Harm Reduction International is a world-leading non-governmental organisation working to promote and expand support for harm reduction as well as reduce drug related harms by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights-based approaches to drug policy.
HRI recognises the racist, colonial and capitalist structures that determine the distribution of wealth and power globally, and the distinct relationship between racism, colonialism, global health and international drug control. Our anti-racist pledge is our commitment to anti-racist practice and the re-structuring of unequal racial power dynamics.
Hosting the Harm Reduction International Conference was a collaborative effort between HRI and our partners in the host country. With a UK-based conference team, we rely on our local partner for essential local knowledge, connections and experience – and this time, we had a consortium of four organisations as our partner. For the first time ever, two of our partner organisations were led by and for people who use drugs. Across all educational activities and policy work in the sector, AIVL, ASHM, HRVic and INHSU seek to advocate for safe and equitable care, free of stigma and discrimination for people with HIV and viral hepatitis and people who use drugs.
All four partners have a wealth of experience in policy and advocacy work in the sector and believe in the importance and legitimacy of effective harm reduction measures and policies. A shared aim of reducing the negative health, social and legal impacts of drug use and drug policy, through the promotion of evidence-based public health policy and practice, made them ideal co-hosts of HR23. You can read more about our partners in the menu below.
Meet the Team
Maddie O'Hare and Lucy O'Hare (yes, they're sisters!) began working at Harm Reduction International in 2015, when the conference was held in Kuala Lumpur; they have since run HR17 in Montreal and HR19 in Porto. They loved working with HR23 partners to bring the conference back to Melbourne for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Ruod Ariete was a Conference Assistant for HR23. They have been working on harm reduction-related events and conferences for the past six years. Ruod helped our delegates and speakers to get the most out of HR23, including administering our scholarship programme.
Ailish Brennan was a Conference Assistant for HR23. Ailish has been working in harm reduction and drug policy advocacy for 5 years during which time she has been advocating for the needs of young and LGBTQ+ people who use drugs. She enjoyed welcoming the wonderful drug policy community to the conference and spending some much needed time in each other's presence once again.
The Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) is the Australian national peak body, representing the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations in relation to issues of national relevance for people with lived experience of drug use.
AIVL’s vision is a world where the health and human rights of people who use/have used drugs are equal to the rest of the community.
The Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) is a not-for-profit, member-based organisation founded in 1990.
ASHM supports its members, sector partners and collaborators to generate knowledge and action in clinical management and research, education, policy and advocacy in Australasia and internationally.
Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic) is a community based, not for profit organisation. In 1987, in the face of a growing HIV epidemic, a group of people who use and inject drugs, along with friends, families and supporters, established a self-determined, community-based organisation called VIVAIDS. This organisation is now Harm Reduction Victoria.
HRVic’s aim is to advance the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs by creating an environment in which individuals are empowered to realise their aspirations, meet their needs and participate fully in society.
The International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) is an international, not-for-profit member-based organisation.
INHSU aims to create a global network that works with local partners to support health care workers, policy makers, researchers and people who use drugs to improve prevention and care for hepatitis C and other co-morbidities associated with drug-related harms.