Beau Kilmer

Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation

Beau Kilmer is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he codirects the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. He also serves as the interim director of RAND San Francisco Bay Area and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.


His research lies at the intersection of public health and public safety, with special emphasis on crime control, substance use, illicit markets, and public policy. Some of his current projects include: analyzing the consequences of cannabis legalization; measuring the effect of 24/7 Sobriety programs on DUI, domestic violence, and mortality; and assessing the evidence on and arguments made about implementing heroin-assisted treatment and supervised consumption sites in the US.


Beau's publications have appeared in leading journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and his commentaries have been published by CNN, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets.


His coauthored book on cannabis legalisation was published by Oxford University Press and the second edition was released in 2016. Beau has received a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Service Award for his “leadership and innovation in the areas of alcohol and drug-impaired driving program and policy research”. His co-authored work on 24/7 Sobriety received honourable mention for the Behavioural Exchange Award for Outstanding Research.


Before earning his doctorate at Harvard University, Kilmer received a Judicial Administration Fellowship that supported his work with the San Francisco Drug Court.

Read more about Beau Follow him on Twitter.

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Jenny Valentish

Journalist, author of Woman of Substances: a Journey into Addiction and Treatment

Journalist Jenny Valentish’s third book is Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment, which intersperses research about the female experience of drug use with vignettes of memoir.  It received major media coverage in Australia and the UK and was nominated for a Walkley Book Award.


Woman of Substances is on the recommended reading list for modules of Monash University’s Addiction Studies and RMIT’s Bachelor of Criminology and Psychology.


Jenny is a board director of SMART Recovery Australia, an ambassador for Monash University’s BrainLab, a consultant for the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and a core member of AOD Media Watch. She is a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Monthly, ABC, Vice and The Age

Follow Jenny on Facebook and Twitter.

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Queensland Mental Health Commissioner

Ivan Frkovic was appointed Commissioner in 2017 and brings substantial policy, academic and patient-centred experience to the role.

He was Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Operations for Aftercare, one of Australia’s oldest non-government mental health organisations. His responsibilities included leading Aftercare’s national operations and overseeing the development and implementation of new programs and services.

Prior to his five years with Aftercare, Ivan held senior government positions including as Director, Mental Health Programs and Reforms in the Department of Communities, where he was responsible for policy development, funding and reform of the non-government mental health sector in Queensland.

Ivan has worked extensively within the mental health system in Queensland for some 20 years, holding a number of senior positions across Government. He was also a director within the Mental Health Branch of Queensland Health where he led the Queensland Mental Health Commission Transition Team, which supported the establishment of the Commission.


While in the mental health sector, Ivan has focused on realising the benefits of strengthening partnerships and collaboration, into fully integrated relationships.

Ivan’s experience across government and non-government organisations provides valuable insight to help bring all sectors together to focus on delivering better mental health outcomes for Queenslanders.

As Commissioner, he has led the development of Shifting minds, Queensland's renewed Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Strategic Plan 2018-2023.

He has also made a significant contribution to community mental health through published papers and articles.

Ivan Frkovic

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Scott Wilson

CEO, Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council SA (ADAC) 

Scott's background is one of poly drug use. He spent considerable amounts of time and effort to give up illicit drugs and alcohol. Scott's youth was spent misusing alcohol and other drugs, which brought him into constant contact with law enforcement and health agencies.


Scott is the CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council SA (ADAC). He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and a joint Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol at the University of Sydney.


He served as Deputy Chair of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee and Chair and deputy Chair of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.


Scott has worked with Indigenous communities nationally to develop innovative ways to prevent, treat and reduce harms from alcohol and other drug use. Scott has received several awards, including the Australian Centenary Medal, Sydney University Sister Alison Bush Medal and the 2017 APSAD First Peoples Award.


Scott is also a chief investigator on four NHMRC-funded grants.

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Dr Jackie Huggins AM

Distinguished historian and author 

Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA is a Bidjara (central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru (North Queensland) woman from Queensland who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over 40 years.


Jackie is a celebrated historian and author who has documented the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the decades.


In 2001, Jackie received the Member of the Order of Australia for services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Throughout her career spanning over four decades,

Jackie has played a leading role in reconciliation, literacy, women’s issues and social justice.


Jackie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and Flinders University (with Honours), and a Diploma of Education.  She also has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland, and another Honorary Doctorate from Central Qld University.


Jackie has had a long and distinguished career in public service and professional achievement.

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Dr Claire Brolan

Research Fellow, Centre for Policy Futures 

Dr Claire Brolan is an internationally renowned specialist on the human right to health. Her research extends to focus on health equity and rights for just and inclusive policy implementation of the the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 Agenda and its Leave No One Behind principle. 

Claire has some 60 peer-reviewed and other publications in (i.e) The Lancet, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Medical Journal of Australia, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Australian Journal of Human Rights, Disability and Society, and Medical Law Review.


Claire originally trained in international human rights law in the UK, and has experience conducting legal and social advocacy for access to essential medicines and health care and related social services for vulnerable and minority populations in both the UK and Queensland.


She has worked on a number of prestigious multi-disciplinary international and global health research projects, including working with leading right to health scholars from around the world providing advice and guidance to the European Commission on SDG 3 (Health & Wellbeing).

She is currently co-authoring a textbook on interdisciplinary right to health approaches. Claire holds a PhD in Public Health and MA in International Studies and Diplomacy, and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability (UQ), and  Development Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Futures (UQ).


Claire sits on the Global Council for Financing the SDGs, hosted by the Government of the UAE, is a community representative on the International Emergency Medicine Committee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and is the Medical Sector Representative on the Queensland Red Cross’ International Humanitarian Law Committee.

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Dr Claire Brolan

Dr Claire Brolan

Aimee McVeigh

Brisbane-based community lawyer and leading human rights advocate 

A Brisbane-based community lawyer and leading human rights advocate, Aimee McVeigh is devoted to empowering marginalised and vulnerable people across the legal system. 


Aimee was a driving force behind the push for a Queensland Human Rights Act.  Aimee is a founding and current director of Disability Law Queensland. As a director of this service, she provides legal advice to people with disability and their families. Aimee has also worked as a gender advisor to the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples and created a best practice guide to help survivors of child sexual abuse engage with the Royal Commission.


She’s also worked alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to improve their ability to access justice.

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Paul Abad

Paul Abad has been active in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years in a variety of roles. 

He has worked as an event organiser in south east Queensland since the late 90s, and is the founding director of Earth Frequency Festival, one of Queensland's longest running outdoor music festivals - celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020. 


Paul also spreads his time between touring around Australia as a DJ, managing a number of international music and visual arts tours each year, promoting the visionary art movement through the annual art exhibition event Harmonic Spaces, and working with many other festivals and events by sharing his custom-built festival management software 'Convoq'.

Festival safety, compliance and harm reduction best practice development is also an area


He is becoming increasingly active in, utilising two decades of experience and learning towards positive progress and multi-agency collaboration at this critical time in the festival and events industry. 

Paul has also been a lecturer at CQUniversity since 2006, specialising in digital media and project management.

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