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.
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 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.
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.
Sheridon Byrne – Project Officer Stakeholder Management Family Violence Reforms
Sheridon joined VAADA in August 2020 to continue on the work of supporting the AOD sector to embed family violence reforms. She has taken a leave of absence from Turning Point to take up this contract until June 2021. Sheridon has extensive experience and employment history working in front line and crisis response services within Family Violence and women’s services. In her role as Education and Training Officer at Turning Point, she embeds Family Violence capacity building and education within the AOD skillset and other programs both in a face to face and online format. Sheridon is a qualified Trainer & Assessor and has a Bachelor of Science, Psychology.
Caitlyn Wilson – Project Officer Workforce Development and Stakeholder Engagement
Caitlyn started at VAADA in 2017 as a Project Officer supporting the Capacity Building Project and other project work. In July 2020 she took over the Workforce Development and Stakeholder Engagement project. Caitlyn coordinates activities across three Primary Health Network (PHN) regions: North West Melbourne, Western Victoria and Murray PHNs. Her role involves a range of activities across these regions including workforce development events, managing stakeholder networks and capacity building. Caitlyn came to VAADA after 6 years working with the commercial construction industry in health promotion coordinating WorkHealth checks on commercial construction sites and program development of worksite programs aimed at reducing risk factors in workers such as smoking, drug and alcohol, weight and stress.
Julia Daly – Project and Administration Officer Drug and Alcohol Program
Julia joined our team at VAADA in 2020. With a business management background, she has worked in both Corporate Business and AOD sectors. Prior to her time at VAADA she held various roles in Students for Sensible Drug Policy, with a focus on administrative support, project management and operations management. Her previous AOD experience has specialised in youth representation and treatment within the sector. This combination of AOD and business backgrounds has her providing support across VAADA projects, events, network meetings, including the VAADA board and subcommittee meetings.