What’s the problem represented to be? Special section in the International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP).

Lynda is delighted to be part of an editorial team involving Associate Professors Bagga Bjerge and Esben Houburg, from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and with Scientia Research Fellow Dr Kari Lancaster, from UNSW, on a special section for IJDP that explores problematisation in drug use policy, practice and research.

Rather than assuming an objective and rational foundation for responses to observable problems linked to drug use, the study of problematisation explores how drug use problems are constituted through the policies, practices, and research that enact them. This accounts for contextual influences, including the actors involved.

Of particular interest for the special section are analytical case studies that are theory-informed / theory developing, along with work that provides reflections on approaches to the study of problematisation.

The call for abstracts for this special section has been distributed and the peer review process is underway.

Practical publication targeting aspiring and new workers in community and human services

With Dr Karen Crinall, Lynda has contributed to a text for students and recently graduated community and human services workers. This book, entitled Community and Human Services: Concepts for Practicewas published by Oxford University Press in October 2017.

Community and Human Services: Concepts for Practice offers an introduction to the key concepts, theories and perspectives of community and human services in Australasia. It outlines the more challenging and emerging fields of practice to prepare students for practice in a range of helping professions and illustrate the real-life situations they may encounter with clients.

The authors are experienced practitioners and academics, working in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Their practice wisdom is evident in the quality and relevance of the material provided. Case examples provide fascinating insights into the daily challenges faced by community and human services workers. The emphasis on reflective practice and self-care throughout the book aims to support workers’ well-being and their development of sustainable and rewarding career pathways.

Three year project exploring the relations between drug treatment funding, purchasing, workforce and treatment outcomes

Professor Alison Ritter is the lead researcher on a prestigious NHMRC funded project which involves exploring the relationship between the ways services are funded and the outcomes that are achieved. Lynda is pleased to be part of the team and looking forward to this major exercise in big picture thinking, with the ultimate aim of providing new knowledge to inform approaches to planning and purchasing. For more information, please refer to the projects page and visit the Drug Policy Modelling Program website.


Alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation in regional Victoria

In July 2016 Lynda returned to the community sector as a health services consultant after some time in academia. Lynda is working with NGOs in Victoria and NSW and with policy makers and managers, on service planning and system development. A major project at TRACE Research, which commenced in 2016 and continues into 2018, involves Lynda’s work with the Western Region Alcohol and other Drug Centre (WRAD) on the need for and steps toward establishing residential rehabilitation options for clients in South Western Victoria.

Presidency of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD)

In November 2017, Lynda’s Presidency of APSAD came to an end, with Addiction Medicine Specialist Dr Tony Gill taking up the role for the next two years. Working closely with the EO and team at APSAD and with the Council, Lynda contributed to the ongoing well being of the organisation. APSAD will continue to provide an invaluable forum for professional development and learning with expert guidance from Tony and Council members. APSAD’s journal, Drug and Alcohol Review, is a highly-regarded journal publishing peer reviewed research and commentary from around the world. The society’s annual conference highlights new research and recognises emerging and established professionals from Australia and internationally. The 2017 conference in Melbourne was a major success and plans are underway for the 2018 conference in New Zealand.

Alcohol and other drug sector reform in Victoria: impacts and unintended consequences

In late 2015 Lynda was invited to present findings from the ‘Regional Voices’ project at the Annual General Meeting of the Victorian Alcohol and other Drugs Association (VAADA) in Melbourne. This consultative project involved documenting practitioner perspectives on the benefits, challenges, and major issues arising from the 2014 reform of specialist alcohol and other drug services in Victoria.

The final report from the project is publically available.

Timely resource for managers and workers in community services

In May 2014 Lynda published an exciting new text, with Dr Karen Crinall, which is entitled ‘Management and Practice in Health and Human Service Organisations‘. This book is designed to support successful organisational practice in health and human services through effective management and leadership.

It includes practitioner profiles from more than twenty inspiring managers working in areas ranging from alcohol and drugs and sexual health, to policy development and Aboriginal services.

The book has a substantial focus on regional and rural service delivery, along with integrated models of care. It has been used in Community and Human Services and Management tertiary education courses in Australia and Europe.

Promoting careers in public health: Lynda features as mentor in Victoria’s Public Health in Action project

Lynda was part of the Public Health in Action project, which involves interviews with public health professionals. The project aimed to create lasting relationships between mentors and mentees. The Public Health in Action project was launched in late October 2014. Further information is available from the Public Health Association of Australia.

Alcohol and other drug treatment funding, demand, and planning in Australia: Symposium at national alcohol and drug conference, November 2014

In her former role as Senior Research Fellow in the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre UNSW, Lynda was part of a team that undertook a national review of alcohol and drug treatment. Members of the team provided a symposium on alcohol and other drug treatment funding, demand, and planning at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs conference in Adelaide during November 2014.

This symposium aimed to support a better understanding of how mechanisms of funding, planning, and needs assessment can be used to inform government decisions on system development.

Lynda and her colleagues have since produced a number of academic papers from this project which are detailed on the publications page.

Working with primary health practitioners to provide for those with alcohol and other drug related problems: Invited keynote speaker in Melbourne, November 2014

Lynda was invited to speak at the Inner North West Melbourne-Best Practice Management of Drug and Alcohol Programs in Primary Care Conference, to consider the context for and strategies to improve health care responses when patients have alcohol and drug issues. Her presentation, entitled ‘Effectiveness of integrated models of care. Working together to manage and treat AOD issues’ was part of a one day forum involving practitioners and researchers.


Lynda Berends  0414 971 570

TRACE Research

PO Box 53
Meeniyan VIC 3956

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