The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs


APSAD Directors


Dr Craig Rodgers

Craig Rodgers circular1 

Craig Rodgers completed his training with the College of General Practitioners in 2000 and has been working as a part-time GP in the inner city area of Sydney since that time. In 2004 he was inducted as a founding Fellow of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine and has continued to work in both the drug and alcohol sector and general practice. He enjoyed many years of work at the Kirketon Road Centre in Kings Cross, a primary health care service for people who inject drugs, sex workers and ‘at risk’ youth, and was the Medical Unit Manager from 2002 until 2012. Since 2012 he has been working as a Staff Specialist in Addiction Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital. He is also a conjoint lecturer at the University of NSW and has contributed to registrar and GP training in the areas of Addiction Medicine, HIV and Sexual health.


Professor Suzanne Nielsen

 Suzi Nielsen circular

Professor Suzanne Nielsen (BPharmSc[Hons] PhD MPS) is the Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre in Melbourne, and is a current NHMRC Career Development Fellow. Suzi also holds an Honorary Professorial appointment at Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, is an Honorary Principal Fellow at the Burnet Institute, is a Conjoint Senior Research Fellow, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (UNSW Sydney), and is an Honorary Research Fellow, Alfred Hospital Pharmacy Department.

Suzi has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years with clinical experience in the treatment of substance use disorders includes in specialist drug treatment and community-based alcohol and drug treatment settings in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has published over 110 scientific publications and given over 170 national and international conference presentations on her research, which has led to a greater understanding of how to identify and respond to prescription and over-the-counter drug-related problems. Her recent work has a focus on reducing opioid-related harm and overdose prevention.  Suzi has worked with Australian state and federal governments to reduce opioid-related and other drug harm, is a current member of the Therapeutic Goods Administration Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling, and has acted as an advisor for the World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.


Professor Leanne Hides

Leanne Hides circular

Professor Leanne Hides holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship and the industry-supported Lives Lived Well Chair in Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health at the University of Queensland. She is Deputy Director of the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research, which is one of the four Commonwealth funded National addiction research centres in Australia.  Leanne is a clinical psychologist with almost 25 years of clinical and research experience in the development and testing of treatments for substance use and comorbid mental disorders. She also develops web and mobile-app based programs. Most of this research is conducted in partnership with government and non-government organisations (e.g. Lives Lived Well) to ensure research can be translated into practice. Leanne has 215 publications including 195 in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented her work at over 100 conferences.


Associate Professor Caroline Salom

Caroline Salom circular 

Caroline holds a PhD from UQ in the epidemiology of comorbid substance and mental health disorders, and has worked in the addiction field for over 15 years in both academia and service provision. Prior to this she worked in the molecular biology side of medical research for many years, particularly inflammatory diseases. She has particular interests in the genetic and social factors contributing to chronic health conditions, and how support services can be designed to respond to these challenges.


Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche

Emmanuel Kuntsche circular 

Professor Emmanuel Kuntsche has been trained in Psychology (University of Jena, Germany), Sociology (University of Jena, Germany), Public Health (University of Maastricht, the Netherlands) and Statistics (University of Essex, UK). After having mainly worked at Addiction Switzerland, an NGO located in Lausanne, he became a Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, Melbourne, and the Director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research in 2017. He continues his part-time position as an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and as an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. He currently investigates the development and transformation of alcohol-related cognition from early childhood into adolescence and the role of parental alcohol socialisation. His research interests also include the measurement of both alcohol consumption (e.g. using ecological momentary assessment and transdermal monitors) and related cognition (e.g. by means of the Alcohol Expectancy Task he developed). Emmanuel has received career awards and personal funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the German Society for Addiction Research and Addiction Treatment, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and International Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol. He has had editorial appointments at six international journals (currently Addiction, Drug and Alcohol Review and European Addiction Research).


Anke van der Sterren

Anke van der Sterren circular

Anke van der Sterren is the Senior Research Manager at the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA). Anke is a social scientist with over 25 years’ experience in research and evaluation in the areas of alcohol and other drugs, tobacco, blood borne viruses and workforce development. Anke has worked as a public health researcher in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled, university, and non-government sectors. Anke is in the 2020 cohort of the Future Health Leaders Program at UNSW and is undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Applied Public Health. Her DrPH project focuses on identifying and exploring the key domains of service user experiences that are most important to people accessing AOD services, and using these to codesign a service-user centred experience measure that reflects the perspectives and needs of multiple stakeholders—service users, service providers, policy makers/funders and researchers.


Dr Robert Stirling

Robert Stirling circular Dr Robert Stirling is CEO of Network of Alcohol and Other Drugs Agencies (NADA) the NSW NGO AOD peak body. He supports members in AOD and public health policy, planning and funding, governance, sector and workforce development, as well as research and evaluation. Robert has worked in the AOD sector for almost 20 years in both government and the NGO sector, and holds qualifications in public health and community management. He is on the board of the Australian Alcohol and other Drugs Council and is an Adjunct Lecturer with the Drug Policy Modelling Program at UNSW.


Dr Katherine (Kate) Senior

Kate Senior circular

Dr Kate Senior is a GP by training and is currently completing Advanced Training in Addiction Medicine with Drug & Alcohol Services SA. She will become an Addiction Medicine Specialist in Feb 2023. Kate’s particular areas of interest include Aboriginal health, hepatitis treatment in AOD settings and co-morbid chronic pain and opioid dependence. She is passionate about all forms of harm reduction and was honoured to be involved in the inception of South Australia’s first Managed Alcohol Program in Jan/Feb 2022. Kate looks forward to welcoming you to the APSAD23 Conference in Adelaide.


Professor Kylie Lee

Kylie Lee circular

Kylie is deputy director of Indigenous Health and Substance Use in Addiction Medicine, the University of Sydney and visiting research fellow, Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (La Trobe University). Her highly original research in alcohol and other drug use is led by community or health service requests. Kylie and her team have pioneered translational research approaches. She is lead editor on a clinical text book requested by Indigenous AOD workers nationally and has been invited to assist Inuit and Sri Lankan communities in knowledge translation. Her work has won national recognition including a 2011 Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for a film on problem drinking.





Dr Zoe Walter

Zoe Walter circular

Zoe is a Lecturer in Health Psychology at The University of Queensland, and a registered psychologist. Her current research includes investigating the impact of transdiagnostic risk and protective factors (such as social support, group belonging, and identity) on mental health and wellbeing


Dr Cassandra Wright

Cass Wright circular

Dr Cassandra Wright is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. Her research focuses on alcohol as a public health issue and she currently works on evaluations of major alcohol policies and programs in the Northern Territory. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research and Burnet Institute. Through these collaborations she continues her work focused on alcohol use among middle-aged women and working mothers (CAPR) and young people’s health and wellbeing (Burnet). She holds a PhD in public health and undergraduate qualifications in health promotion.



Grace Oh

Grace Oh circular

Grace Oh is a Senior Workforce Development Officer at the Mental Health Commission (MHC) WA. Grace is the WA Naloxone Project Lead and works collaboratively with alcohol and other drugs and Health services to deliver state-wide WA Naloxone Programs. Grace currently sits on the MHC Overdose Strategy Group and Early Warning System as well as the National Naloxone Reference Group. Grace has 20 years’ experience in the alcohol and other drugs sector and is passionate about innovative Harm Reduction and Peer Education approaches to reduce drug-related harm and deaths in the WA community. Grace is also the Principal Consultant for Australian Drug Education & Consultancy, providing drug education for safer events and reducing drug related harm in the community.