Swinburne University of Technology
Dr. Thomas Arkell is a psychopharmacologist whose research focuses primarily on cannabis and its effects on driving and cognition. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 2020 and he currently works at Swinburne University in Melbourne. He has a strong interest in medical cannabis and road safety issues including oral fluid testing and novel methods for detecting driver impairment.
Launched in 2011, Sniff Off is a collaboration between Greens Senator for NSW David Shoebridge and the NSW Young Greens. The campaign is a social media based project that has been collating police statistics going back as far as 2009 and receives dozens of messages every week detailing the traumatic experiences supporters and their friends have with police. The campaign works to highlight the ongoing violations of civil liberties committed through “proactive” policing measures like drug dogs and strip searches, and bring an end to the warrantless use of drug dogs in public places by the police.
Solicitor & Author
Steve has been a practising solicitor since 1991. He worked for several years at Redfern Legal Centre. From 1996 to early 2004, he was the principal solicitor at the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre. Steve is the author of Rough Deal, a plain English book about the NSW drug laws. He is also the author of a number of other publications on drug laws and drug policy.
Dr Carolyn Bosak is an integrative GP of over 20 years experience, with particular interests in athlete management, Women’s Health, chronic pain and mental health. She is a medicinal cannabis prescriber, and founder of Your Integrated Health. In her down time, she trains and races in ironman triathlon, and has competed in 2 world championships.
Hemp Engineer, Hemp Fibre Fusion
Martin’s work and development is an evolving currency. Inventor of the fundamental process used by Zeoform and inspiration to Zelpho-Technology, his core competence in structural materials made from micro-fibrillated plant fibre, product development, engineering, production, feasibility and viability projects for structural materials from renewable resources. Martin has more than 20 years experience across multiple disciplines in nano fibre fusion technology and is committed to supporting visions becoming reality for a more sustainable future.
NSW Greens MLC
In November 2021, long time Cannabis law reform advocate, Cate Faehrmann introduced An Act to amend the [NSW] Road Transport Act 2013 to exclude users of medicinal cannabis from the application of the offence relating to driving with the presence of certain drugs in a person’s oral fluid, blood or urine; and for related purposes. Cate has admitted to the personal use of recreational drugs, including cannabis and medicinal CBD products and has been leading a campaign to Rethink Reform our drug laws as the Greens Drug Law Reform spokesperson.
crazeco.com.au Empirical Glass, established in 2018 in Perth, Western Australia. Born from a passion for Glass and the culture. Through observation and experience as well as using the highest quality materials possible, we aim to bring high quality Australian made glass to those who seek it. Jim Lindner aka @jimmysglassart is a Glassblowing Artist from Tasmania, Australia. In the beginning Jimmy operated in his family garage space with a dream to make glass art to hide all over Hobart town for people to scavenger hunt. The word got around quickly and soon Jimmy was hiding his artworks Australia wide. Working with molten glass has been a lifelong passion for Jimmy since his very first gift of playing marbles at 5. At 18 he was involved in a workplace accident that resulted in 3rd degree burns, Not long after deciding to follow his childhood fascination with glass as a form of art therapy, sharing the story of healing and creating with fire in front of live audiences. Jimmy is now 26 and lives in Hobart, creating glass artworks full time.
David Heilpern was appointed as a Magistrate in 1998, and was at the time the youngest magistrate in Australia. He ‘retired’ in May 2020. David has a commitment to ensuring that drug laws change to reflect the principles of harm reduction. In particular, he believes that harm is only increased by applying a law and order model to victimless crimes.
Wellness Coach and Mental Health Advocate
Rebecca Houghton is an International speaker, Wellness Coach and Mental Health Advocate. She shares her real life experience of treating and managing both complex and combat post traumatic stress and explains why she subscribes to a heuristic model for mental health care, over a pharmaceutical prescription. As Co-founder and former Director of the ex-service organisation, Weeded Warrior, she advocated politically for medicinal cannabis and MDMA trauma therapy legalisation in Australia and successfully championed the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover Medicinal Cannabis for Veterans. She enjoys educating on topics that are often considered taboo or illegal.
Historian & Journalist
Dr John Jiggens is a writer and journalist who has published several books including The Joke, Sir Joseph Banks & the Question of Hemp and, with Jack Herer, the Australian version of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. His PhD was ‘Marijuana Australiana: Cannabis Use, Popular Culture and the Americanisation of Drugs Policy in Australia 1938 – 1988‘. The books that derive from this are Marijuana Australiana, The killer cop and the murder of Donald Mackay and The man who knew too much. As a journalist, he currently works in the community newsroom at Bay-FM in Byron Bay.
