$29.57 – $38.01

Is it Time to Legalise Drugs? Forum - with ABC Media Watch Host Paul Barry

Event Information



Wesley Conference Centre

220 Pitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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Event description
Join ABC Media Watch host, Paul Barry for an all-star, panel discussion on the war on drugs. Is prohibition working? Is it time to legalise?

  • Hon. Bob Carr

    Hon. Bob Carr

    Former Premier and Foreign Minister Former Premier and Foreign Minister
  • Sally Dowling

    Sally Dowling

    Senior Counsel to the NSW Ice Inquiry Senior Counsel to the NSW Ice Inquiry
  • Hon. Geoff Gallop

    Hon. Geoff Gallop

    Global Commission on Drugs
  • Antony Loewenstein

    Antony Loewenstein

    Author - Pills Powder and Smoke
  • Alison Ritter

    Alison Ritter

    Director Drug Policy Modelling Program - University of NSW
  • Jenny Valentish

    Jenny Valentish

    Author - Women of Substances

About this Event

Postponed until October

Due to the uncertainty related to the COVID-19 virus, this event has been postponed until later in the year, most likely October 2020. We will advise all ticket holders when a firm date is decided with the option to refund their ticket if they can not attend on the alternate date.

Thank you for your patience in this difficult time.

Greg Chipp

Managing Director

+++++++++++++++++ POSTPONED +++++++++++++++++

Hear from two former State Premiers, the Hon. Bob Carr and the Hon. Geoff Gallop. Best selling authors Antony Lowenstein and Jenny Valentish and drug policy researcher, Professor Alison Ritter and Sally Dowling who was the Senior Counsel assisting the ICE Inquiry will all be on the discussion panel.

Antony Loewenstein, will speak about legalising and regulating drugs, the premise of his new book, "Pills, Powder, and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs". Jenny Valentish, author of "Women of Substances" will talk about her experiences with drugs alcohol and recovery from a female vantage point. Alison Ritter will give you the facts about drug policy based on her research at the University of NSW.

There will also be an audience Q&A, and signed book sales form Antony and Jenny.

Information Tables from leading AOD Organisations

Get the facts about drugs from Australia's leading Alcohol and Other Drug organisations. Learn how to administer Naloxone in an overdoes emergency and why not to mix Drugs with Alcohol. There will be information tables from Australia’s leading Alcohol and Other Drug organisations providing information about their services.

Books and Pill Testing Kits for Sale

You can buy a signed copy of Antony Loewenstein’s book, "Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs", "Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment" by Jenny Valentish, Johann Hari’s bestselling book, "Chasing the Scream" and Reagent drug Testing Kits.

The Panel

ABC Media Watch Host, Paul Barry will host an all-star panel discussion about the war on drugs at the Sydney Wesley Conference Centre on April 23.

Paul Barry - Host

ABC journalist and Media Watch Host

Paul is an English-born, award-winning Australian journalist, newsreader and television presenter, who has won many awards for his investigative reporting. He received a Gold Logie for Best Public Affairs Report and 2 Walkley Awards for Best Business Report, ABC Four Corners in 1993 and Best News Report, Sydney Morning Herald in 2001. He is the author of 6 books author on Australian political and business leaders and is currently the face of the ABC’s media watch.

Professor the Hon Bob Carr

Former NSW Premier and Federal Foreign Minister

Former NSW Premier and Federal Foreign Minister. At the height of Australia’s heroin crisis in 1999, he held a bipartisan drug summit leading to Australia’s first and until recently only medically supervised injecting room credited with saving thousands of lives. He also pioneered other Harm reduction policies, including drug courts that allowed the magistrates to offer drug offenders treatment options rather than impose prison sentences. Bob is an esteemed elder statesman of Australian politics and has written many books including “Diary of a Foreign Minister”.

Emeritus Professor , the Hon. Geoff Gallop AC

Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop AC was a Member of Western Australia’s Legislative Assembly for twenty years and Premier from 2001 to 2006. He was Director of Sydney University’s Graduate School of Government (2006-2015) developing programs and teaching in the area of public sector policy and management in Australia, Africa and South-East Asia. He is a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and chairs the Research Committee of the New Democracy Foundation.

Sally Dowling Barrister at Law

Senior Counsel to the recent NSW "Ice" Inquiry

Sally Dowling SC is a barrister with extensive experience in the criminal law. In 2019 Sally was senior counsel assisting the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice which enquired into the merits of decriminalisation of drug offences in NSW. Between 2002 and 2018 Sally was a Crown Prosecutor including 3 years as Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor (Appeals).

Professor Alison Ritter AO

Director, Drug Policy Modelling Program at the University of New South Wales

She is a Senior Research Fellow leading multi-disciplinary research on drug policy. Her research focusses on many aspects of evidence-based drug policy, including research on drug laws and drug treatment models. Professor Ritter worked as a clinical psychologist in the alcohol and drug treatment sector before commencing full-time research. She has contributed significant policy and practice developments across alcohol and drug policy over many years. Alison is a sort-after speaker at international conferences and has published widely in the field.

Antony Loewenstein

Investigative journalist and bestselling author

Antony Loewenstein is an Australian investigative journalist and bestselling author. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian. His forthcoming book, Pills, Powder and Smoke, is a gripping first-hand account from the frontlines of the global war on drugs, arguing for the legalisation of all drugs as an antidote to our current failed policies.

Jenny Valentish

Journalist, Author and Board member of Smart Recovery

Journalist Jenny Valentish is the author of three books, including Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment, which drew on her own story with drugs and alcohol to take a bigger picture look at policy, harm-minimisation, stigma, and how addiction and treatment can be gendered. She is an internationally recognised journalist, a consultant for the University of New South Wales’ National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, on the board of SMART Recovery Australia.

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Wesley Conference Centre

220 Pitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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