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  • Mark Parker

Drug & Alcohol Services SA : Community Advisory Council - Community Representative Application.



Copy of my application:


Expression of Interest

Community Partnership Program

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia

Community Representative


Your details


Name: Mark Parker


Phone: Mobile : **********


Email: ******.*****@yahoo.com


Postal address: ***** ****** Street. *****, South Australia. 5061 _____________________________________________________________________

I would prefer to be contacted by (please tick):

Email (tick) SMS/text (tick) Phone (tick) Post (tick)

Other: (please specify) ______________________________________________________________

Please note: Any information you provide in this Expression of Interest Form will be kept strictly confidential and will be stored in a secure file. Your personal information will be used by the relevant SA Health staff for the purposes of determining whether your skills and experience are a good match for the position you are applying for. Your personal information will not be disclosed to third parties, except where required by law. You can request our privacy policy by emailing dassacpp@health.sa.gov.au

About you

• Why would you like to participate as a community representative in this area?


Over the past 25years as a recovering alcoholic/addict - Understanding & managing my relationships with a variety of substances has become a central component & critical influence upon all aspects of my life, with working with others experiencing ATOD issues forming a central component of my personal recovery & motivation for my career as a Social Worker. Although in most cases (for me) abstinence has become my only realistic option for managing most substances, I also possess experience with harm minimisation strategies, including clean needle programs & drug replacement therapies, & recognise the significance of these in my own personal experience & in maximising the health & safety of other ATOD consumers.


From both personal & professional perspectives - I find myself highly concerned with the systemic perpetuation of the many complex issues (in)directly associated with substance use & believe my experience with substance use from different perspectives, authoritarian systems & ATOD services may be of value to future development of ATOD policy & related “consumer” services. I also recognise rapidly evolving trends in the use of various substances for different reasons (particularly the use of “psychedelics in the treatment of a broad range of conditions including “addiction’ to more harmful substances) & feel that it is of great importance to remain critical yet open minded to evidence confirming the fact that all substances are accompanied by different sets of potential pro’s & cons which, need to be considered on their individual merits in the formulation of more ethical, socially responsible & accurately targeted ATOD policy, & in the adaptation of ATOD services to more safely & effectively serve the needs of ATOD consumers & the broader community. In respect to this I am personally currently in the process of founding a Not for Profit, Charitable Organisation primarily concerned with undertaking clinical trials into the holistic therapeutic value of substances such as N, N-Dimethyltriptamine & similar sacred “plant medicines” or “psychedelics” as a component of informing the future development of more ethical & socially responsible OTOD policy & consumer services. Although I am confident that I possess adequate experience, skills, training & broader insight to effectively achieve all of the above - I believe undertaking a role as a Community Representative will provide great opportunity to expand upon existing strengths & understanding of current systems & issues faced by consumers & professionals within the ATOD sector. In addition to this building relationships with fellow ATOD professionals & the broader community is likely to generally improve my ability to operate effectively in serving constructively within the ATOD sector.

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2. What skills do you have that would help you in this community representative role? Please tick the options that you believe relate to you.

Informed of, and able to represent community experiences beyond that of my own (tick)

An interest in alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (ATOD) services/policy (tick)

Ability to work in groups (tick)

Well-developed communication skills including listening, feedback and negotiation (tick)

Willingness to participate in any relevant training (tick)

Capacity to distinguish what perspective you are representing where you might be a member of several different committees (tick)

Ability to communicate information to my represented group in an unbiased way (tick)

Ability to name and respond to any potential conflicts of interest, in particular if employed in alcohol, tobacco, or other drug (ATOD) services (tick)

Would you like to tell us more about your skills? Please do so here.

There are numerous “spiritual principles” or virtuous traits that I have developed as key components to my lived experience with recovery from ATOD & contribute to complex skillsets that I believe are likely beneficial to the various aspects of the role as a CPP Community Representative. Courage to practice rigorous honesty with myself & others has proven not only critical to my recovery in informing my self understanding & personal development but has also helped enable me to operate effectively in efficiently building rapport with others. However, I believe a genuine willingness to be of assistance to others, & practice compassion for myself & others, as well as tactfulness & ability to maintain confidence also contributes to this. It is difficult to speak to my abilities in practicing critical reflection of myself, others & broader social structures, in a constructive manner that maintains an unbiased, nonjudgemental & compassionate attitude. However, I believe I possess the capacity to maintain a healthy balance of the above in working with the OTOD sector. A question that has inspired great critical reflection for me within this application relates to whether I am “biased” against the bureaucratic structures & policy surrounding “the war on drugs”? However, I have come to the conclusion that rather than “bias” as such, my perspective fits more within the definition of a critical & constructive stance informed by a combination of personal experience, scientific evidence & recommendations from professionals within appropriate fields of practice such as the ATOD & broader health care sectors, & that such perspective remains subject to change with respect to new information & advancements in the understanding of such complex social issues.