I graduated from Sydney University Medicine in 1982 and in 1992 was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine in the sub-specialty of Immunopathology. My interest in Cannabis and Hemp started in 1988 while researching for solutions to the old growth forest controversy which opened the hidden history of the industrial uses of Cannabis and the political basis of the Cannabis prohibition. In 1995 we produced a documentary “Billion Dollar Crop” which outlined the many uses of Cannabis Hemp for the production of paper, clothing, building materials and many more items. In 1998 I obtained the first ever licence to cultivate Cannabis for scientific research and analysis. Our research proved very successful as we demonstrated that Cannabis is an efficient weed smothering and soil conditioning crop, which produced a large quantity of quality fibre, a nutritious seed and a safe and effective resin medicine.
OG & Author, Green Grass Publishing
Peter “Kog” Godfrey is one of Australia’s leading authors on Marijuana cultivation. In 1995, Kog was busted with 8,000 marijuana seedlings. The cops valued these worthless little plants at $2,000 each and sentenced Kog to 2 years in prison for being in possession of $16 Million dollars worth of marijuana. After he got out of prison, he set about to grow the biggest and the best crop of dope he’d ever grown – and he did. Kog was determined to share his knowledge with the greater community and wrote his seminal book “Marijuana – A Grower’s Lot” which has sold over 2,500 copies.
Director of Drug and Alcohol Services, South East Sydney Local Health District
Prof Nicholas Lintzeris is Director of Drug and Alcohol Services at South East Sydney Local Health District, Prof Addiction Medicine at University of Sydney, and past President of the Chapter of Addiction Medicine, RACP (2020-22), and Chief Addiction Medicine Specialist for NSW Health (2013-4). He has led a number of studies using medicinal cannabis, and also prescribes medicinal cannabis products for patients in private practice.
Convenor of the Lismore Greens
Kashmir Miller is a lifelong Lismore local who is completing a Bachelor of Laws with Honours at SCU. She is also an actor, environmentalist, youth activist and recently was the Greens candidate for Page in the 2022 federal election. She has advocated for issues such as raising the rate of youth allowance, keeping the Northern Rivers gasfield free, and drug reform and pill testing.
WA Legalise Cannabis MLC
Sophia is the Legalise Cannabis WA member for the South West Region. Sophia was initially trained as a Registered Nurse at the Anna Reynvaan School of Nursing in Amsterdam before moving to Western Australia with her parents in 1983. Prior to politics she studied at Perth Academy of Natural Therapies and has been practising Naturopathic and Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Perth metropolitan area. As “the first person, and thus the first woman, to have been voted in on a legalise cannabis platform alone”, Sophia stresses the need for cooperation in the 41st Parliament. Positively grabbing life by the ovaries, Ms Moermond embodies the imminent uprising of the voices of marginalised populations in the political arena by proposing radical preventative, innovative and cost-effective policy reforms in partnership with the experts adversely affected by existing service delivery failures.
Drive Change Campaign Coordinator
Bee Mohamed is an advocate for Harm Reduction Australia and previously the Patient Advocacy and Stakeholder Manager (APAC) for Canopy Growth, one of the world’s largest cannabis companies. Prior to Canopy Growth, Bee was the inaugural CEO of ScriptWise, a health promotion charity addressing prescription medication addiction and overdose in Australia. Bee is passionate about patient advocacy and working towards better drug policy reforms in Australia.
Comedian, Author, Journalist, MC, Keynote Speaker, Humour Therapist & Educator
Her peers regularly declare her one of the strongest comedic talents in the country – with over 25 years of industry experience. Moving to Byron Bay in the mid 90’s Nolan pioneered a thriving comedy scene and heads up seven regular comedy rooms and two comedy festivals in the region. Mandy Nolan is as at home on the page as she is on the stage. In Byron Bay where she lives Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak – in fact, Mandy was recently voted the 7th most influential personality in the region! Her popular weekly column ‘Soapbox’ showcases polarising opinion pieces which are often the catalyst of conversation and debate, shining a fresh perspective on topical issues. Mandy’s columns – like her comedy – are a passionate voice for the unheard members of society. Mandy is also the host of International Award winning podcast The Split – produced by Mamamia – she is also one of their most in demand writers. A published author, Nolan’s titles include ‘What I Would Do If I Were You’ & ‘Boyfriend’s We’ve All Had and Shouldn’t Have’ ‘Home Truths’, ‘Women Like Us’ co-authored with Ellen Briggs and her most recent ‘The Full Mandy’. Oh, and by the way, Nolan is also the mother of 5 children, who she credits as the true source of her creativity. ‘When I had kids, everything else looked easy!’
