About Our Team

Meet the Foundation's Executive Team

Dr Alex Wodak

President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Dr Alex Wodak is a physician and has been Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, St Vincent’s Hospital since 1982. Major interests include:

  • prevention of HIV among injecting drug users,
  • brief interventions for problem drinkers,
  • prevention of alcohol problems,
  • treatment of drug users
  • drug policy reform.

Dr Wodak is President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and was President of the International Harm Reduction Association (1996-2004). He helped establish the first needle syringe programme (1986) and the first medically supervised injecting centre (1999) in Australia when both were pre-legal.

Dr Wodak often works in developing countries on HIV control among injecting drug users. He has published over 200 scientific papers.

Dr Wodak helped establish the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (1987), the NSW Users AIDS Association (1989), the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine (1990) and the Australian needle syringe programme annual survey (1995).

Ann Symonds

Vice President, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Elizabeth Ann Symonds AM trained as a teacher at Armidale Teacher’s College and the University of New South Wales. In 1974 she was elected to Waverley Municipal Council, becoming the municipality’s first female Deputy Mayor in 1977 and was a Labor member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1982 to 1998.

Ann Symonds was a founder of the Australian Parliamentary Group on Drug Law Reform (APGDLR), a cross party group of 100 MP’s from our State and Commonwealth parliaments.

Vivienne Moxham-Hall

Secretary, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Vivienne picked up the role of Secretary for the Foundation in 2012.  She is currently enrolled in a PhD studying the health outcomes of illicit drug policies and has completed a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Health Policy at the University of Sydney. During her student days, she took on a variety of leadership positions, including University of Sydney Union Board Director from 2010-2012, Student Representative Councillor from 2011-2012 and Undergraduate Science Student Representative in 2010. Vivienne is also a Young Australia21 Ambassador and has been a volunteer with Surf Lifesaving Australia for over ten years.

Tony Pooley

Treasurer, Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Tony Pooley is currently the Treasurer of the Foundation.

Executive Members

Recent Blog Posts

Learn from the top thought leaders in the industry.

An Interview with Former NSW DPP Nicholas Cowdery

Sydney Criminal Lawyers spoke with Mr Cowdery about the need for drug law reform in Australia. On 23 August this year, the NSW Court of Appeal ruled in the case Robertson versus R that it’s open for a judge to impose a non-custodial sentence for a significant drug supply, despite the absence of “exceptional circumstances.” It overturned a precedent followed by the state’s courts that was set by the 1990 case R v Peter Michael Clark, which determined that unless there are exceptional circumstances, a person convicted of a substantial drug supply must be sentenced to full-time imprisonment. Read the full interview...

The Times… are changing

Groundbreaking editorial from the Times. June 16 2016, The Times Breaking Good Public health officials have seen the logic of decriminalising illegal drugs. This is an important step towards putting violent gangs out of business. Would it ever make sense to jail a chain-smoker for smoking or an alcoholic for touching drink? On the basis that the answer is no, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is urging the government to decriminalise the personal possession and use of all illegal drugs. This is radical advice, but also sound. Ministers should give it serious consideration. Prosecutions in Britain for small-scale personal cannabis use are already rare. To this extent the new proposals would not do much more than bring the statute book up to date with the status quo in most parts of the country. But the change the RSPH has in mind would go much further. It would push Britain into a small group of countries that have switched from regarding the use of drugs including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy as a health issue rather than one of criminal justice. This is not a switch to be taken lightly, nor one the Home Office under present management is likely to take without sustained pressure from elsewhere in government. Yet the logic behind it and evidence from elsewhere are persuasive. Indeed, the government should be encouraged to think of decriminalisation not as an end in itself but as a first step towards legalising and regulating drugs as it already regulates alcohol and tobacco. The RSPH’s model is a drug decriminalisation initiative in Portugal that is now 15 years old....

Recent Projects

Learn from the top thought leaders in the industry.

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