Welcome to the Yarra Drug and Health Forum

A community response to alcohol and other drug issues.

The Yarra Drug & Health Forum (YDHF) is a dynamic, adaptive and educative local network committed to identifying and responding to the health and social needs of the community in Yarra.

The Forum aims to ensure health and community relationships are minimally harmed by drug use in the City of Yarra – this includes the impact of drugs on individuals, families and friends, residents and visitors to the area and local businesses.

Public meetings are held from 12:30 - 2pm on the first Monday of each month and the Forum always welcomes anyone.

2019 meeting dates will be announced soon.

FacebookFind Yarra Drug & Health Forum on Facebook

YDHF on Facebook  

Next Forum Meeting 

NEXT MEETING: Monday, 4th March 2019

VENUE – Richmond Town Hall

12.30PM - 2PM

Press Release 10/12/18 

Yarra Drug and Health Forum Calls For Life Saving Drug Policies

Drug Testing:

The Yarra Drug and Health Forum is most concerned about recent events in Sydney at the 'Knockout Games of Destiny’ Dance Party when one young person lost their life and several others were hospitalised after taking an illicit substance.

Yarra Drug and Health Forum’s Executive Officer Greg Denham, a former police officer, says:

‘These deaths and other harms are entirely preventable. We have found that programs that are humane and based on evidence such as pill testing are a far better approach to reducing drug harms than heavy handed police tactics and tougher penalties. We call for the immediate introduction of front of house drug testing similar to the model adopted in Canberra earlier in 2018 at the ‘Groovin the Moo Festival’. Unless we act now more lives will be lost this summer.’

Heroin Assisted Treatment

High-quality scientific evidence suggests that supervised injectable heroin treatment or Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) Evidence from randomized controlled trials of HAT in Canada and Europe indicates that supervised injectable HAT can offer benefits for treating heroin dependency among individuals who have tried traditional treatment options including methadone but are still injecting heroin.

Yarra Drug and Health Forum’s Executive Officer Greg Denham, a former police officer, says:

‘The evidence is clear from international research that the use of heroin as a treatment option for long-term opiate dependent people is effective in terms of reducing their dependency, reducing the risks of overdose deaths, reducing the transmission of blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis C and reducing criminal behaviours associated with their heroin addiction. This treatment approach also provides pathways to a more stable life through housing, employment and relationship stability.’

‘Programs such as drug testing and heroin prescribing do not ‘send the wrong message’ nor do they ‘condone’ or ‘promote’ drug use. These approaches are scientifically based approaches that research shows will address the harms associated with illicit drug use that are often caused by illicit drug policies, not the drugs themselves.’

All enquiries to:
Greg Denham
Executive Officer Yarra Drug and Health Forum
365 Hoddle Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
M 0424193857
E Greg.Denham@cohealth.org.au

Worker of the Year 2018 

Matthew Honey

Congratulations to Matthew Honey - NRCH and HRVic Peer Educator

Worker of the Year Award


Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference

The Executive Officer of the Yarra Drug and Health Forum, Greg Denham, recently attended the Centre for Law Enforcement and Public Health Conference held in Toronto, Canada from 21-24 October 2018. The EO spoke about the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) in North Richmond:

‘The Melbourne Experience: Illicit drug consumption rooms, a straight forward solution in a complex policy environment’

The EO also participated in a 2 Day Consultation held prior to the conference where international representatives from policing, health, academic and alcohol and drug agencies discussed mutual issues impacting on their work.


Greg Denham
Conference Canada
LEAHN conference




Mr Richard Wynne (ALP)

Ms Nina Springle (The Greens)

Ms Fiona Patten (Reason Party)

Mr Steve Jolly (Socialists)

See our events page for more details including audio recording.

Events Page

Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing  

Dear Colleagues

Please click on this link to the Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing to read about our pill testing principles.

Please also consider becoming a signatory to the Charter by sending me details on how you would like to be listed.

Many thanks

Gino Vumbaca
Harm Reduction Australia

Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing

YDHF is a signatory to the Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing

Medically Supervised Injecting Room  

The first 30 days

Guest Speaker: Dr Nico Clark  

Restorative Yarra 

Stories of Victoria Street

YDHF has been an active partner in the University of Melbourne’s ‘Restorative Yarra’ Project which is investigating a series of social planning processes to better understand and consider options for policy action on the issues impacting Victoria Street Richmond.

YDHF has been collaborating with partners including the Neighbourhood Justice Centre and City of Yarra.

The photo was taken during the ‘Stories of Victoria Street’ activity held on Friday April 27th in The Hive Shopping Centre.

Executive Committee 

  • Peter Wearne – General Manager of Services, Youth Support and Advocacy Service
  • Rachel Hopkins - Principal Solicitor, Fitzroy Legal Service
  • Hieng Lim - Senior Program Manager, Crime Prevention Neighbourhood Justice Centre
  • Kevan Myers - Team Leader/ NEXUS Dual Diagnosis Advisory Service, St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Aram Hosie - Executive Manager Public Affairs - cohealth
  • Sandra Fox - Manager Drug Safety Services, North Richmond Community Health

What matters to you?

 We want to know...

Is there a person or organisation we should get to do a presention? What topics do you want to hear about?