ABOUT US

DanceWize NSW is a program of NSW Users and Aids Association, the leader in peer-led harm reduction in NSW. DanceWize NSW is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to attend NSW music festivals to increase the safety of festival patrons through credible and evidence based information about safer partying and delivering a range of peer-delivered prevention and harm reduction services including crowd care services (e.g. water, sunscreen, information) through to hosting a dedicated care space to look after festival goers who are experiencing difficulty or simply need a time out.

DanceWize NSW works closely with festival promoters, emergency medical, police, and security service providers to support a coordinated, safety-focussed approach. As part of our 2-year trial program we have developed a steering committee to assist with communication and service development and includes members of NSW Ambulance, NSW Health, Harm Reduction Victoria, NSW Police Drug Policy, Mothership Events, and Ranwood Solutions (specialist onsite festival emergency service provider) who advise our team on effective solutions, best practice and general encouragement and support in program delivery as we establish ourselves at events and festivals in the state of NSW.

The DanceWize NSW team numbers over 100 NUAA staff members and volunteers. Key NUAA team members are:

DanceWize NSW team:

Jessica Murray (Jessie Ray)

Dan Burns

NUAA Management team:

Mary Ellen Harrod

Charles Henderson

Our KPE Leadership Team (Shift Leaders) are: Jacinta Bourne, Lisa Andreyeva, Erica Franklin, Cam Benson, Cameron Dalrymple, Shahrad Salimian, Matt Dibbayawan, Chris Eassey, Bekk Moffitt, Alice Pierce, William Swann, and Jason Gregory-Jones.

Our volunteers, Key Peer Educators (KPEs) are what makes DanceWize NSW so effective - stay tuned for their biographies!

 

STAFF

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JESSICA MURRAY

Jessica Murray (Jessie Ray) is one of the DanceWize NSW Coordinators and has been with NUAA since 2017.

Jessie has been an energetic volunteer, patron, arts manager, and multidisciplinary artist, in the festival circuit for over 10 years. She has an irrepressible passion for community and arts-focussed events and has entered the harm reduction community at DanceWize NSW’s inception. Her strengths include public speaking, project management, strategic/operational problem-solving, fire performance, and visual art.

Jessie has 5 years of corporate and community event management experience, in international conferences and her own initiative Art Party, which engaged emerging arts practitioners for events in Australia, Indonesia, Uganda, Canada, Russia, USA and UK.

In her spare time, Jessie helps run the Australian Defence Force ARRTS program, aimed at supporting personnel with PTSD, trauma, injury and illness. This program empowers defence personnel and first responders to engage in creative expression of their lived experience and use this expression to heal and rebuild their lives.

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DAN BURNS

Dan Burns has been a Coordinator of DanceWize NSW with NUAA since 2017.

Dan has been working and volunteering in music festivals and events across Australia for approximately 15 years, including running his own small events company, Grumpy Wombat, which has been raising money for various charities through the power of music since 2012. He loves a variety of music, from metal to hardstyle, and 90s pop to drum n bass.

Dan began volunteering for DanceWize in Victoria in 2010, before working for the program at Harm Reduction Victoria as Assistant Coordinator, then as a Coordinator, between 2011 and 2015.

He has also been a member of the board of the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) since 2014. Dan had hoped to establish a NSW chapter of the DanceWize program since his time with the Victorian program, and in September 2017, he made the move from Melbourne to Sydney to help establish the newly funded DanceWize NSW.

Dan is extremely passionate about the health and human rights of people who use drugs, especially in the music festival space.

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MARY ELLEN HARROD

Mary Ellen Harrod joined NUAA as CEO in January 2015. At NUAA, and in her previous career as a researcher, Mary has been committed to community engagement and the belief that empowering marginalised communities is fundamental to addressing issues of health equity. Her interest in peer education and preventing harm at music festivals stems from her love of live music, her role as the mother of a young festival attendee and her commitment to bringing peer education and engagement to diverse communities of people who use drugs. The DanceWize NSW project arose from multiple discussions with Jenny Kelsall, the late and much treasured EO of Harm Reduction Victoria (HRVic). Jenny’s generosity and commitment to seeing the highly successful HRVic DanceWize model replicated across the country resulted in the establishment of the NSW project.

You can view Dr. Harrod’s CV here and read more about her work here, here and here.

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CHARLES HENDERSON

Charles recently joined NUAA as Deputy CEO at the start of 2018.
His entire career, the core of himself, has been dedicated to working for the improved health and human rights of drug users, mostly in the arena of injecting related drug use, so often the hidden group bearing the fullest, most fearsome brunt of societal attitudes.

Previous to NUAA Charles gained experience in Australia as the Programs Manager/Acting EO at Harm Reduction Victoria and got to understand and develop his skills in the festival space with DanceWize being an integral component of work there.

Currently part of his role in the NUAA family is to oversee the incredibly important (2-year initial contract with the Ministry of Health) efforts of DanceWize NSW and particularly the Coordinators Jessie and Dan.
Like any service NUAA provides, it is very much geared within a humane, non-judgemental approach, the cornerstone of Harm Reduction and a NUAA tenet: care with empathy, strength through unity and respect through lived connection.

He is proud and loud when it comes to all things that serve natural justice.

“I am glad to be with a group of people that work to make a difference, speak out to say that things can change, and put my shoulder to the wheel of health access and reform.”