Professor Kylie O’Brien PhD, MPH, B AppSc(Chin Med), BSc(Optom), Grad Cert Tert Ed
Director of Research & Education, Releaf Group Ltd
Adjunct Professor, Torrens University
Adjunct Fellow, NICM Health Research Institute
Kylie has had a strong academic career in the fields of Chinese medicine, integrative medicine and now medicinal cannabis. Kylie now works as Director of Research and Education at Releaf Group Ltd and has formed the International College of Cannabioid Medicine (ICCM) which provides educational resources on medicinal cannabis for healthcare practitioners. Kylie published her first book in 2017 (O’Brien & Sali, A Clinician’s Guide to Integrative Oncology: What You Should Be Talking About with Cancer Patients and Why? US: Springer, 2017). Kylie has set up the pathway via the National Institute of Integrative Medicine ethics committee for doctors to apply to become authorised prescribers of medicinal cannabis under the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Authorised Prescriber Scheme.
VIC Reason MLC
Fiona Patten is a Member for Northern Metropolitan Region in the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council. Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Since entering Parliament, Fiona has garnered respect from all sides of politics, working tirelessly to deliver legislative reforms that many thought impossible. Fiona’s achievements in Parliament include:
- Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in North Richmond
- Medicinal Cannabis Driving taskforce established
- Drug Use and Possession taskforce to trial a health response not a criminal one
- Established Parliamentary Inquiry into the legalisation of cannabis
Fiona’s decision to run for political office came after 20 years of advocating for the rights of small business owners, sexual health organisations, sexual freedoms and censorship reforms. In 2009, frustrated with the lack of social change on censorship, drug law reform, assisted dying and marriage equality, she founded the Australian Sex Party with her partner Robbie Swan. In 2017, the Australian Sex Party was dissolved to make way for the Reason Party, a movement of common sense and secular evidence-based policy. When Fiona isn’t in Parliament – you will find her in a swimming pool or at a restaurant.
Michael is one of Australia’s youngest politicians and the fellow responsible for people in the ACT being able to grow two plants and legally carry fifty grams with them. He did try for four plants but they cut his number in half. Michael was elected to the ACT Parliament in 2016 when he was 25 after famously campaigning using Twitter to connect with the younger generations. He grew up in Canberra and did Arts at ANU where he got involved with student politics. After graduating he worked as a trade unionist for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. And now he has introduced a bill in Canberra that would remove criminal sanctions for the personal possession and use of all illicit substances.
T.K. Nixon is an educator, parent, and drug law reform activist. His website Responsible Choice juxtaposes the relative harms of cannabis with those caused by alcohol. In 2016 he gave evidence to the Australian Government Senate Economics References Committee – Personal Choice and Community Impacts Inquiry regarding the legalisation of cannabis for personal use. He resides on the Sunshine Coast of South East Queensland, Australia, with his wife Rachel and their four children. His book, Psilocybin Mushrooms of South East Queensland, Australia – Eliminating the Harms, published in 2020, is the culmination of years of association with psilocybin mushrooms, and research into relative drug harms. It contains detailed information necessary for the correct identification of two of the most common psychoactive fungi along the east coast of Australia; namely Psilocybe cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens.
The Green Revolution
My name is Ash, and I am the founder of The Green Revolution. Beside the support of my incredible parents, cannabis is the only reason I am still alive. I was the victim of prolonged sexual abuse and rape, perpetrated by my maternal grandfather, from the age of 5 until 11, when I disclosed the abuse to my parents, who fully supported me. But this was my first experience in how cruel the Justice System can be. My abuser plead guilty, but because of his age, as well as character witnesses – members of my immediate family as well as the community, he avoided any jail sentence, and was given a suspended sentence. I know that I have the privilege of living in a time when cannabis is readily available, for the most part good quality, and the social perspective on cannabis has come so far. I also have the privilege of being a white girl stoner, which minimises the risk and stress I feel when I was acquiring “illegal” weed. But with that privilege, comes a deep responsibility to give back. To stand with those who have fought for decades for legalisation, those who are in, or have been, to jail because of unjust laws and regulations, those who have felt the stigma of using cannabis, even medically. This is the fight The Green Revolution is joining, because it’s right, it’s necessary, and it’s time.
