, and through promoting collaborative linkages and partnerships between organisations.
Jane has worked in the AOD sector for over 19 years, and she has a background in nursing, social work and project management. Throughout her career Jane has worked in both clinical, and project management settings in the not-for-profit sector focusing on change and capacity building. This has allowed her to develop an extensive understanding of the need for service systems to evolve their responses to improve outcomes for clients within the context of limited funding opportunities and barriers.
Naomi Carter – Project Officer Workforce Development and Stakeholder Engagement
Naomi commenced with VAADA in 2017 as Project Officer, Workforce Development and Stakeholder Engagement. Her role involves a range of activities across the sector including workforce development events, managing stakeholder networks and capacity building. Naomi came to VAADA after 18 months in Community Mental Health in Victoria, and prior to that a lengthy mix of mediation, management and professional development within Corrections in Western Australia. A large component of Naomi’s experience in Corrections involved building and maintaining inter and intra-agency networks, both in metropolitan and regional areas, along with implementing a variety of projects to achieve strategic workforce development outcomes.
Marije Roos – Project Lead for Family Violence Project Lead
Marije started working at VAADA December 2018 and is responsible for leading a number of projects in relation to the integration of family violence reforms in the AOD sector.
Marije has an extensive background working in the drug and alcohol sector in clinical and program management roles as well as in research capacities. Marije established her career in the Netherlands and was involved in the establishment and management of a wide number of harm reduction initiatives, including the development of needle and syringe programs, drug consumption facilities and heroin-assisted treatment trial.
Before settling in Australia, she gained international experience with work and study opportunities in the UK, Germany, Italy, and the USA.
In Australia, Marije worked in a number of treatment facilities and harm reduction programs in non-governmental organisations as well as justice programs.
Caitlyn Wilson – Project Officer Co-occurring Capacity Building Project
Caitlyn provides a range of support across all VAADA projects, events, network meetings, including the VAADA board and subcommittee meetings.
Caitlyn has a diverse background which includes working in health promotion in the commercial construction industry, where she developed programs to educate construction workers on reducing risk factors such as smoking, nutrition, stress and physical activity.