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A learning and knowledge-sharing event for people working in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Thursday 25 and
Friday 26 July 2019


Mercure Brisbane

North Quay, Brisbane CBD

Presented by the Queensland Network of Alcohol and  Other Drug Agencies (QNADA) in partnership with
Lives Lived Well


About Winter School

Australian Winter School aims to showcase best practice and models of treatment, emerging issues and developments in the treatment of alcohol and other drug related problems. It also explores key themes of evidence-based practice and services, diversity in service planning, accountability, evaluation and innovation in practice.

Winter School achieves these aims by drawing together keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and ideas to provide delegates with the tips, tools and solutions to:

  • establish evidence-based practice

  • examine key components of successful and effective alcohol and other drugs treatment, programs and services

  • develop an understanding of the importance of innovation, best practice and continuous improvement

  • analyse the best ways to influence policy, the role of research and evaluation, and how best to engage in strategic dialogue and advocacy.

Fantastic facilitators

Fantastic facilitaors with extensive experience and knowledge made the workshop extremely relatable to my work! Thanks!

Networking Event

Latest news

Keep up to date with the latest Winter School news - see our newsletters:

Working Coffee

Featured speakers 2019

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Beau Kilmer is a senior policy researcher with RAND Corporation and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Centre.

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Ivan Frkovic is the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner.

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Aimee McVeigh is a community lawyer and leading human rights advocate, devoted to empowering marginalised and vulnerable people across the lega system.

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Melbourne-based journalist, Jenny Valentish is the author of Woman of Substances: a Journey into Addiction and Treatment.

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A Bidjara and Birri-Gubba Juru woman, distinguished historian and author.

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Paul Abad is an event organiser and the founder of the Earth Frequency Festival.

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Scott Wilson is the Chief executive Officer of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council SA (ADAC.

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Dr Claire Brolan is an internationally renowned specialist on the human right to health.


Program and workshops

The theme for the 2019 Australian Winter School is Drugs: Pleasure, Medicine or Poison?

We are exploring the grey areas in a space that is often portrayed as black and white. Very few substances fit neatly into only one of these three categories, yet media coverage and public opinion often insists they are either entirely good or entirely bad, which leaves no room to discuss the in-between.


Download the 2019 program.

Read more about our program and pre-conference workshops...

Audiovisual Conference

Past speakers


Australian Winter School provides an opportunity to hear from leading Australian and international alcohol and other drug researchers, thinkers and influencers.


The conference program also gives those working in the frontline of alcohol and other drugs service delivery the chance to present their experiences and share their knowledge. 

Conference history

This long-standing national event has been held each July in Brisbane, with 2017 marking its 30th anniversary. 

Now a biennial event, the next Australian Winter School Conference will be held in Brisbane in 2019.

For more than 30 years, Winter School has played a vital role in the alcohol and other drugs sector, providing the opportunity for sector networking and supporting health care professionals in developing skills and knowledge.

The conference brings together practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and workers from across the sector, including community and private practice and all levels of government.


Who should attend?


AWS suits those working in alcohol and other drugs agencies, including nurses, allied health, GPs and other support agencies. It also appeals to those working in emergency departments and mental health care.




AWS offers a range of exciting sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Our conference is attended by an audience of alcohol and other drugs industry specialists along with key stakeholders.


This national forum supports workers,
clinicians and policy makers in the sector to develop skills and knowledge in responding to and treating alcohol and drug-related issues.

With a focus on innovative practice and new ideas, the conference will have something for everyone.

Our sponsorship opportunities include gold, silver and bronze level packages. View the sponsorship prospectus.


Our exhibitor area gives you the chance to meet professionals working in the alcohol and other drugs sector in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

Sponsorship benefits on offer include coverage in conference promotional materials (handbook, flyers, program), logo and links on our website, advertising in our e-news, social media mentions and on-site signage.


Sponsorship and trade packages are available unless sold out, up to and including 31 May 2019. Payment must be made by 31 May. Download the sponsorship and trade registration form.

Stay up to date with planning for the 2019 conference by joining our mailing list.

For further information about our sponsorship and trade exhibit opportunities, please contact:

Sue Pope, Senior Policy and Engagement Manager, QNADA - phone 07 3023 5050 or email Sue.Pope@qnada.org.au

Photo gallery

Professor Beau Kilmer
Professor Beau Kilmer
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QNADA team with Jenny Valentish
QNADA team with Jenny Valentish
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Lives Lived Well team
Lives Lived Well team
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main room
main room
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Qld Human Rights Act panel
Qld Human Rights Act panel
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Dr Jackie Huggins presents
Dr Jackie Huggins presents
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Ivan Frkovic Rebecca Lang and Dr Christi
Ivan Frkovic Rebecca Lang and Dr Christi
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Dr Christian Rowan and Rebecca Lang
Dr Christian Rowan and Rebecca Lang
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Gindaja staff with Dr Jackie Huggins
Gindaja staff with Dr Jackie Huggins
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