The Board steers the governance and strategic direction for ATODA, with a diversity of skills and experience reflecting our broad membership.

Sharon Tuffin, Chair

Sharon is the CEO of Karralika Programs and Chair of the ATODA Board. With almost 15 years experience in the for purpose sector, and over 30 years in the health and social policy fields, Sharon’s depth of knowledge, understanding and experience in public health, business, governance and leadership drives her work. She is passionate about fostering collaboration across sectors and agencies to support a sector and a community that is inclusive; where people can access the support they need without fear, judgement, or discrimination. An advocate for the workforce, Sharon wants to encourage people to join the alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector, and works with ATODA to support continued professional development to drive service excellence and meet the needs of our communities.

Vanessa Gstrein, Deputy Chair

Dr Vanessa Gstrein is a social scientist who has worked in the public, not-for-profit, and higher education sectors. She has experience, nationally and internationally, in the fields of social policy and public health with a focus on HIV and injecting drug use, gambling harm, and sexual health. This includes roles with the Australian Government (AusAID), the ACT Government and the not-for-profit sector. Vanessa has also worked in both an academic and professional capacity in a number of universities, including as a Senior Advisor, Strategy and Planning at the University of Tasmania, and as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Canberra. Vanessa currently works at Questacon as the Senior Manager for Strategic Engagement.

Vanessa was awarded her PhD from Ulster University in 2019. Her thesis presented her comparative international study of illicit drug policy in Australia and Canada focusing on drug consumption rooms and the barriers to replicating controversial public policy. Vanessa has also co-authored an evaluation of forced labour in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan for the Corruption and Human Rights Initiative and published on drug policy and citizenship education in Northern Ireland.

David Baxter, Treasurer

David has worked in the ATOD sector for over 10 years as a peer educator and harm reduction worker at the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA) and The Connection. He has been involved in the establishment of Canberra’s take-home naloxone program, running regular training workshops in opioid overdose management. David has lived experience of the issues facing people who use drugs including stigma, discrimination, and difficulties in accessing treatment programs in a timely manner. David has served on the ATODA Board since 2020.

Bronwyn Hendry, Secretary

Bronwyn is the CEO of Directions Health Services. She has over 30 years’ experience in mental health and alcohol and other drug sectors, in both clinical and executive roles. Prior to joining Directions in 2013, Bronwyn was the Director Mental Health in the Northern Territory for 11 years.  She has extensive experience delivering services in urban, regional and remote areas, working in partnership with service providers and communities to develop innovative programs that better meet the needs of marginalised and disadvantaged populations.

Thomas Booth, Independent member

Tom is the Services Manager for The Salvation Army’s ATOD Services in Canberra and Wagga Wagga, which incorporates Canberra Recovery Service, a 37 Bed Residential Unit, Canberra Recovery Hub, a Community Day Program, and the new Wagga Wagga Recovery Hub. Tom has worked in the ATOD and Community Development Sector for over 20 years, delivering and managing services in the UK, Southeast Asia and Australia.