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3. Please (a) outline the communities who’s experience you believe you could represent (eg. youth; people who are on a medically assisted treatment program; injecting drug users; Aboriginal people; parents; children of drug users; etc) and (b) how you may be able to support DASSA to communicate with these communities:


a) Although if I were to label myself I’d probably identify most with AA’s definition of an “Alcoholic” this has included an inability to regulate my consumption most forms of illicit substances from marijuana, through many pharmaceauticals, amphetamines, opiates via various routs of administration including intravenous drug use, all of which I expect will help me engage with ATOD clients in developing understanding of the issues they face under current systems.

b) Although, my recovery involves abstinence from most substances, I also possess lived experience with harm reduction strategies including clean needle programs & drug replacement programs, & more recently have been faced with the challenge of managing opiate based pain relief after major surgery as an ex opiate user which I have achieved with great discipline.

c) In contrast to my problematic ATOD experience, I have found “plant medicines” particularly natural “psychedelics” for myself, like many others, have proven to be of insurmountable benefit to my health & particularly in relation to my recovery from problematic ATOD issues. Having undertaken profuse unsanctioned experimental research into the therapeutic value of sacred shamanic substances such as Ayahausca (DMT), Mescaline, Psilocybin, Ibogaine & Salvinorum A, et al. over the past 8 years in a desperate attempt to overcome severe PTSD & “Alcoholism” - in spite of the complexities surrounding this I have found such substances to encompass profound holistic therapeutic value. Nevertheless, in spite of such predominantly positive experiences I have also witnessed people hospitalised through mixing “psychedelics’ with the wrong medications & even been hospitalised myself through believing I’d accidentally eaten “the wrong” type of mushroom. Over this time as an active member of the “plant medicine” & “psychedelic’ communities via participation in a broad range of group forums & attendance at multidisciplinary educational events such as the Entheogenesis Australis - Psychedelic Symposium (2017) & Garden States (2019) in addition to connecting with the Adelaide chapter of the Australian Psychedelic Society - I have witnessed rapid growth in evolving trends in people seeking such substances particularly in relation to overcoming more socially problematic ATOD use. One of many observations relating to this is the potential for former DASSA clients like myself to “fall off the radar” as we cease more problematic ATOD use, & the potential for this to skew statistical data informing insight & understanding into the use of such substances. There are many complex conversations that could be had regarding the above. However, the main point I am attempting to make is that I believe my vast experience with such substances & subcultures within their associated communities put me in good stead to represent the alternate “plant medicine’ & “psychedelic” communities.

d) Although rapidly approaching 40 I believe that I have the experience & skills to engage with people of all ages from youth through to elder members of the community.

e) In addition to my personal experience as a recovering substance user, I am also a son, parent, brother & friend to people with problematic substance use & have lost a number of loved ones to addiction or as a result of the “the war on drugs” including my father & closest friend.

f) In addiction to my ATOD experience, I also identify with a number of disabilities & in spite of that & being on a Disability Support Pension since 1999 - through personal development I have achieved great success in many aspects of my life including undertaking 2years professional training in Dancer & the completion of a Bachelor of Social Work.

g) Although rapidly approaching 40 I believe that I have the experience & skills to engage with people of all ages from youth through to elder members of the community.

h) Although I am not indigenous myself, having undertaken two inpatient admissions at rehabilitation at the “Galiamble Mens Recovery Centre, an indigenous rehabilitation centre based in St Kilda, Victoria in addition to my training as a fully qualified Social Worker - I believe I possess a well informed perspective of the complexities faced by indigenous populations that may be of benefit in engaging with indigenous client bases & providing advocation where necessary.

i) Although difficult to speak to in a general manner I believe my experience from different perspectives has equipped me with a broad range of knowledge & skills that may assist me in building necessary rapport in effectively engaging with different client groups & individuals a in compassionate yet constructive manner.

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4. Please give an example of work you have done in the last twelve (12) months (for example, study, attended consultations, met with other people with ATOD experience, provided feedback, been a member of a working/support/advisory group), to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of ATOD issues.



A major component of my personal recovery experience involves regular attendance of & participation within both the Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous recovery programs which, includes working with & supporting others with histories of & often ongoing battles to overcome drug & alcohol use problems. This has also included committy meetings where I have been required to work with others & provide feedback on various issues.


Throughout my endeavours to found a charity primarily concerned with clinical testing of the holistic therapeutic value of N, N-Dimethyltryptamine & similar substances - I have invested a great deal of time & energy undertaking thorough literature reviews of existing medical science in formulating a sound hypothesis surrounding such substances, & the complex social & ecological considerations surrounding various approaches to managing their rapidly increasing use & potential reintegration to contemporary society.


I am also an active participant in numerous online support groups including an Opiate Addiction Support groups & groups related to the consumption of various substances for different purposes which includes many crossovers involved with people exploring the therapeutic value of alternate “medicines” as potential treatments for, or ways & means of more safely & effectively managing more problematic substance use & other health issues. Such instances generally require a harm minimisation approach, non judgemental attitude & sound knowledge of the effects of & potential interactions between various substances, as well as available services that may be of assistance under different circumstances & legislations across different jurisdictions. In edition to this, whilst I am confident in the vast nature of my knowledge, experience & medical evidence, I find that it is of critical importance to maintain humility regarding subject matter I may be less familiar or aware of & remain open to & proactive in seeking up to date information as required.


