Featured Speakers 2018

Professor Matthew Rockloff, Head of Population Research Laboratory, Central Queensland University

Prof. Matthew Rockloff completed a Ph.D. in psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 1999, and is the current Head of the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory at CQUniversity.

Prof Rockloff was named in the Top 10 Unijobs Lecturer of the Year Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Dr Janet Hammill AM, PhD, MTH, RN Honorary Research Fellow Coordinator, Collaboration for Alcohol Related Developmental Disorders Perinatal Research Group University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research

Dr Janet Hammill coordinates the Collaboration for Alcohol Related Developmental Disorders (CARDD) formerly the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Research Network within the Perinatal Research Group at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and is Senior Researcher at Synapse.

An ethnographer, Jan weaves narratives of family history of health and life experiences into a biological framework that better illustrates the epigenetic and developmental burden placed on families. Of particular interest is the neurobiology of stress and teratogenic exposures that have influenced negative trajectories especially for Indigenous families and their children.

Those exposed to alcohol in utero represent the most vulnerable individuals in Australia and the effects are being seen transgenerationally. While invisible to diagnosis, they are too visible in statistics that reflect high rates of parental substance addictions, compromised perinatal outcomes, poor school achievement, behavioural problems, younger sole parenting, early criminality, recidivism, disabling mental health with suicide risks and premature onset of chronic diseases. Invariably having an FASD impacts significantly on overall access to equal life chances and pose critical and urgent challenges for remediation.

Having shared ancestry with the Gomeroi people of the NSW Pilliga Scrub and of the first convicts into the area, Jan’s primary interest is to raise awareness especially among policy makers to alcohol and substance abuse harm and the pressing need for cross-disciplinary, evidence-based interventions.

Associate Professor Christopher Wilkins, Drugs Team Leader, SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, College of Health, Massey University New Zealand

Associate Professor Chris Wilkins is the leader of the drug research team at SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, Massey University, New Zealand.

He has research expertise in drug trends, drug markets and drug policy. Most recently he has published on New Zealand’s regulated market approach to new psychoactive substances, “not-for-profit” approaches to cannabis regulation, developing early warning drug systems, and improving data on drug use and help services in smaller communities.

Dr Wilkins has been an invited speaker at international meetings convened by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the Novel Psychoactive Substances Conference, and the United States National Institute for Drug Abuse Community Epidemiology Working Group (CEWG).

He regularly presents papers at the annual meetings of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP).

Other Confirmed

  • Professor Dan Lubman, Director, Turning Point
  • Dr Lynne Magor-Blatch, Executive Officer & Honorary Principal Fellow, Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association & Faculty of Social Services, University of Wollongong
  • Mr Tony Trimingham, Founder & CEO, Family Drug Support Australia
  • Dr John Reilly, Chief Psychiatrist, Queensland Health

The Conference Program Committee would like to thank the 2017 Featured Speakers.

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Dr Andrew Campbell, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

Dr Andrew Campbell is a registered psychologist that has been researching and teaching about Cyberpsychology and eMental Health for more than 20 years. As a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, he is often approached to speak on the topic of communication technology and its impact on health and wellbeing, specifically around online addictions, online culture and digital citizenship.

Dr Campbell has conducted research notably in the development of online therapies for depression and anxiety, AD/HD treatment using bio-feedback videogames and social networking for managing young people’s mental health.

Talitha Cummins, Talitha Cummins Journalist, Newsreader, Speaker & Advocate for change

Talitha Cummins describes herself as the modern face of a recovering alcoholic: she’s young, professional, educated and high-functioning.

The journalist first began drinking as a 14-year-old to fight shyness and social discomfort. But the alter ego that emerged when she drank – extrovert, confident, brazen – swiftly began to cause problems.

By her early 30s Cummins was a successful television reporter by day and a binge drinker by night. But it wasn’t until her boss intervened to say her job was at stake that she finally took action.

Today Cummins is four years sober, has a newborn son and is the happiest she’s ever been, but admits she is far from the finish line when it comes to beating her addiction.

In October 2016, Talitha appeared on Australian Story revealing her battle with alcoholism.

Professor Olaf H. Drummer, Deputy Director (Academic Programs), Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University

Professor Olaf H. Drummer, Dr.h.c.(Antwerp), PhD (Melb), BAppSc(RMIT), FFSC, FRCPA, FACBS, CChem, is a forensic pharmacologist and toxicologist. Currently, he is Deputy Director (Academic Programs) at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and Professor and Head of the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia.

Professor Drummer completed his Applied Chemistry Degree at completed Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 1973 and his PhD a few years later from Melbourne University.

He worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit at the University of Melbourne’s Austin Hospital precinct becoming a NH&MRC fellow in 1986. In 1989 he took up a position as an Assistant Director at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine to form Victoria’s new forensic toxicology laboratories as well as manage other laboratory and research activities within the Institute.

