Our ambassadors are community leaders who come from all walks of life. From family members of those who lost their lives, to those in power who stand for change.
PTA is looking for people to publicly advocate for pill testing in Australia – if you think you can help please click here >
Click for bio
I am an AASW accredited social worker currently working within the drug and alcohol sector. The field of alcohol and other drugs has been a major passion of mine since beginning my social work degree in 2014.
In early 2020, I began studying my Master of Advanced Social Work practice where I began to further research stigma and discrimination within methamphetamine treatment.
I have been a strong advocate for more realistic and safer drug laws within our community. I am by no means naive to the significant effects that drugs pose to our community but much of my advocacy comes from a harm minimisation and self-efficacy approach.
I believe that as community workers we should work towards empowering our clients with support, unconditional positive regard and education in assisting them to make informed choices, whilst also providing assistance when they need it the most. I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for not only pill testing but a more realistic approach to our drug strategy and laws within Australia. As a social worker currently in the field I have seen the direct repercussions that these laws have on our clients and their future prospects including their ability to later find employment and ongoing effects of labelling, stigma and discrimination. I strongly support a harm minimisation approach and believe more time needs to be spend educating the general public on this as drug use doesn’t affect a “certain type of person”, it can affect anyone. I would like to be a part of spreading that knowledge and educating my own community further on such. As a young person, I believe I am in the best position to do so. I, myself have attended festivals and clubs, I have been around drug use in my own personal life. In early adulthood, “just saying no” sounds ridiculous. Let’s support our young people to feel empowered to know the risks and furthermore feel empowered to make their own decisions. I would like to continue educating the public on the benefits that pill testing will have.
Click for bio
Jennie Ross-King is mother of Alex. Alex was 19 years old when passed away after taking an unknown dose of MDMA whilst at a Music Festival in Jan 2019.
Jennie’s daughter Alex, and 5 other young people where subject to a Coronial Inquiry into deaths at Music Festivals over a 5-month period. It was here that Jennie learnt how wide spread the use of illicit drugs (party drugs) is amongst young people and the dangers associated with the lack of knowledge and education surrounding its use and the role this played in Alex’s death.
Jennie made a decision during the this time she would endeavour to make a difference for other families, someone else’s child and ensure that that absolutely everything being done to prevent where possible someone taking an illicit drug/s but to also better inform those people who choose to use, by providing greater access to targeted accurate information and expert knowledge of how to reduce the harms that may arise to them if you choose to use illicit drugs.
“‘Information is power! By testing a pill and more importantly having a one on one ‘lesson’ on the effects of that drug on that person at that time then that, I believe will save someone’s life”.
Click for bio
Dr Alison Hutton is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Dr Hutton’s work focuses on emergency health care, primarily in the areas of high visibility, high consequence events that are either planned (such as mass gatherings/major events) or unplanned (such as disasters).
Dr Hutton’s work revolves around young people, health promotion and harm reduction at mass gathering events. Her work has produced credible strategies to provide safe and supportive environments for young people during youth events. Her work has been recognised by the World Health Organization and is now used in large events such as World Cup soccer, the Hajj and the Olympics.