About SSDP Deakin University

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Deakin’s goal at Deakin University is to provide a service for Deakin students who are interested in drug policy reform, and allow them to become actively involved.

Our executive consists of our president Penny Hill, our vice president Sarah Thomson, our Treasurer Andy Nguyen and our Secretary Beau Dessmann. All of which study a variety of different courses and are highly passionate about drug law reform in Australia. Our executives are committed to establishing a ground base at Deakin University for future students to take on.

There are a variety of reasons to join SSDP Deakin. Students will become an effective political activist by learning how to advocate for an end to the War on Drugs. Students will be able to learn how to assert and protect their rights, during a police encounter. Students will become a part of a growing active network of activists representing the future of drug law reform. Students will learn of current issues at a national and international level, as well as harm reduction and safer partying. Students will have the chance to attend a variety of drug policy summits and conferences.

Contact details:

Email: deakin@ssdp.org.au
SSDP Deakin Facebook


SSDP Deakin Coordinators


Penelope Hill

Penelope Hill - President

Hi, my name is Penelope Hill, and I am currently a Master of International and Community Development student at Deakin University. I am the president of SSDP Deakin and also the co-founder and national co-ordinator of SSDP Australia. I founded SSDP Deakin in order to provide a platform for Deakin students to have their voice heard in national drug policy discussions, to enable networking opportunities for students interested in drug policy from multiple universities to interact, and to empower students with the skills and knowledge of how to make a difference in their community!

Penelope Hill

Sarah Thomson – Vice-President

Hey there! My name is Sarah Thomson and I’m currently completing my Honours in Psychology. I first started questioning Australia’s approach to drug policy when I became involved in the electronic music scene years ago. I was exposed to a lot of recreational drug use and it didn’t take long for me to realise that our current policies are naïve in their conception and are not only failing to keep young people safe but are putting them at greater risk of harm. This led me to volunteer for DanceWize, an initiative focused on trying to reduce drug related harm at dance parties through the provision of unbiased information and a safe space for partygoers. My involvement with DanceWize only strengthened my passion for drug policy reform and inspired me to take on the role of Vice President of SSDP Deakin.

Penelope Hill

Beau Dessman - Secretary

Hi, my name is Beau Dessmann. I am currently a fourth year student at Deakin University undertaking a Bachelors degree in International Studies, majoring in International Relations and Politics and Policy studies. I have always been passionate about progressive drug law reform, and I believe the policies of the Australian government are obsolete. I joined SSDP Deakin because it allowed to me to have a further understanding of alternative drug policies, granting me the ability to balance out with which policies I believe are right, and which policies I believe are wrong.


Penelope Hill

Andy Nguyen – Treasurer

Hi all, my name is Andy Nguyen and I am currently a third year Biomedical Science student at Deakin University. I’m the current treasurer for the SSDP at Deakin University. The reason I’ve decided to join and actively participate in SSDP is because the current drug policies are ineffective and outdated as they only look to criminalize rather than educate, promote harm reduction and provide a more safe and just future for Australia. My involvement in SSDP will enable me to have a deeper understanding of different drug policies and help advocate policies which I believe will benefit greatly to all.