What a week it has been!
I write this opening statement a week after the ATDC delivered its biennial sector conference in Hobart – aptly titled ‘Our Strength. Our People’.
With a record number of registrations (over 180) it was wonderful to see so many people come together to listen to presentations delivered by speakers from across our sector, and those that joined us from the mainland and as far away as Canada and Italy.
We deliver these conferences every two years, with the next one to be held in 2025 (and can you believe that planning for the 2025 conference will start in about 6 months time!). Our conferences are supported through the Tasmanian Government and this year the conference was also made possible through our valued sponsors and partners including Primary Health Tasmania, Care2Serve and SMART Recovery.
At the conference we also announced the winners of the 2023 ATOD Awards. With a record number of nominees, the calibre of those nominated speaks to the standard of work happening across our sector. Congratulations to all finalists, and winners and thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a nomination.
Once again, the conference was an outstanding event, and thank you to everyone who has provided us with positive feedback (from the quality and range of presentations to the plants that people could take home and the fun inclusion of the photo booth!). Thank you to everyone who supported the event, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2025!
For those thinking ‘how do we do it’, the truth is we couldn’t without the incredible work of Naomi Will from EventSphere who has been the conference manager for every ATDC conference, since our first in 2016. Naomi and her team work tirelessly to ensure the event runs seamlessly and once again Naomi excelled.
Now that the conference is over, the ATDC team is back at our desks and looking ahead to what’s next and I will leave you with a snippet of the words from my opening speech from the ATDC 2023 Conference, which I feel captures not just the experience at the conference, but the current experience of working in the Tasmanian ATOD sector.
The tagline for this year’s conference is Our Strength. Our People. Our strength is indeed our people. And these words were chosen purposefully and are underpinned by the themes of Advocacy. Knowledge. Connections. Because it is through the strength of our individual and organisational advocacy that we are delivering positive change for those we are supporting, for our sector and to the broader health system. It is through the strength of our knowledge, from those delivering programs and services to those with lived experience, that our perspectives and expertise are making a difference. This includes those working in government writing policies and legislation, to our champions in general practice, pharmacy, public health to law enforcement working alongside us to increase health-based responses for those who use drugs. We are all making a difference. And it is the strength of our connections that a sector as small as ours is as strong and connected as we are.
Chief Executive Officer
CEOWhen you first meet Alison, you will no doubt observe her as someone with a quiet demeanour and calm confidence. But hiding behind the soft voice, and measured comments is a fierce change-maker who is a deep thinker of thoughts and feeler of feelings – these are elements of Alison you will enjoy if you are lucky enough to get to know her more. Alison’s natural curiosity and thoughtful consideration lead to astute insights, which she communicates with great care and compassion.Read more✖
When you first meet Alison, you will no doubt observe her as someone with a quiet demeanour and calm confidence. But hiding behind the soft voice, and measured comments is a fierce change-maker who is a deep thinker of thoughts and feeler of feelings – these are elements of Alison you will enjoy if you are lucky enough to get to know her more. Alison’s natural curiosity and thoughtful consideration lead to astute insights, which she communicates with great care and compassion. Alison has had a long career in the State Government and Community Sector in Tasmania, leading and learning at every level. She is a hard worker and creative problem-solver, with fairness and equality for all Tasmanians always at the front of her mind. Despite her many career and academic achievements, Alison is just about as ‘real’ as CEOs get. Fondly referring to herself as ‘sophisticated ocker’, Alison’s passion for sport, her endless collection of Christmas jumpers, and a good laugh means fun is never far away. In the future, Alison hopes to see strong and meaningful engagement with community by all levels of government as the status-quo. She also hopes to see compassion and empathy seen as equally strong and impactful leadership traits as aggression and brute force are today – and she plans to continue to lead by example in this way. Career highlights:
- CEO of ATDC and before that, CEO of Volunteering Tasmania
- Formal recognition for raising professionalism and showing leadership in the Volunteering, Sport and Recreation, and Alcohol and Other Drugs sectors
- Acceptance into the Social Impact Leadership Australia Program
- Completing her Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (Marketing and Entrepreneurship)