Voices of Impact- harnessing lived experience for progressive AOD policy reform

The AOD sector have sought to create opportunities for a peer workforce across the treatment and harm reduction continuum. We have been met with mixed success, with stigma and scarce resourcing anchoring significant progress. Whilst the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System acknowledged the value of a peer workforce to support the recovery of individuals and carers, the value of lived experience to aid advocacy efforts for program, legislative and policy reform across sectors is currently an unrecognised and unfunded piece of our mosaic.

This panel will explore the untapped opportunities that lived experience offers to advocacy and drug law reform, addressing stigma, building sector capability, lessons for other sectors and key areas to maximise positive impact.


Lisa Abbott, Executive Manager- Social Impact and Growth, TaskForce Community Agency

With 20 years of experience across the justice, health and community sectors,  Lisa is passionate about improving outcomes through collaboration with services and those with lived experience and recognizes the need to work at both a direct service and systems level in order to create sustainable change for the most challenging of health and social issues.



Sione Crawford, CEO, Harm Reduction Victoria

Sione Crawford is the CEO of Harm Reduction Victoria, the state organisation representing people who use drugs and people who inject drugs. He has been working in community and peer-based organisations for 20 years in a variety of roles, from policy to peer education to management. Prior to HRVic, he managed the ACT user organisation, CAHMA and was Programs Director at the NSW user organisation, NUAA.

Clare Davies, CEO, Self-Help Addiction Resource Centre

Clare is the CEO at Self Help Addiction Resource Centre SHARC which is a lived experience agency established by people from the AOD community over 25 years ago. Clare has qualifications in social worker, alcohol and drug work, social science and governance.

Lyanne Morel, Lived Experience Advocate, Taskforce Community Agency

Lyanne Morel is TaskForce’s Lived Experience Advocate, bringing a wealth of experience through contact with multiple systems and involvement in Red Cross’ Youth Parliament initiative. Lyanne uses her personal journey to build awareness of systemic gaps that prevent individuals accessing support and advocates for policy, program and legislative change.


There were no slides for the panel discussion.

There is no recording of the panel discussion.