To find out about NUAA’s governance, you can read NUAA’s Constitution (pdf).


NUAA has a Board of Governance, which oversees the direction, management and finances of the organisation. The Board of Governance is elected at the NUAA Annual General Meeting and meets at NUAA on the last Thursday of every calendar month.

Any member of NUAA is entitled to attend Board of Governance meetings or be nominated to join the board.

Current members

Jude Byrne (chair)
Nicholas Lintzeris (vice-chair)
Diego Rivera (secretary)
Larry Pierce (treasurer)
Vanessa Delandre (ordinary member)
Brian Doyle (ordinary member)
Annie Bleeker (ordinary member)
Jennifer Debenham (ordinary member)
Dr Mary Harrod (CEO, ex officio)

Purpose of the board

Board members are “custodians” of NUAA on behalf of its members and stakeholders. The Board’s role is to focus on the vision, mission, values and strategic plan — in essence, what the organisation stands for, rather than what the organisation does. The Board makes sure the organisation stays focused on its purpose, meets its funding requirements and is protected by overseeing our financial and legal requirements.

What kind of committee members are we looking for?

We’re looking for peers who may currently use drugs or have used drugs in the past, and others who support NUAA’s aims and objectives. We want people who are passionate willing to participate in governance or willing to learn. Our current Board has experts such as solicitors, educators and administrators.

One of our members, very skilled in governance, was asked by her son, a NUAA member who used illicit drugs, to become involved in NUAA. Another is a drug user activist who was NUAA’s first manager. Another is a peer who had little experience in governance before joining the Board. NUAA members who have no experience with Boards or administration, but are keen to learn, are invited to become involved and gain new skills in becoming an effective Board member.

Level of commitment

You are elected to the Board of Governance for a period of one year, but may be re-elected as often as NUAA members continue to vote for you. The Board meets monthly for about two hours at the NUAA offices in Surry Hills. How much time you will need to spend outside of meeting time depends partly on the position you hold within the Board. Positions like Chair (and chairing the meetings), Secretary or Treasurer will be more time-consuming than being an ordinary member.

However, even ordinary members need to do a certain amount of reading, or they may sit on a working party such as a membership committee to progress the Board’s work. From past Board members experience it is estimated that realistically, attending the monthly Board meetings, plus any sub-committees and doing the necessary reading and preparation probably takes about two hours per week.

How to get involved

Contact Lisa at NUAA on (02) 8354 7300 to talk about the Board, what skills you may have to offer or would like to learn, and what is involved. We can arrange for a Board member to give you a call back to talk about their experience. You can even attend a meeting as an observer and talk to members afterwards. If after doing your homework you decide to run for the Board, but don’t have any experience with sitting on Boards, it might be an idea to consider running as an Alternate Member, where you are in a position of learning.

Board members are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). You need to be a confirmed member of NUAA to run for the Board. Members are sent an AGM pack each year with nomination forms. We will also post nomination forms on this site before each AGM. You need a nominator and a seconder to become a candidate. You then attend the AGM and speak to your nomination. Members attending the AGM vote to approve the new Board members, with a ballot if the number of nominees exceeds the number of positions.

Board elections

This Board was elected at the 2018 AGM. The next Board will be elected at the 2018 AGM. Board positions are open to all NUAA members. Each year, Board Nomination forms are mailed out to NUAA members along with the AGM agenda papers and they are also posted on the NUAA Website as soon as they are available. You can nominate yourself, but you will need another NUAA member to second your nomination. The AGM takes place in October/November each year. Contact Lisa for more information on (02) 8354 7300 or contact us through our online form – click here.

Code of conduct

You can read NUAA’s Code of Conduct (pdf).