Psychology and Substance Use

Committee Information

The following members of the Interest Group Committee have been elected by the members of this Interest Group. Please feel free to contact the Interest Group Committee members with any queries or suggestions about the activities and events which they organise for PSU members around Australia.


Dr Hollie Wilson
I have over 12 years of experience advancing the alcohol and other drug treatment field, in academic research, teaching, clinical, and leadership positions. I currently hold a position as Allied Health Manager at Metro North Mental Health Alcohol and Drug Service (Brisbane).
I hold a committee role in the ePsychology interest group and am the convener of the Psychology & Substance Use (PSU) interest group. Convening the PSU interest group allows me to network with others in the field across the country, and to initiate and pursue psychology related AOD sector priorities through a national forum.


Dr William Loveday
Phone: 0737085268
Bill Loveday is Director of Medicines Regulation and Quality (MRQ) at Queensland Health. MRQ is the State’s regulator of prescription opioid medicines, and provides access to prescription information via its 13S8INFO doctor’s enquiry service. Bill undertook his doctoral research into the study of examining doctor shopping behaviour for prescription opioids in the Queensland population and he is a perpetual student of substance misuse and contemporary regulatory practice.


Dr Latha Nithyanandam
Phone: 0451281054
Latha Nithyanandam has 30+ years of experience as a Psychologist working as a Consultant, Faculty, Therapist, Supervisor and Research Head at various Hospitals, De-addiction Centres, Teaching Institutes, and Facilities in Australia and India. She did an internship in West Germany. Her doctoral thesis was on ‘Yoga as a Mind Body Approach for Well Being’. Presently she is the General Manager of Alcohol & Drug Foundation NSW- Kathleen York House a long term rehabilitation centre for women wanting to overcome their substance dependence

Committee Member

Mr Steven Leicester
Dr. Steve Leicester has held clinical, research and leadership roles within youth mental health and in AOD for more than 20 years. Much of his career focused on the development of specialist programs for early psychosis. His research interests have included cognitive modelling associated with the development of schizophrenia. He has also held leadership positions in drug treatment agencies. In recent years he has worked at headspace national office in a number of roles, including national AOD manager, Head of Direct Clinical Services and currently as the Head of eheadspace.

Committee Member

Prof Debra Rickwood
Dr Debra Rickwood is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canberra and Chief Scientific Advisor for headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation. She is a Fellow of the APS and member of the College of Community Psychologists. She researches in the are of mental health, particularly youth mental health.

Committee Member

Ms Leeanne Brient
Student Member of the APS since 2012, Associate Member from 2012, Member since 2015. Qualified as a psychologist through 4 + 2 with the Alcohol and Drug Service in Northern Tasmania, currently employed by DVA for the Veterans and Veteran's Families Counselling Service (VVCS) since June 2016. PSU committee member from Aug 2014, secretary from Nov 2016 (ongoing).

Committee Member

Ms Caroline Long
Caroline Long has been working in the AOD/dual diagnosis sector across 28 years in research, clinical and management roles within academic, public and private services. Other areas of specialisation include domestic violence, trauma, psycho-oncology and post separation family functioning. Caroline is currently the Service Development Manager at Odyssey House Victoria, a specialist AOD treatment service. Caroline started with the PSU in 2014.

Committee Member

Mr Darren Watts
Senior Psychologist, Drug and Alcohol Services, Richmond / Clarence Network, Northern NSW Local Health District. A Psychologist since 2004, Darren has a long background in Mental Health Services, including holding leadership and legal roles, as well as having functions in various specialist portfolio positions. A long period in a portfolio involving dual diagnosis further developed this area of interest eventually resulting in a movement to the Drug and Alcohol sector. Darren has only recently joined the PSU as a committee member.

Student Representative

Ms Nina Pocuca
Nina holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours Psychology) and is currently completing a PhD at Queensland University of Technology. Nina's PhD research examines the interactive effects of biological models of personality and social factors on the onset, trajectories, and problematic drinking in young people. Nina also has experience in teaching and working as a researcher in the substance use field. Nina has recently joined the PSU as a student representative.