About SSDP Melbourne University

Welcome to Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia.

SSDP UniMelb is the newly formed chapter of this growing international movement at the University of Melbourne. Responding to a call from SSDP Australia in 2016, several Melbourne students, from academic fields as diverse as education, neuroscience and public policy, joined together to launch a local chapter to represent the views of those on campus that are opposed to the War on Drugs.

The University of Melbourne seems to pride itself on a long-standing devotion to critically exploring issues in society, by using evidence-based research and wholesome debate to achieve optimum outcomes for society. In light of this, SSDP UniMelb identifies a lack of research, debate or even conversation on campus as to the nature of the War on Drugs and the issue of drug law reform.

Our overall aim is to use this University ethos to stimulate and inspire a new critical analysis of the failed War on Drugs on campus. Furthermore, we want to overcome hyperbole to foster an understanding between drug users and non-users as to the true nature of drug use in society, while also providing support and networks to those considering academic work in the controversial field of drug law reform. Pushing for more harm reduction and education strategies in both University and government health policy is also high on our agenda.

As one of the first chapters to be formed in Australia, we are well on our way to becoming an officially registered organisation with the University of Melbourne Student Union. At the time of writing, we have been granted preliminary approval and are now working on a Constitution and Inaugural Election Meeting to set everything in stone. This will give us both the funding and legitimacy on campus to organise events, recruit more members, and push for a critical University-wide conversation on the War on Drugs and the issue of drug law reform.

We intend to establish regular discussion groups and social events to facilitate these aims, as well as an official public debate series organised with several other student organisations on the question of drug decriminalisation. Furthermore, we are excited to be involved with PRISM (Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine) to raise money and awareness for the potentially life-saving use of psychedelics in neuroscience research.

Why join SSDP UniMelb?

Take a chance to get involved in a fairly new area of critical debate at the University of Melbourne, pushing for evidence-based policies in the face of old-school bias.
Be a part of a fun and growing community of student activists, from an array of backgrounds and histories, all brought together by a shared understanding of the truth about drugs in society.
Become connected with the broader SSDP and drug law reform movement, which is quickly growing in size and spans almost every field of academia, as well as many other Australian states, countries and international organisations!

Contact details:
Email: ssdpunimelb@gmail.com
SSDP Melbourne University Facebook


SSDP Melbourne University Coordinators


Penelope Hill

Nick Kent

My name is Nick Kent, and I am one of the founding members of the SSDP chapter at the University of Melbourne. Having done my undergraduate studies in Arts at UniMelb, as well as currently undertaking the Master of Secondary Teaching, I've been around campus for a few years now. It's so refreshing to have a chance to be a part of a new movement that is finally starting to push for an honest conversation on campus as to the nature of drugs in society, and how the War on Drugs fails us all. By helping SSDP to grow at my University and around the country, I hope to help stimulate this crucial national conversation, and help to bring about sensible drug laws that reflect the kind of equal, honest and interconnected society that I want to be a part of.


Penelope Hill

Michelle Trieu

My name is Michelle Trieu and I am one of the founding members of SSDP UniMelb. I am currently completing my Masters in Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne. As an aspiring policy-maker, I recognise the failures of existing drug policies in combating substance abuse. Through SSDP, I hope to encourage public discussion revolving around the detrimental social and political effects of the failed War on Drugs. Let's learn to be sensible!