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Team and Thanks

Acknowledgment of country

The Overdose Lifesavers team acknowledges the traditional owners of the lands throughout Australia on which the research behind this website was conducted. We acknowledge their continuing connection to lands, waters and culture, and value their unique contribution to the wider Australian society.

Team & Thanks

This website is based on qualitative research conducted in Australia by researchers from La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) and Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), in collaboration with La Trobe University’s Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), the Burnet Institute and King’s College London. The research was funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP170101669).


Project Investigators

Dr. Suzanne Fraser

Adjunct Professor Suzanne Fraser Suzanne was Principal Chief Investigator for the project and oversaw the research on which this website is based. She guided the development of research materials, oversaw participant recruitment and interviewing, led the analysis and write-up of results, guided the preparation of website content and supervised the project staff.

Dr. Rob Dwyer

Dr Robyn Dwyer Robyn was a Chief Investigator on the project. She developed the approach, provided input into the development of research and website materials, advised on participant recruitment and interviewing and contributed to analysis and the write-up of results.

Professor Paul Dietze

Professor Paul Dietze Paul was a Chief Investigator on the project. He provided input into the development of research and website materials, advised on participant recruitment and interviewing, and contributed to analysis and the write-up of results.

Professor Joanne Neale

Professor Joanne Neale Joanne was a Partner Investigator on the project and contributed to the development of research and website materials, advised on methodology and interviewing, and contributed to analysis and the write-up of results.

Professor John Strang

Professor Sir John Strang John was a Partner Investigator on the project. He contributed to data analysis, provided input into the development of website materials and contributed to the write-up of results.

Project Staff

Dr Adrian Farrugia

Dr Adrian Farrugia Adrian coordinated the project, conducted interviews and data analysis, and led the writing of the topics and stories for this website.

Dr. Renae Fomiatti

Dr Renae Fomiatti Renae provided research assistance and administrative support to the project including conducting interviews, data analysis and preparing website content.

Advisory panel

Ms Elizabeth Carrigan
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Pain Management Association, Queensland, Australia

Ms Jane Dicka
Drug Overdose Peer Educator, Harm Reduction Victoria, Victoria, Australia

Associate Professor Adrian Dunlop
Area Director and Addiction Medicine Senior Staff Specialist, Hunter New England Area Health, New South Wales, Australia
Conjoint Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Dr Marianne Jauncey
Medical Director, Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, New South Wales, Australia

Mr Trevor King
Senior Manager Program Development, Uniting ReGen, Victoria and Tasmania, Australia

Mr Tom Lyons
Senior Policy Officer, Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria, Australia

Ms Angela Matheson
Principal Program Manager, Harm Reduction, Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch, New South Wales Health, New South Wales, Australia

Mr Angelo Pricolo
Vice President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Victoria, Australia


Sincere thanks to the people who took part in this research for generously sharing their stories.

Thanks also go to:

  • Australian human rights advocate Craig Foster, who introduced the website
  • the members of the advisory panel for their valuable input, including advice on the topics featured on this website and recruitment of participants
  • the many people, including colleagues and friends, and organisations that assisted with participant recruitment:
    • Access Health, St Kilda (Rebecca Thatcher); Actual Australian Chronic Pain Education and Support Facebook group; Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL); Association of Participating Service Users (APSU) (Edita Kennedy); Australian Chronic Pain Sufferers Facebook group (Scott Thompson); Clinic 36; CoHealth (Daniel Brown); Garden Court; Guthrie House; Health Works, Footscray; Inner Space (Marije Roos); Jake Rance; Monash Health Drug and Alcohol Service (Leanne Van); Pain Australia; Peter Higgs; Phoebe House; Ryan Fomiatti; The Kobi Clinic; Uniting Care ReGen; United Garden; Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre; We Help Ourselves New Beginnings; Youth Projects
  • Jeanne Ellard, who conducted some of the interviews, and Aly Hiles, who transcribed them
  • Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre and Access Health St Kilda, which provided rooms for conducting interviews
  • Kiran Pienaar, who provided advice on website development
  • John Jacobs for audio and video clip production and assistance with the video re-enactments
  • Leading Hand Design, which designed and built the website.

Video re-enactment cast

We thank the actors represented by Real People, who played the roles listed below:

Participant Actor
Adele Bronwyn Murphy
Andrew Allon Dinor
Cameron Soledad Hassett
Elijah Luke Maizey
Farez Adam Ramzi
Gabrielle Juliette Armstrong
Ghassan George Chahine
Jamie Rowan Oliver
Karlijn Brigette Staub-pflueger
Ken Matthew Hadgraft
Lacey Stephanie Bursill
Lewis Robert Barker
Lola Alice Howell
Russell Phil Pitt
Sadie Hazel Maung
Skye-Lee Kathrine Clarke
Valentina Melissa Micallef
Zippy Bruce Whalley

Disclosure statements

This website is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP170101669).

Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvements Grants Fund, with additional research funding coming from a range of national and international sources. The Burnet Institute gratefully acknowledges the contribution to this work of the Victorian Operational Infrastructure Support Program.

Paul Dietze has been appointed as an unpaid member of the Australian Mundipharma Advisory Board for an intranasal naloxone formulation. He has received investigator-driven funding from Gilead Sciences Inc. for work related to hepatitis C treatment and an untied educational grant from Indivior Ltd for work related to the introduction of buprenorphine/naloxone into Australia.

Joanne Neale has, through her University, received research funding to study novel opioid pharmacotherapy delivery systems (such as implants and depot injection) and nasal naloxone from pharmaceutical companies Mundipharma Research Ltd and Camurus AB.

John Strang is supported by the the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. John is working with the pharmaceutical industry to identify new or improved treatments and his employer (King’s College London) has received grants, travel costs and/or consultancy payments; this includes investigation of new naloxone formulations and has included work with, in the past three years, Martindale Ltd, Indivior Ltd and Mundipharma Pty Ltd (all of which have naloxone products). His employer (King’s College London) has also registered intellectual property on a buccal naloxone formulation, naming John and colleagues, and he was earlier named in a patent registration by a pharmaceutical company regarding concentrated nasal naloxone spray.


NOTE: uses a similar presentation format to another website,, which was produced in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia, with support from other collaborating parties. The initial project for used the ‘DIPEx’ approach to research and online resource (website) production. This approach was developed by the Medical Sociology & Health Experiences Research Group, in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. It is used by Healthtalk Australia and other licensed members of DIPEx International. While the two websites are linked online, Overdose Lifesavers is not associated with Healthtalk Australia.