Due to COVID-19 the Spring 2020 Service Providers Conference was delivered as a four-part webinar series over October and November.

VAADA is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to facilitate the Service Providers’ Conference


Webinar 1: Telehelp! Tools and Techniques for telephone and video consultations for AOD Treatment

Watch the recording here.

Description: Telehealth has become increasingly popular due to its convenience and ability to increase accessibility to consumers. It has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is likely that telehealth is here to stay. This webinar looks into the importance of telehealth, key takeaways from the guide, and the challenges involved with telehealth. There will be opportunities for audience questions as well.
Moderator: Dr Naomi Crafti, Course Coordinator Grad Cert Telehealth, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University

Speakers: Associate. Professor Robert Ali Adelaide Medical School & Professor Steve Allsop National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) Curtin University, authors of ‘Telephone and Video Consultations: How to Identify and Respond to Substance Use – A Guide for Health Professionals’. Panel Conversation will include James Szeto, team leader at Reconnexion


Webinar 2: Harm Reduction Innovation and Challenges: What we can learn from other jurisdictions

Watch the recording here.

Part 1 – Keynote presentation: ‘Colliding public health emergencies in British Columbia, Canada; challenges and opportunities for overdose response ‘ presented by Jane Buxton. This presentation will present insight into harm reduction in British Columbia including topics such as Mobile outreach MSIR, peer work, Naloxone distribution, decriminilisation/safe supply models, and other measures and opportunities in Harm Reduction.

At BCCDC, Jane chairs the inter-sectoral provincial Drug Overdose and Alert Partnership and oversees the provincial harm reduction strategies and services program including take home naloxone. She is involved in overdose response epidemiology and uses quantitative and qualitative methods in her research. Jane is committed to including the authentic voices of the experts – people with lived and living experience – in developing policy, program planning, research and evaluation.

Moderated by Dr. Jesse Young (PHD MPH BSc), with reflection and Victorian context provided by  Nico Clark, Medical Director of the MSIR in Richmond. There will also be opportunities for audience Q and A.

Part 2 – Presentation: ‘Addicted Australia’ . Join Professor Dan Lubman (Executive Clinical Director, Turning Point) and Steve Michelson (Campaign Director, Rethink Addiction) to hear about the SBS series Addicted Australia set to air 10 November and the potential to make addiction treatment and research a national priority.


Webinar 3: COVID-19 and the AOD Consumer

Watch the recording here.

Part one

COVID-19 and AOD Treatment: Between 21 May and 9 June this year the Association of Participating Service Users (APSU) interviewed 32 Victorians who had accessed AOD treatment across 17 different organisations since the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.

In this presentation, Edita Kennedy will talk about some main findings that came out of this consultation: how service users experienced the changes in service delivery, what were the main challenges for them during this period, and what are their expectations from the AOD services.The presentation will be followed by an expert panel discussion.

Part two

COVID-19, AOD, and the lockdown of the public housing towers: at 15:00 on 4 July 2020 3,000 residents of the public housing towers in Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne underwent a “hard lockdown”, prohibiting anyone from entering or exiting the site.

This discussion will feature contributions from key organisations from the incident including Flat Out, Harm Reduction Victoria, CoHealth, and the Department of Health and Human Services. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the event followed by a discussion focused on learnings and actions that can be taken around AOD service delivery to improve the process if it were the be necessary again in the future. There will be opportunity for audience questions.


Webinar 4: Trauma, AOD and Youth Treatment

Watch the recording here.

Keynote speaker Silvana Izzo, will be joined by Tara Schultz, and AOD Consultant Sharyn Smith (BCYF) for special insight into the experiences and implications of childhood trauma in AOD.

This webinar includes a background into childhood trauma and its potential impacts across a lifetime, with practical tools and tips for dealing with clients that have experienced trauma. It will conclude with a cross-panel audience Q and A opportunity.