Public Forum and Conference: 23 & 24 Sept 2014
ATODA eBulletin -
Public Forum and Conference: 23 & 24 September 2014

The ACT ATOD Sector Conference is the major event each year in which all parts of our sector (practitioners, policy makers, researchers, consumers and families) connect and consider challenges and opportunities now and into the future. With less than 10 spots left we encourage you to register now!

Public Forum: Better Understanding Evidence-Based Medicinal Cannabis Option for the ACT

ATODA, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and the AIDS Action Council  

There is widespread interest in medicinal cannabis in Australia, with the ACT Legislative Assembly considering legislation and conducting an Inquiry. Currently some Australians self-medicate with cannabis for various conditions, with some doing so with the support of their physician. By doing this they are behaving illegally because all forms of cannabis are currently prohibited in the ACT and Australia.
There is widespread public support for changing legislation to permit the use of cannabis for medical purposes (69%) and for a clinical trial (74%).
At the forum, world-class Australian thinkers will discuss the evidence base for medicinal cannabis including for which conditions it is indicated; its history and socio-political contexts; and the various supply options. The forum will include short presentations, a panel Q&A and information about current developments in the ACT.

Speakers and panel members include: Date: 23 September 2014
Time: 5:30 – 7pm (arrival and refreshments from 5pm)
Venue:  Reception Room, ACT Legislative Assembly
Cost: Free
RSVP: Please, to
For more information: See the flyer
This is the free public component of the 7th Annual ACT Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Sector Conference (see below).

7th Annual ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Sector Conference

What’s the drug policy ‘problem’? Our understanding of the ‘problem’ comes from different perspectives. This conference will explore why understanding different perspectives matters and how these perspectives both shape the ‘problem’ and the potential solutions. Different perspectives can also have different weight and often consumer perspectives are sidelined. We will unpack and challenge four different drug policy ‘problems’ are and seek to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Topics include:
  • Medical cannabis
  • E-cigarettes
  • Drug driving
  • New psychoactive substances
The conference will bring together all parts of our sector including researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, consumers and families.
World-class thinkers will be provoking ideas and discussion, including:
  • Professor Alison Ritter, Drug Policy Modelling Program, NDARC, UNSW
  • Dr Helen Keane, Australian National University
  • Ms Anke van der Sterren, Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT
  • Dr Coral Gartner, University of Queensland
  • Dr Monica Barratt, Drug Policy Modelling Program, NDARC, UNSW
  • Mr Ross Bell, New Zealand Drug Foundation
  • Mr David McDonald, Australian National University
  • Professor Max Cameron, Monash University
  • Emeritus Professor Laurence Mather, University of Sydney
  • Dr Alex Wodak, St Vincent's Hospital & Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
Conference approach
The conference will challenge speakers and participants to apply Bacchi’s (2009) ‘What’s the problem represented to be’ questions, including:
  1. What is the ‘problem’ represented to be in a specific policy?
  2. What presuppositions or assumptions underlie this representation of the ‘problem’?
  3. How has the representation of the ‘problem’ come about?
  4. What is left unproblematic in this problem representation? Where are the silences? Can the ‘problem’ be thought about differently?
  5. What effects are produced by this representation of the problem?
  6. How / where is this representation of the ‘problem’ produced, disseminated and defended?
  7. How could it be questioned, disrupted and replaced?
Each session will include ‘a consumer perspective’ which will be developed in advance in consultation with consumers. This will provide a perspective on the given drug policy ‘problem’.
Date: Wednesday 24 September 2014
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: National Portrait Gallery of Australia (King Edward Terrace, Parkes)
Fees: ATODA members: $88.00, Non-ATODA members: $118.00, Consumers and families: Free (limited places – 10% of the registrations are fully subsidised, contact ATODA to access) 

Register here:
For more information: Visit the ATODA website, email, or call (02) 6255 4070
The Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Program is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the ‘Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Funds' and is managed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.


Contact ATODA:

Phone: (02) 6255 4070
Fax: (02) 6255 4649
Mail: PO Box 7187,
Watson ACT 2602
Visit: 350 Antill St. Watson

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The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) is the peak body representing the non-government and government alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) sector in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ATODA seeks to promote health through the prevention and reduction of the harms associated with ATOD. 

Views expressed in the ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. Not all third-party events or information included in the eBulletin are endorsed by the ACT ATOD Sector or the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. No responsibility is accepted by the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT or the editor for the accuracy of information contained in the eBulletin or the consequences of any person relying upon such information. To contact us please email or call (02) 6255 4070.