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A community response to alcohol and other drug issues in the City of Yarra

Peter Wearne

Chairperson, Yarra Drug and Health Forum

I have worked in the Youth and Alcohol and other Drug Sectors for the past 43 years.

Beginning in the Inner South of Melbourne in 1973 as a volunteer in a youth programme then as a youth worker employed to work in St Kilda and bayside area from 1977.

In 1997 I joined the establishment team that began the Youth Substance Abuse Service and worked in the leadership team until leaving YSAS in late 2018.
I am currently employed by VACCHO as the project manager for WOTHA DABORRA helping to establish a dual diagnosis service for the Aboriginal community across Victoria.
I have over a 20-year involvement with the Yarra Drug and Health Forum and have served as Chairperson of the Executive since 2003. My commitment and passion for the work of the

Forum stems from a life long belief in the Human Rights of those that use drugs and all that are affected by drug use. I believe there is an absolute requirement to reduce the harm and suffering caused to all members of the community by drug use. Much of this harm is due to a lack of adherence to evidence-based policy and practice which is often driven by fear, prejudice and discrimination.

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