Everything you wanted to know about the AOD sector (but didn't know who to...

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Assembly Hall Building, Robert White Hall

Level 1/156 Collins Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000


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Everything you wanted to know about the Alcohol and Other Drug sector (but didn't know who to ask!)

The Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) sector can appear complex with many moving and sometimes obscure parts. Each part aims to support people in their recovery journey. People and their needs change and what will work may alter over time. This forum has gathered speakers with a range of professional and lived experience to provide knowledge about how to navigate the system.

Topics covered include:

  • Who qualifies for AOD services?

  • What key services are available to people with substance use issues?

  • Can family members or significant others access services?

  • What other specialist services are available?

  • How do different programs and services relate to each other?

  • What could a recovery journey through the service system look like?

  • Is there a typical journey?

All these questions will be answered and many more.

Who should attend?

Health and welfare practitioners who work with people with substance use issues. Community members interested in accessing or supporting others to access AOD services.


Brad Pearce

Masters of Public Health, Graduate Diploma AOD, Bachelor of Youth Work

Acting Manager Alcohol & Other Drugs, North Western Primary Health Network

Brad works with the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network and has significant experience within the alcohol and other dugs (AOD) sector, including roles in direct service delivery, workforce development, program and service development, and most recently in commissioning of services. He has a specific interest in Aboriginal Health, AOD treatment and the interface with public health principles and practice.

Brad's current focus is supporting and building the capacity of the AOD system across north west Melbourne to respond to the needs of diverse populations.

Dom Ennis

Postgrad Diploma Adolescent Health, Diploma AOD, Diploma Community Services

Director of Research, Advocacy, and Practice Development, Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS)

Dom has been a manager and practitioner in the Youth AOD field since 2000, working in and managing community based programs, intensive support withdrawal units and specialised projects. Dom's entire youth work experience spans over 20 years and includes roles in youth housing, family support and out of home care.

Dom was responsible for development, design and implementation of the statewide Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice (YoDAA) service.

Dom is especially interested in the development of innovative service responses that challenge traditional notions of treatment and that incorporate evidence regarding what young people need to develop resilience.

Dom will talk about “Developmentally Responsive Care” – Understanding the Youth AOD Service System. There are a number of fundamental differences between youth-specific AOD services and the adult AOD sector.

These are related to evidence of what is effective practice with people in the adolescent and young adult stages of life, including:

  • Environments and programs that are attractive and accessible for young people thus promoting the potential for treatment engagement and retention

  • Practitioners have specific training in adolescent development and create opportunities for positive development

  • A focus on both ecological and internal resilience

  • Aware of the unique statutory provisions applying to children and young people

  • Intake processes feature proactive collaboration with referring agencies or families

  • High priority is placed on family-inclusive practice

Dom will discuss the characteristics and values of Youth AOD services, how and why to access them, and how young people and families can become engaged in the treatment process.

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Assembly Hall Building, Robert White Hall

Level 1/156 Collins Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000


View Map

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