Carmen Acosta – Chairperson
Carmen Acosta has 30 years of senior leadership and management experience across both the private and not for profit sectors. During this time Carmen has worked across several different areas including disabilities, homelessness, youth, alcohol/drugs, family/children’s, mental health, domestic violence, employment/training and community legal across WA including both rural and remote.
Carmen has been responsible for the establishment, delivery and continuous quality improvement of many new and innovative services and multidisciplinary teams. She has a particular skill set in strategic, operational, financial and contract realignment; quality frameworks; the research, evaluation and assessment of community services. Carmen is also a seasoned board member having previously sat on the board of two WA peak bodies WAAMH and WANADA.
Matthew Ryan – Vice Chairperson
Matt is currently working as a Key Program Worker in the new Mallee AOD Recovery Program at Casuarina Prison. Matt recently graduated with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science (with Distinction) along with achieving Notre Dame University’s ‘Heart Award’ for his commitment to social justice, community spirit and reconciliation. Matt applies these skills in his role as AODCCC Vice-Chairperson to provide collaborative conversations and empowerment opportunities for AODCCC members. He is passionate about developing the voice, interests and opportunities for AOD consumers, their families, carers or friends individually, in the community and within governance circles. Matt believes that AOD consumers and the community that surround them are experts-by-experience in their lived involvement and for that reason are best placed to authentically be included to unpack a lived experience in decision-making circles. As someone with 20 years lived experience as an AOD consumer, developing these conversations and critically examining policies, plans and service provision, are issues close to his heart. Understanding and deconstructing the stigma that exists around AOD use in all levels of society, remains a consistent goal because he believes that the voice of AOD consumers and their support networks can be a powerful force of positive change in the community and in the lives of individuals.
Suzanne Caren– Secretary
Suzanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Management holding a Graduate Certificate in Business and is currently completing her Masters. She is a past Board Member of the Youth Affairs Council of WA and Perth Inner City Youth Service and a member of Youth Work WA.
Suzanne has a varied community service background with experience in youth and adult AOD, homelessness, domestic violence, employment, project management and tendering. Suzanne has a passion for advocating for the rights of consumers within the AOD sector to ensure they have every opportunity to lead their own treatment, goals and outcomes.
Currently Suzanne is the Operations Manager of Youth Focus headspace Midland and Northam, overseeing frontline services and education programs which aim to reduce symptoms associated with suicide, depression, anxiety and self-harm, and build long term mental wellbeing.
Jahan Hossain – Treasurer
Jahan is a Chartered Accountant with 17 years professional practice experience in various organisations. He has been successfully operating a consulting practice specialising in Self-Managed Superannuation Fund. He is a registered Tax Agent and ASIC registered Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Auditor. He is conscientious and a self-motivated finance professional with extensive experience in various client-centred environments. Jahan is passionate about helping others and is committed to the AODCCC meeting the needs of consumers and the community at large, with good governance and strong financial acumen.
Emma Brennan – Ordinary Member
Emma has over twenty years’ experience working in the Mental Health Sector, working in mental health nursing, leadership, and senior management, in the public, private and not for profit sectors in the UK and Western Australia. She has worked across various areas including the neurological, alcohol and drug sector, forensic, early intervention in psychosis, community, residential and inpatient and across the age spectrum from adolescent and youth through to older adults (65+). Emma’s practice and approach are informed both by experience and knowledge from the sector as well as lived experience as a family member, which reinforces her commitment to consumer advocacy for equality and accessibility to services and supports in the community. Emma has previously worked as Operations Manager for the Early Psychosis Program at Osborne Park and Joondalup sites, overseeing delivery of evidence-based interventions for young people at risk of or experiencing first episode psychosis. More recently, she has transitioned to a Mental Health Practitioner role in a residential rehabilitation facility for males 18+. The role is responsible for developing and implementing a collaborative and integrated service delivery model for people experiencing co-occurring AOD and mental health conditions, to empower the individual in their own recovery journey and improve long term wellbeing.
Tania Worthington – Ordinary Member
Tania Worthington has a passionate drive to advocate for and to help those battling addiction and other issues arising from living with alcohol and other drug use. Having a personal lived experience herself, Tania hopes to offer a voice for those who are too often not heard. Tania enjoys furthering her education in many disciplines and has a keen interest in mental health and well-being, neuroscience and the alcohol and other drug sector. She strongly believes that helping to put an end to the stigma associated with alcohol and other drugs will go a long way to helping consumers and their loved ones gain the support they need to make positive changes for a better tomorrow. Tania completed her Advanced Diploma of Film and Television in 2009 and has worked on many local film and TV projects, including advertisements and a number of feature films. She is also a local artist who enjoys working with many different mediums in order to create pieces that bring joy and add beauty to people’s lives and homes.
Alex Arpino – Development Coordinator
Alex Arpino commenced his part time role with the AODCCC on July 27th 2020, and comes with 23 years of frontline Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) service delivery experience. His AOD sector experience is very broad having held positions from AOD Residential Rehabilitation Worker through to Case Management and Counselling, into Management and Senior Leadership positions. Alex was one of the founding members of the Drug and Alcohol Youth Service (DAYS), specifically in the area of Withdrawal and Respite and Residential Rehabilitation. Alex is a qualified Community Services Worker, Youth Worker and Trainer and Assessor (TAE40116), an experienced Group Facilitator and has worked in the area of Capacity Building, specifically delivering Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Prevention Training. Alex’s passion is drawn from a personal lived history and he has spent his entire adult life working with those impacted by drugs and alcohol. Alex seeks to empower the voices of AOD consumers, families, significant others and the community at large, with the task to address stigma, and draw out the vast experience and wisdom in the community.
Trish Owen – Systemic Advocacy Officer
Trish Owen is a passionate lived experience advocate, having worked across various sectors for the past 3 years. With her own personal lived experience in the alcohol and other drug sector as well as a learned experience as a primary and early years teacher, Trish is fervent about advancing the voices of those who have valuable lived experience expertise.
The combination of her lived and learned experiences makes her a compassionate and fair facilitator when engaging with stakeholders, including those with personal lived experiences.
Trish is enthusiastic about making sure that consumers voices are heard through all levels of the system and is excited about working directly with the membership of the AODCCC to advance their collective voice.
Naomi Campbell – Administration Assistant
Naomi Campbell comes to the AODCCC with a professional background in hospitality, administration, and marketing assistance. Having been a lived experience speaker for Beyond Blue since 2018, Naomi’s lived experience with mental illness is what drives her passion for a collaborative, consumer-driven approach to change. Naomi has also volunteered with children and teens from at-risk backgrounds, helping them academically and to cultivate their self-esteem and resilience. Currently studying a Bachelor of Public Health, Naomi is interested in determinant-based approaches to community health, and systemic influences on health and social outcomes.