Chris Christoforou – Chief Executive Officer
Chris comes to VAADA from the Yoorrook Justice Commission, Australia’s first Aboriginal led Royal Commission and truth telling body, where he was Director of Operations. Previously he was Executive Officer of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria, leading the member peak body for migrant communities and multicultural organisations in Victoria. Chris has extensive experience across the education and community sector including leadership roles at the Western Bulldogs Football Club, Mission Australia and Centre for Adult Education. He is a current Board Member of VCOSS and a member of the Victorian Government’s Anti-Racism Taskforce.
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 seen 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 commenced with VAADA in August 2017. He 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. Scott holds a Masters in Criminology.
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.
James Petty – Project Officer Special Projects
James started at VAADA in December 2019 as Project Officer – Special Projects. In this role, James manages three projects—the Alcohol and Drug Research Innovation Agenda (ADRIA), the Tri-Peaks cross-sector collaboration initiative, and a research project investigating responses to AOD presentations in Emergency Departments—as well as contributing to VAADA’s policy and research outputs. Prior to VAADA, James was Senior Policy Officer at Penington Institute.
James has a PhD in Criminology from the University of Melbourne. His thesis investigated government responses to homelessness in Melbourne. James has been involved in multiple research projects across homelessness, Alcohol and Other Drugs and policy evaluation.
Caitlyn Wilson – Project Officer – Elevate!
Caitlyn is the Lead Project Officer for Elevate! and the AOD Collaborative ECHO project. Caitlyn came to VAADA from the commercial construction industry, where she specialised in implementing an award-winning workplace health check program to address risk factors such as smoking, drug and alcohol use, weight management, and stress. She joined VAADA in 2017 as a Project Officer supporting the Workforce Capacity Building Project and later assumed the role of Project Officer for the Workforce Development and Stakeholder Engagement Project, providing support to three federally funded Primary Health Networks in Victoria. In 2021, Caitlyn took on the Elevate! project, funded by the State Government of Victoria, offering free training to AOD workers in state-funded AOD services. In 2023, she embarked on a collaborative program with Turning Point and Goulburn Valley Health to deliver the AOD Collaborative ECHO (ACECHO) pilot program. Caitlyn was the Conference Organiser of VAADA’s 2023 Biennial Conference and loves a good event.
Julia Daly – Project Officer
Julia joined VAADA in 2020 as a Project and Administration Officer, providing support across VAADA’s projects, governance, and events. In 2023 she transitioned into a Project Officer role, leading the VAADABase Data Collaboration, COVID Priority Populations and MurrayPHN Workforce Development projects as well as the Youth AOD Network. She holds a Bachelor of Business Management and Diploma of Leadership and Management. Julia’s background spans the corporate business and AOD sectors. Preceding her VAADA tenure she held vital roles in Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Australia including administrative support, project management and operations management. She is a current Board Member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia and a member of Volunteering Victoria’s Newly Arrived Migrant Advisory Group.
Gillian Clark – Project Officer Mental Health Royal Commission
Gillian has commenced with VAADA from December 2021 in the role of the Sector Engagement Project Worker for the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health Services. With the delivery of recommendations following the Royal Commission, VAADA was funded to ensure ongoing AOD sector involvement and consultation with the acknowledgement of possible implications for the sector on the background of changes to the Mental Health System. Gillian has spent the previous 11 years representing the Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative (VDDI) in a rural Mental Health Service providing secondary consultation, policy and project management and capacity building across clinical mental health, AOD and community mental health services. Gillian has professional foundations in social work has cemented her passion for working in the AOD field and with those affected by substance use through the completion of a Masters in Addictive Behaviours in 2016 and as convenor of the Collaborative AOD Leadership Network in 2019.
Meg Bagnall – Project Officer Partnerships and Engagement, Family Violence Reforms
Meg (she/her) holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science, complemented by a Graduate Certificate in Politics and Policy. With a career spanning over a decade in and around the family violence sector, Meg brings a wealth of experience and expertise to VAADA.
Meg is passionate about improving community outcomes and employs compassionate, collaborative, and cooperative frameworks to foster meaningful change. Meg is particularly interested in the intricate intersections of substance use and gendered violence, a focus that aligns with her current thesis work on parallel systems of oppression, starting with international drug policy.
An advocate of intersectional feminism and social justice, Meg continuously seeks opportunities to contribute to equitable access to support, especially for identities that face systemic oppression.