fbpx NDARC at APSAD 2023 | NDARC - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre


Olivia Price
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The reviews are in!

★★★★★ – it was a pleasure to see the NDARC PhD candidates and early career researchers do us proud” – Shane Darke, Professor

★★★★★ – it was a fantastic experience to learn from a diverse range of speakers and leaders in the alcohol and other drug space; APSAD inspired me to continue working in this field on contemporary challenges that are rising” – Lily Palmer, Research Officer and First Time APSAD Attendee

★★★★★ – my favourite APSAD so far” – Michael Farrell, Director and 15th Time APSAD Attendee

★★★★★ – after attending APSAD 2023; I don't know why they call it APSAD, they should call it APHAPPY” – Calvert Tisdale, Post-Doctoral Fellow

★★★★★ – Wing’s poster win was the highlight for me” – Lucy Tran, PhD Candidate


The NDARC presence at this year’s APSAD conference in Adelaide was hard to miss. 38 NDARC attendees (plus five virtual attendees) shared their research during two keynote presentations, 20 oral presentations, 11 poster presentations, one-panel session, one clinical trial stand, and plenty of lunchtime networking.

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Joel, Lily, Tayla, and Rebecca at the TINA Trial stand.

RISE Program Lead Dr Sara Farnbach won the Kypros Kypri APSAD Early Career Researcher Award and guided us through her short yet impressive research career. Grounded in co-design, community collaboration, and culturally appropriate research, Sara’s career has taken her from the Philippines to rural and regional Australia and explored program areas, including alcohol and drug use and maternal and child health. Congratulations, Sara!

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Sara giving her keynote presentation.

Adjunct Fellow Dr Penny Hill won the APSAD Advocacy Award, a well-deserved accolade after many years of advocacy in national and international drug policy, including co-founding the Australian chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and her current role as the Coordinator of the Australian Civil Society Committee on UN Drug Policy. Well done, Penny!

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Advocacy Award winner, Penny Hill.

You can’t spell “winning poster” without Wing! Dr Wing See Yuen backed up her NDARC Symposium poster prize with the APSAD Early Career Research poster prize for her work on alcohol-associated cancer risk awareness among the Australian LGBTQI+ community. Great job, Wing!

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Go Wing!

Associate Professor Rebecca McKetin’s wealth of knowledge about stimulants was showcased in her keynote address. She guided us through the current landscape of stimulant use and harms research and future possibilities for methamphetamine treatment, including some exciting clinical trials at NDARC and NCCRED.

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Rebecca giving her keynote presentation.

From drug dogs to drug markets, drug alerts to drug policy, drug use patterns globally to drug and alcohol use patterns on Norfolk Island, contingency management to clinical trial participation experience, and OAT in regional settings to OAT national trends, the NDARC team’s oral presentations highlighted the breadth of the centre’s research.

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The NDARC oral presentations.

The poster hall was a great way to show off both NDARC research and creativity. The 11 posters drew in interested audiences during coffee and lunch breaks (see the crowd forming around NDARC posters – numbers 27 and 28 – below).

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Some of the NDARC poster presentations.

Of course, we also took away many important lessons from other presenters during the conference. Highlights included Suzi Nielsen’s keynote on supply-side interventions for opioids in Australia, Beau Kilmer's discussing legalisation of cannabis in North America, Gary Chan’s causal inference workshop, Scott Wilson’s Jim Rankin Oration, and the Early Mid-Career Researcher Networking Breakfast.

We’re already excited for Canberra 2024!