AIVL STAFF AND
John has a deep passion for community health, peer work, outreach, harm reduction and human rights with over 20 years of working for NGOs nationally and internationally. They believe self-determination, collaboration, and advocacy are the cornerstones to making sustainable changes towards building together a better and more equitable future.
Specialising in workforce development, innovation, cultural leadership and business management, they had the opportunity to work for several incredible organisations: in peer-led business development for NUAA, peer-led sexual health (BBVs & STIs testing services) for ACON, peer-led AOD harm reduction & LGBTQ+ advocacy for The Red Rattler, and also worked in diverse senior leadership roles for several community-led resource centres, peer-led multicultural health for the YMCA, market research and marketing firms.
John draws on their first-hand lived experience of discrimination, marginalisation, and stigma as a neurodivergent LGBTQ+ CALD-ESL PWUD peer and migrant to promote compassion, empathy and advocate for those who can't as they are fighting to survive. Every day, people who use drugs are being harmed, their health and human rights are breached so we must actively drive social change!
"How a society treats its most vulnerable is always the measure of its humanity" - Ambassador Matthew Rycroft.
Rob Smith possesses over 30 years of experience in accounting, taxation and finance, holding a Bachelor of Business – Accounting from Charles Sturt University and a CPA qualification.
Having commenced his career as a junior accountant in a public accounting office and working in a diverse range of roles covering public accounting, small business, government and as the Australasian Accountant for an international company based in Germany.
Rob has also given his time and expertise to many Not for Profits including roles as NSW State Vice President for APEX and Treasurer and Board member for the ACT Childrens Book Council.
Ele has been practicing harm reduction in life and work for over 20 years.
Between 2009 and 2015, Ele was the International Program Manager at AIVL, a role that supported the development of drug user organisations and networks including the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD), the Indonesian Network of People who Use Drugs (PKNI), and the Vietnamese Network of People who use Drugs (VNPUD).
Ele returned to AIVL as the Senior Project Officer in 2023.
When she wasn’t working in drug user organisations, Ele worked as a peer worker, manager and advisor in harm reduction services and programs in Melbourne, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Ele’s aim is to see people who use drugs leading all decisions that affect us, and the end of criminalisation of people who use drugs.
Adrian Gorringe holds a Bachelor of Education and is in his final stages of completing a Bachelor of Public Health (Health Promotion) from Central Queensland University.
Adrian has experience working in the Primary Health Networks of regional and remote QLD, which sparked his keen interest in the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD), Blood Bone Virus (BBVs) and STI fields.
Adrian also brings experience in educating a vast array of multinational and cultural communities having spent several years as a teacher in the Middle East. As a global nomad, Adrian has a deep appreciation of people from all backgrounds and various walks of life and their community connections. He is always seeking to find pathways to empower disenfranchised and silenced communities to make meaningful impact on improving their quality of life.
As a Project & Policy Officer for AIVL, Adrian is a strong advocate for harm reduction principles and the health and human rights of people who use drugs (PWUDs), understanding through family experiences how continued stigma, discrimination and punitive drug laws affect families and livelihoods through incarceration, marginalisation, and loss, bringing this experience and voice of advocacy to his work and the communities he serves.
Adrian continues to work with a broad spectrum of communities on drug policy as well as projects aimed at reducing BBVs, STIs, reducing stigma against PWUD, promoting harm reduction principles, and expanding opportunities for peer worker involvement within a broad variety of landscapes.
“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”- Dr Suess ‘Yurtle the Turtle’.
Molly Howes holds a Bachelor of Mass Communications from the Queensland University of Technology and is currently studying for a Masters of Communication for Social Change at the University of Queensland.
Molly has a background in marketing and advertising across a wide range of consumer goods, services and NGOs and has experience as a communications practitioner in feminist organisations, working in sexual and reproductive health with a focus on abortion care, gender equality and domestic and family violence. Molly began working in Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and Harm Reduction in 2022 as a Digital Engagement Officer at our member organisation QuIHN, a position she still holds part-time.
Molly is passionate about harm reduction, bodily autonomy and self-determination.
Chris Gough is Executive Director of the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA) and The Connection health service. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Honours in entomology and developmental parasitology from the University of Queensland.
He has over ten years of experience in the blood borne virus and alcohol, tobacco and other drug sectors, and has identified as a person who uses drugs for 20 years. Chris’ expertise centres around peer and consumer driven programming including peer education, peer treatment support, community development, consumer representation and advocacy.
He has worked at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) and the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA). Chris has served on the Boards of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), NUAA, the ACT Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association (ATODA) and is currently the Secretary of the Australian Illicit and Injecting Drug Users League (AIVL).
Leah McLeod is the Communications Lead at our member organisation NUAA where she has worked since 2012.
Sione Crawford has been the AIVL Treasurer since 2019.
Since 2004 Sione has worked at three AIVL member organisations in various roles including policy, advocacy, community development and health promotion. Sione is currently the CEO of Harm Reduction Victoria.
"As part of this community of people who inject drugs and of people affected by hepatitis C I know that peer-based organisations have a crucial role to play both as advocates for our communities and as places our community can work and be who we are".
Jane has worked in various roles with people who use drugs since 1998. She is a keen advocate of peer work and lived experience in relation to drug use and is passionate about the health and human rights of people who use drugs. Jane currently coordinates the health promotion team at Harm Reduction Victoria.
Esha Leyden is a Peer Harm Reduction Worker at QuIHN.
Esha has worked in the drug sector since 2019 and has been a member of the drug-using community for over 32 years. Esha has lived experience of injecting drug use, incarceration, hepatitis C and hepatitis C treatment. Esha's lived experience gives her a strong understanding of the stigma, discrimination and challenges faced by the community.
Esha has been a participant and presenter at many forums, symposiums and conferences at a state and national level, using her lived experience to educate and advocate for the health and human rights of people who inject drugs.
Esha is also a member of AIVL's National Peer Network and is the Queensland Representative for the ‘It’s Your Right’ National Campaign for hepatitis C awareness, testing and treatment.