Speakers

Mr Daniel Morrison, CEO, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation

Ms Selah Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Hāpai te Hauora

Selah Hart (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) is CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora, the largest Māori public health organisation in Aotearoa. Selah has a public health advocacy and governance background, and currently sits on the board of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Diabetes New Zealand and the Health Coalition Aotearoa. Selah is passionate about health equity, and improving the health of whānau through culturally safe and evidence-based action. She has five children and lives in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Mr Antony Loewenstein, Journalist & Author, Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs

Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and many others. His latest book is Pills, Powder and Smoke: Inside the Bloody War on Drugs. He’s the author of Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe; the writer/co-producer of the associated documentary, Disaster Capitalism; and the co-director of an Al-Jazeera English film on the opioid drug tramadol. His other best-selling books include My Israel Question, The Blogging Revolution, and Profits of Doom, and he is the co-editor of the books Left Turn and After Zionism, and is a contributor to For God’s Sake.

Ms Sarah Butler, Health Industries Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting (Australia)

Professor Judith Grisel, Behavioural Neuroscientist, Bucknell University

Professor Grisel is a behavioral neuroscientist with expertise in pharmacology and genetics whose research focuses on determining the neural liability toward drug addiction. Her laboratory at Bucknell University is especially interested in identifying innate factors that influence the rewarding effects of abused drugs, because initial sensitivity predicts disordered use. Recent work has focused on the role of endogenous opiate neurotransmission in sex differences in binge alcohol drinking. Professor Grisel teaches General Psychology, Introduction to Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Neuroethics, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Clinical Neuroscience, and recently published Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, a New York Times bestseller and NB Book of the Month.

Mr Simon Fenech, Operations manager of Fruit2Work and author of Breaking Good

“It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can make a mistake and lose your way,” says Simon Fenech. “But you can always find your way back.” The way back was a long and difficult road for Fenech, who suffered a workplace injury as a delivery driver in 2008. That injury led to a life-changing decision. Unable to find relief with prescription medications and physical therapy, he resorted to methamphetamine to ease his chronic pain. “After nine years of training in kickboxing, I really thought I had self-control,” he says. “But from the very first time I tried ice, I was addicted.” The following years saw him fall into drug addiction and criminal activity until he was sentenced to 12 months in prison in 2016. “All I could think of was getting my kids back in my life – that was my goal,” he says of using the time in jail to rehabilitate.

After his release, Fenech struggled to find a job – “As soon as employers saw I had a criminal record they closed the door on me” – but his life changed again when he was hired by Melbourne delivery service Fruit2Work, a social enterprise that offers employment opportunities and peer mentoring to people with a criminal record. “Being able to receive a pay packet, to wear a high-vis uniform again, I didn’t feel like a criminal anymore and I was able to start rebuilding my life.” The 46-year-old father of three is now the organisation’s operations manager and helps guide a new group through the program, which boasts a zero recidivism rate, every six months. “All I want to do is give someone the opportunity I had.”

Professor Simon Lenton, Director, National Drug Research Institute (Invited)

Ms Melanie Walker, CEO, Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) (Invited)

Professor Dan Lubman AM, Executive Clinical Director, Turning Point and Professor of Addiction Studies and Services, Monash University (Invited)

Hon Greg Hunt, Minister of Health, Australian Parliament (Invited)

Dr Jeremy Hayllar, Clinical Director, Metro South Queensland (Invited)

Professor Judith Grisel, Behavioural Neuroscientist, Bucknell University

Professor Grisel is a behavioral neuroscientist with expertise in pharmacology and genetics whose research focuses on determining the neural liability toward drug addiction. Her laboratory at Bucknell University is especially interested in identifying innate factors that influence the rewarding effects of abused drugs, because initial sensitivity predicts disordered use. Recent work has focused on the role of endogenous opiate neurotransmission in sex differences in binge alcohol drinking. Professor Grisel teaches General Psychology, Introduction to Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology, Neuroethics, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Clinical Neuroscience, and recently published Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, a New York Times bestseller and NB Book of the Month.