 

KPE LEADERSHIP TEAM

JACINTA BOURNE   Cinty is a harm minimisation worker, advocate and peer who works and volunteers in various roles including NSP health education, DanceWize NSW and other crowd care initiatives. Cinty joined DanceWize NSW in 2017, and has trouble saying no if she hears of any awesome community programs or activist causes.

JACINTA BOURNE

Cinty is a harm minimisation worker, advocate and peer who works and volunteers in various roles including NSP health education, DanceWize NSW and other crowd care initiatives. Cinty joined DanceWize NSW in 2017, and has trouble saying no if she hears of any awesome community programs or activist causes.

ERICA FRANKLIN   Erica works as a Health Education Officer for the MSIC and at the Sydney LHD NSP. Erica studied Criminology and Criminal Justice, and is passionate about the impact of policies on drug use and hands on approaches to reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs, particularly novel and emerging psychoactive substances.

ERICA FRANKLIN

Erica works as a Health Education Officer for the MSIC and at the Sydney LHD NSP. Erica studied Criminology and Criminal Justice, and is passionate about the impact of policies on drug use and hands on approaches to reducing the harms of alcohol and other drugs, particularly novel and emerging psychoactive substances.

MATT DIBBAYAWAN   Matt believes in all things Harm Reduction, and has worked in the field since 2014, including at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney and volunteering with Dancewize Victoria and NSW and The Loop Australia. Matt joined the Leadership team for DanceWize NSW in 2017.

MATT DIBBAYAWAN

Matt believes in all things Harm Reduction, and has worked in the field since 2014, including at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Sydney and volunteering with Dancewize Victoria and NSW and The Loop Australia. Matt joined the Leadership team for DanceWize NSW in 2017.

CHRIS EASSEY   Chris is a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, and works as a Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center. He joined the leadership team in 2018. Having previously studied pharmacology, he has a particular enthusiasm in the hands on approach for reducing harms associated with polypharmacy and psychedelics.

CHRIS EASSEY

Chris is a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, and works as a Research Officer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center. He joined the leadership team in 2018. Having previously studied pharmacology, he has a particular enthusiasm in the hands on approach for reducing harms associated with polypharmacy and psychedelics.


CAM BENSON   Cam spends most of his time studying medicine and petting cats. Previously he conducted research in organic chemistry and why life is worth persisting with. One day he hopes to practise psychiatry outdoors.

CAM BENSON

Cam spends most of his time studying medicine and petting cats. Previously he conducted research in organic chemistry and why life is worth persisting with. One day he hopes to practise psychiatry outdoors.



BEKK MOFFITT   I care. I’m a carer. My background is in natural therapies, music therapy and aged care.I believe that dance is and always has been a potent panacea for many worldly ails. I am the teetotaler, the platter-maker, the water-pusher. Turn your back for 2 seconds and I’ll start cleaning.

BEKK MOFFITT

I care. I’m a carer.
My background is in natural therapies, music therapy and aged care.I believe that dance is and always has been a potent panacea for many worldly ails. I am the teetotaler, the platter-maker, the water-pusher. Turn your back for 2 seconds and I’ll start cleaning.

ALICE PIERCE  Alice Ruby is a harm reduction enthusiast and drug policy nerd. Alice is a postgrad law student, and recently completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at the top of her class. Alice draws upon her experience in DIY/ live music communities, and volunteering with harm reduction programs to push for meaningful drug policy reform.

ALICE PIERCE
Alice Ruby is a harm reduction enthusiast and drug policy nerd. Alice is a postgrad law student, and recently completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at the top of her class. Alice draws upon her experience in DIY/ live music communities, and volunteering with harm reduction programs to push for meaningful drug policy reform.

LISA ANDREYEVA   Over 30 years on planet earth, Lisa has come to value connection and clear and honest communication most of all, and is now using these values and skills to help out DanceWize NSW.

LISA ANDREYEVA

Over 30 years on planet earth, Lisa has come to value connection and clear and honest communication most of all, and is now using these values and skills to help out DanceWize NSW.



SHAHRAD SALIMIAN   Shahrad is passionate about neuropsychology, mental health and harm reduction. He loves learning about anything and everything and has been with DW NSW since inception and has just joined the leadership team. He loves lonely kids club apparel and playing video games.

SHAHRAD SALIMIAN

Shahrad is passionate about neuropsychology, mental health and harm reduction. He loves learning about anything and everything and has been with DW NSW since inception and has just joined the leadership team. He loves lonely kids club apparel and playing video games.

WILLIAM SWANN   Curious of all things positive psychology, cosmic connectivity and cellular awareness Will moves between the worlds of science, art , dance, meditation and yoga. Having completing a degree in molecular biology, Will is continuing his journey with psychology/neuroscience to understand the dimensions of mental health and our internal world.

WILLIAM SWANN

Curious of all things positive psychology, cosmic connectivity and cellular awareness Will moves between the worlds of science, art , dance, meditation and yoga. Having completing a degree in molecular biology, Will is continuing his journey with psychology/neuroscience to understand the dimensions of mental health and our internal world.

CAMERON DALRYMPLE   Cameron is a carpenter/builder, born and based in Sydney's eastern beaches. When not building homes he can be found cutting shapes on the dance floor, catching sun at the beach, or spinning fire under his performance moniker 'Catalyst'. He joined DW in early 2018 and recently became a shift leader.

CAMERON DALRYMPLE

Cameron is a carpenter/builder, born and based in Sydney's eastern beaches. When not building homes he can be found cutting shapes on the dance floor, catching sun at the beach, or spinning fire under his performance moniker 'Catalyst'. He joined DW in early 2018 and recently became a shift leader.