He has received a number of awards besides the TIAFT Alan Curry award in 2016; Jean Servais Stas award from the German Society of Toxicology and Forensic Chemistry (GTFCh) (2013); Excellence in Higher Degree supervision, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University (2013); Irving Sunshine award from the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology (IATDMCT) for Excellence in Clinical Toxicology (2005) and the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) award for Excellence in Alcohol and Drug Research (2000). He has also received an honorary doctorate (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the University of Antwerp (2016).

He has published extensively in the fields of forensic pharmacology and analytical toxicology, including in over 250 peer reviewed scientific papers in journals, chapters, and has written or co-written 3 books. He has acted as an expert forensic pharmacologist and toxicologist in well over one hundred court cases in Australia and in other parts of the world.

He is a past President (2008-2011) of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) as well as having served as treasurer (1998-2005), and is the past and inaugural President of the Forensic and Clinical Toxicology Association of Australia (FACTA inc; 2010-2016). He is also a member of a number of national and international associations.

He is the editor for toxicology and drug manuscripts for Forensic Science International, and sits on editorial boards of several journals. He is also an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), a founding fellow of the Faculty of Science within the RCPA; and a fellow of the Australasian College of Biomedical Scientists (ACBS

Professor Michael Farrell, Director, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

Professor Michael Farrell is the Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW. He worked in London for over 20 years where he was a Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist in the Maudsley Hospital and a Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. His extensive research interests include treatment evaluation, drug dependence in prisons, Evidence Based Practice and Treatment Evaluation, translation of new evidence into practice. He is a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Dependence. He has published over 200 scientific papers.

Dr Tim MacDonald, Director of Dual Diagnosis, Currumbin Clinic

Dr MacDonald graduated with first class honours from Monash University and with the Geoff Conron Prize in Psychiatry, then trained at The Alfred, Melbourne and St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin. He moved to the Gold Coast in 2014 where he worked as the Northern Community Clinical Lead for Gold Coast HHS. He was an Adjunct Lecturer for Monash University, is now a Senior Lecturer at Griffith University. He is the Unit Director (Dual Diagnosis) at Currumbin Clinic, a Committee Member for the Queensland Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry, a cross-border OTP prescriber, and is currently pursing/researching a range of novel biological approaches to the management of addictions.

Dr MacDonald’s curiosity about the interface between medicine and psychiatry led him to initially sub-specialise in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and complete research in the area of Conversion Disorder.

He has received prizes for writing online learning modules for medical students, and is a reviewer or editorial member for numerous local and international medical and psychiatric journals. He is passionate about employing the “recovery” paradigm in his clinical work, as well as tertiary consultation as a way of promoting mental health literacy in the community.

Dr MacDonald was previously a state-level cricket player, runs marathons occasionally despite acquiring numerous injuries, and was a hopeless rugby player.

Associate Professor Sally McCarthy, Clinical Director Emergency Care Institute, Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW

Associate Professor Sally McCarthy has roles as Clinical Director of the Emergency Care Institute NSW, a body established to network that state’s 184 emergency departments, foster research and innovation and advocate on behalf of emergency care, and senior emergency physician at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. She was recently one of 3 members of the Prime Minister’s Ice Taskforce, producing national recommendations for responding to crystal methamphetamine in Australia. She chairs the Australian Government Medicare Review Clinical Committee for Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Services, was previously President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and holds positions in state, national and international bodies focussed on improving emergency care.

Associate Professor Petra Staiger, School of Psychology, Deakin University

Associate Professor Staiger is a Senior Academic and Psychologist within the School of Psychology at Deakin University. Her expertise is in the treatment of addiction with a focus on individuals with co-occurring disorders. Her work consists of a mix of: a) theoretical/experimental work which informs our understanding of the mechanisms underlying substance disorders (a focus on impulse control and emotion regulation); b)  conducting clinical trials, informing best practise with a strong focus on translation and dissemination of her work into the health service system.  She has written over 100 publications and presented at a range of national and international conferences.

Professor Murat Yucel, Head of Addiction Program of Research, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN), Monash University

Professor Murat Yücel is a trained Clinical Neuropsychologist and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He is currently appointed as a Professorial Fellow within the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University (2013-current) where he is Leader of the Addiction Program within the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN) and Director of the Brain and Mental Health (BMH) Laboratory.

Professor Yücel is a recognised expert in the area of biological psychiatry and addiction neuroscience. His research crafts innovations in the application of psychological and brain imaging techniques to human populations, and has influenced thinking across three main themes: (i) determining the long-term impact of heavy cannabis use on brain, cognition and mental health; (ii) understanding the neural and psychological basis of reduced self-regulation across as drug and behavioural addictions; and (iii) clarifying the underlying neurobiology of several psychiatric illnesses (including psychosis, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder).

His discoveries have led to increased public and professional awareness on these topics and established his group at the forefront of addiction and psychiatric neuroscience research in Australia. To date, he has helped obtain ~$25 million in research funding (including 16 NHMRC and ARC grants), which has led to >240 peer- reviewed publications and >15,000 citations.