Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

Drug Reform in Australia: Shifting stigma and rethinking our response – Tackling Inequality Learning Circle

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation
Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation
27 October 2022

As evidence mounts as to how the current laws for possession of illicit drugs increase harm, there is a push to look for new and better ways to respond to this complex issue

We’re at a crossroads on this issue in Australia. The ACT Government is preparing to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs, Australia’s first pill and drug testing clinic pilot has launched in Canberra, the Queensland Government is reforming drug driving laws, and the NSW Government is reviewing its drug policies.

Join us at our next Tackling Inequality Learning Circle to learn about international models effectively treating drug use as a health issue, rather than a criminal one.


Thursday 27 October
10:30am – 12:00pm AEDT

This event is online only. Registrants will be sent a link on the day to join via Zoom.


Dr Erin Lalor AM, Chief Executive Officer, Alcohol and Drug Foundation 

Erin Lalor has led the Alcohol and Drug Foundation since 2017, and brings a breadth of knowledge and expertise to the organisation. She is a recognised leader in the health policy and not-for-profit sectors with over 20 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, advocate, and leader. Erin is also the current Deputy Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs.  

Marion McConnell OAM, Founding Member, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform  

Marion McConnell OAM, along with her late husband Brian, is a founding member of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, which advocates for harm reduction and for addiction to be treated as a health and social issue. Her interest in drug law reform began in 1992, following a tragic incident in which her son had overdosed on heroin and the negative treatment their family received from police following the incident, sharing her story in “the Drug Law Wars: Twenty years of families fighting at the front”. Marion has since been an active advocate in this space and received an OAM in 2017 for her work in drug law reform.  

Dr Will Tregoning, Chief Executive Officer, Unharm 

Will Tregoning is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unharm and co-founder of drug-checking organisation, The Loop Australia. Will came to drug law reform from a background in social policy research, communications consultancy and health equity program management. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and a PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney before beginning a career as a research and evaluation consultant to Australian government departments and agencies, focusing on alcohol and other drugs. 

Dr Caitlin Hughes, Associate Professor in Criminology and Drug Policy, Flinders University

Caitlin Hughes is an Associate Professor in criminology and drug policy and Matthew Flinders Fellow at the Centre for Crime Policy and Research at Flinders University. Her research seeks to advance Australian and international drug policy by improving the evidence base on the effects of different legislative and law enforcement approaches to drug use and supply by working directly with policymakers. Caitlin has spent over 18 years researching drug and alcohol policy, including nearly 13 years at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, working as part of the Drug Policy Modelling Program – one of the leading drug policy research centres in the world.


This session is open to Australian Communities Foundation fundholders and our friends in the philanthropy sector. Contact us to register.