Medical Director Ananda Clinics
Dr. Jamie Rickcord has been practicing medicine since graduating from the Imperial College, London, in 2006. Over the last decade, Dr Jamie has worked as a General Practitioner in the Northern Rivers, steadily developing an integrative framework of practice that has most recently included extensive further training in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Dr Jamie has prescribed cannabinoids to thousands of patients and has a strong desire to see endocannabinoid physiology adopted into modern medical understanding and psychotherapeutic practice.
David Shoebridge is a recognised voice for social justice and police accountability, and has spoken on these topics at many past MardiGrass. He was elected to the Senate as the party’s lead candidate in New South Wales at the 2022 federal election, to a term beginning on 1 July 2022. Prior to this David was a Greens member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since September 2010. In 2014, as part of a broader campaign to curb the use of police drug dogs, David launched Facebook page Sniff Off with individuals reporting drug dog locations at train stations, festivals and other public places in NSW. Through freedom of information and questions in Parliament David obtained data that indicates drug dogs get it wrong up to 80% of the time.
Dr John Teh has been working within the Medicinal Cannabis industry since the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in Australia in February, 2016. As an avid organic farmer and permaculture expert, treatment with natural whole plant products in conjunction with conventional medical treatment has always been a top personal priority for Dr Teh. Coming from a QLD surgical family, Dr Teh has also settled within the surgical field as assistant surgeon to many surgical specialties. Dr Teh worked in the surgical industry for 15 years before moving into Medicinal Cannabis specialty full-time.
Founder and Medical Director MediHuanna
Dr Teresa Towpik graduated in Poland and has been a GP in Australia since 1993. She discovered the amazing therapeutic properties of cannabis in 2016 and has been studying this important plant since then. She feels very honoured to have been a witness of many life changing situations among her patients. She is also a cannabis patient herself. She was diagnosed with left breast cancer in 2001, which unfortunately re-occurred in May 2019.
‘Sometimes disease is not about disease, sometimes it is about what we need to heal in our lives, and it can take us on a journey of self-discovery — if only we are willing to take that path. Healing occurs on many levels and comes from many sources. Healing is our own responsibility; other people, including doctors, can only guide us.’
Cancer, My Greatest Teacher follows Dr Towpik on her journey through cancer, and how she found an inner strength she never knew she possessed in dealing with the cancer. Dr Towpik takes readers on a journey through her life from her early years in Poland through to the moment she discovered the life-changing lump. Teresa is forced to confront not only the disease itself but also all the other aspects of her life that needed to be healed. ‘Cancer got me on my knees, made me humble and humiliated, and it made me investigate my existence and mortality. I was forced to question who I am, and this ultimately led me to create other experiences in my life.’ Cancer, My Greatest Teacher is a powerful narrative of a woman who confronts her fears and embraces cancer as her guru and guide.
Retired rural GP
7 years research cannabis/cannabis medicine
Degree in Western Herbal Medicine in progress
Dr Debbie Waldron is a survivor, and the biggest fight of her life was against melanoma. It was during this fight she re-discovered cannabis and natural medicine, and has not looked back. She no longer wishes to be part of what she sees as a corrupt, uncaring and broken system of health care, and focuses now on caring for people in a holistic way, and educating as many as she can on cannabis and other wonders of nature that have languished in the wilderness for too long. She has also been an enthusiastic cannabis activist, to the point of standing for State parliament for the Legalise Cannabis Queensland Party, and is looking forward to continuing the fight for reasonable and sensible cannabis legislation.
WA Legalise Cannabis MLC
LCWA party member Dr. Brain Walker has officially won a seat in WA’s Upper House after getting 9,200 first preference votes in the election. Dr. Walker is a General Practitioner who works in Serpentine, in Perth’s south. He joined LCWA when it first formed, and ran alongside twenty-two LCWA members in the state election. Another LCWA member Sophia Moermond was also elected, in the South West Region. LCWA is one of Australia’s newest political parties. It was only founded in December 2020, after drawing inspiration from Legalise Cannabis Queensland. The party’s public Facebook group now has over 2,900 members. LCWA won about 2% of the popular vote – which is remarkable for such a new party. Dr Walker believes that WA should legalise the use of recreational cannabis, and has described it as “safer” than alcohol and tobacco.