Local health professional awarded national scholarship

Orange resident, Michele Campbell has been awarded the prestigious Ian Webster Scholarship in recognition of her long term commitment to the Alcohol and other Drug (AoD) sector.

Ms Campbell, a Program Manager with the Lyndon Community in Orange, will leave Central New South Wales to travel to the central part of New Mexico in the United States to pursue further education in new methods of interventions for substance affected families and individuals.

Launched this year, the Ian Webster Scholarship is aimed at building leadership and management capacity in the AOD sector, and pays tribute to one of the sector’s leading lights, Emeritus Professor Ian Webster.

Ms Campbell, who commenced her career at St Vincent’s Hospital Drug and Alcohol Service in Sydney 14 years ago, says being awarded the Ian Webster Scholarship is a great honour and an amazing opportunity.

“It will be wonderful to be able to be part of the introduction of a new evidence-based program in the community. There is also the opportunity to network with people overseas and educate them on how we work in rural Australia, as the US has a vastly different perspective on drug and alcohol treatment,” Ms Campbell said.

The Scholarship recognises Professor Webster’s contributions to the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) over the last 10 years, as well as the exceptional leadership he continues to demonstrate in his work throughout the not-for-profit sector, and in his various advisory roles to government.

At today’s announcement, Professor Webster congratulated Ms Campbell and said she was a most worthy recipient of the Scholarship.

“This Scholarship represents a valuable opportunity to encourage the growth and development of the people who will lead the alcohol and drug sector into the future. Ms Campbell’s passion and commitment to her work is exemplary, and the scholarship will afford her the valuable opportunity to undertake further professional development that will be of enormous benefit, not only to her local community but to the sector as well,” Professor Webster said.

Ms Campbell is just one of two accredited Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) supervisors in Australia. CRAFT is a program that teaches family members non-confrontational ways of breaking a loved one’s pattern of drug and alcohol use.

CRAFT originated at the University of New Mexico. As the Scholarship’s inaugural recipient, Ms Campbell will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she will work alongside Briana Serna, and receive additional training and experience in the delivery of CRAFT.

On her return to Australia, Ms Campbell plans to continue to mentor and support staff to achieve their own goals and provide a quality service.

“This will bring benefits not only to the Lyndon Community, the largest drug and alcohol nongovernment organisation in NSW, but specifically to the staff involved locally in Orange and in the communities we work in throughout rural and regional NSW. Most importantly, it will improve the quality of life for family members and the substance users themselves,” Ms Campbell said.

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