A national conversation
Young Australians - smarter about drugs
Continue the conversation @Australia_21, #smartaboutdrugs
An opportunity for everyone, especially young people to discuss illicit drugs and policy options alongside some of Australia's leading thinkers in this area.
There is a growing recognition that Australia's drug policies are not working, and it is young Australians who are most likely to be affected. Young people are more likely to develop serious health, social or legal problems from drug use, and can experience severe criminal justice sanctions with life changing impacts through to adulthood.
It is not all that uncommon for school students to be caught using drugs, or to sometimes deal in drugs. Some schools respond by expelling students, leaving parents and subsequent schools with responsibility for supporting the student. This forum asks; is this the best way, and can we do better?
Young people are not often asked their views about this dilemma - or their views about punitive approaches to drugs for that matter. This event seeks to address this oversight. It will comprise of a students' workshop in the afternoon and a public event in the evening.
Co-presented with not for profit research company Australia21 and The Ted Noffs Foundation
This public event will be a unique national conversation, where students will be invited to discuss issues, ideas and options related to drug culture and policy alongside some of Australia’s top thinkers and experts in this field, including:
Mick Palmer AO APM
Mick Palmer AO APM is a distinguished law enforcement professional who has conducted sensitive governmental and corporate inquiries since his retirement as Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police in 2001. He is a Director of the Australia21 think tank and today works as Mick Palmer & Associates.
Vivienne is an Honorary Youth Adviser to the Board of Australia21, and has participated as a youth representative in the Australia21 roundtables on illicit drug policy and she recently initiated an Australia21 youth roundtable in Sydney on alcohol-fuelled violence.
She is currently the Secretary of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation. Vivienne is passionate about giving a youth voice to the policy directives of the future.
In 2007 Matt Noffs founded the Street University - an educational movement directed at those who could never dream of getting a degree. Today, the Street University sees over 1000 young people every month. Matt also founded Gideon Shoes as a means to fund Street Universities and as an employment opportunity for those without jobs.
More about the Ted Noffs Foundation
Dr Alex Wodak AM
Dr Alex Wodak AM is Emeritus Consultant at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. He is President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, and a Director of Australia21. Dr Wodak helped establish the first needle syringe programme and the first medically supervised injecting centre in Australia (when both were pre-legal)
Australia21 has produced two evidence-based reports:
Workshop for high school students
Prior to the public event there will be workshops forhigh school students to express their views and explore various options for dealing with drugs. Schools, students or young people interested in finding out about the workshop may contact:
While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.
The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.