Canberra Service Launch

The Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy (CAHMA), The Connection and the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) are hosting a major community event to open CAHMA and The Connection’s new premises in Belconnen and mark World Hepatitis Day in the nation’s capital.

The event will be attended by around 100 community members, including politicians, CEOs, funding bodies, community workers and service users and boasts an impressive line-up of speakers talking about the challenges of addressing viral hepatitis and the range of services available in the ACT.

In Australia in 2015 it was estimated that 209,000 people were living with chronic hepatitis C and 239,000 with chronic hepatitis B.  In the ACT approximately 3,600 people are living with hepatitis C and 4,000 with hepatitis B.  The burden of disease and mortality associated with hepatitis B and hepatitis C continues to increase, and preventable infections continue to occur.

Speakers will include:

  • Aunty Agnes Shea, Ngunnawal Elder – Welcome to Country
  • Dr Nadeem Siddiqui, Executive Director of Clinical Services, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
  • John Didlick, Executive Officer, Hepatitis ACT
  • Chris Gough, Manager, CAHMA and The Connection


DATE:            Thursday 27 July 2017

TIME:             11.30am-12.15pm (community BBQ to follow)

VENUE:         Margaret Timpson Park

Corner Chandler St and Benjamin Way, Belconnen (across from Belconnen Westfield)


Background to the organisations:

CAHMA is an integral part of the ACT’s alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector and exists to promote the health and human rights of people who use, or have used, drugs.  CAHMA provides a range of services to reduce drug related harms to individuals, families and communities, including in the key areas of:

  • harm reduction information and education
  • overdose prevention and management
  • peer treatment support and advocacy
  • ensuring culturally appropriate service provision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The Connection – CAHMA’s dedicated program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – delivers a comprehensive, person-centred suite of services designed to reduce the disproportionate impact of blood-borne viruses (BBV), sexually transmissible infections (STI), and AOD issues on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the ACT and surrounding region.

AIVL is the ACT-based national organisation representing people who use/have used illicit drugs and is the peak body for the state and territory peer-based drug user organisations (including CAHMA).