I also feel that it is important to acknowledge that between my endeavours to found a charitable organisation heavily centred around clinical testing of the holistic therapeutic value of various substances & broader social issues, my personal experience managing substance use & misuse, & professional values & knowledge base as a Social Worker - I recognise the many complex issues associated with “the war on drugs” & the ways in which bureaucratic systems are not always compatible with & create pressures upon service providers & systemically perpetuate complex social problems associated with ATOD use by continuously ignoring medical science & recommendations of health professionals advocating for safer, & more ethical, efficient & effective harm reduction approaches to managing ATOD use within contemporary society.

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5. Please list any training you have done in the last two (2) years that is relevant to being a community representative?


I have recently so far undertaken the orientation to Mental Health Peer Work Program with the Lived Experience Work Program. Aside from this, research associated with founding a charitable not for profit humanitarian & conservational organisation & involvement in committees related to the running of 12 step fellowships - I have not undertaken any additional training within the past 2 years. However, I do strongly believing in ongoing professional development & I am open to undertaking any appropriate training opportunities that may be available.

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6. Please list any committees, or other work relevant to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs you are involved in.

I feel that I have adequately covered this question with the information provided above with the most relevant being involvement in committees related to 12 step fellowships. I am unable to think of anything to add that is likely to be of great significance.

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7. Please send contact details of one referee that would be able to support your application, so they can be contacted for further information, if required.


John Perotta, Owner/Director, Adelaide Dance Project

Youth Intervention Councillor, Northern Area Community & Youth Services.

Mob: 0******(***** Email: Adelaidedanceproject@gmail.com


Alternately, for an internal referee - Amanda who served as staff at the Woolshed Therapeutic Community, Ashbourn SA. during my admissions in 2004 & again in 2015 said she’d be happy to provide a character reference if ever required. However, I have lost her contact details & am unsure whether she is still working for DASSA.

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Thanks for taking the time apply! Please also feel free to attach any supporting documentation with this form.

What’s next?

Once received, the Community Partnership Program will contact you and arrange a meeting to discuss your application.

If you are successful in gaining the Community Representative position, we will work with you to induct you into the program and set out a training and development plan with you. This is an exciting time and there are many opportunities to learn and be involved.

Please return this form by post or email to:

Community Partnership Program

Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia

91 Magill Road Stepney SA 5066


dassacpp@health.sa.gov.au


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I was successful in gaining an interview. However, there were a number of delays firstly due to requiring signatures from State & Clinical Directors, then Kate requiring leave.


As my printer wouldn't work in preparation for the interview & I felt I got sidetracked during the interview I stupidly sent through the following written response to the interview questions...


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mark parker <parker.unisa@yahoo.com> To:Kelly Kate (Health) Fri, Jul 1 at 2:54 PM

Hi Kate, As I feel I kind of got side-tracked in our interview I thought it may be useful to send through my notes on the interview questions. In finalising question one it may be useful to include my hypothesis on DMT N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) & Other "Forbidden Fruit" - Central Nervous System Specific Nutrients. & add that in addition to the physical conditions I’ve healed via such substances including back injuries, acquired brain injures, viruses, etc - I have more recently successfully used various plant medicines to block both Opiate & Benzo withdrawal, whilst using others to rapidly purge associated toxins from the system after surgery saw me prescribed significant doses of Oxycodone & Valium. This is not only obviously of great medical significance considering current treatment models but also raises huge conversations surrounding drug policy relating to such substances. In addition to this my recent experience with Covid19 proved that combinations of large doses of Ayahausca, Psilocybin & other plant medicines did in fact provide drastic relief from Covid19 symptoms. Although, my rationale for the above is supported by medical science referenced in my hypothesis the majority of the “psychedelic” community & current medical research into the therapeutic value of such substances are focused on “Mental Health”. N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) & Other "Forbidden Fruit" - Central Nervous... The purpose of this blog-post is to formally release my hypothesis that: N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) & numerou... I’m nervous sharing my website as some of my activistic attempts to gain public attention & support for emergency authorities for the therapeutic value of DMT to be considered against Covid19 & a case of Lissencephaly in Eli Angel, an infant child who’s since tragically passed away have proven unsuccessful & other attempts to raise complex interconnected social issues are potentially controversial. However, I hope that the integrity with which I’ve demonstrated in doing so also has the potential to serve positively in terms of credibility underpinning my ability to engage effectively with the “psychedelic” & “plant medicine” communities. 2) What is your experience or understanding of the services and facilities of DASSA?

  • Detoxification clinics

  • Long term rehabilitation

  • Harm reduction programs such as clean needle & drug replacement programs

  • Counseling & other forms of support to ATOD users, families & relevant third parties

  • Undertaking research into ATOD use in informing drug policy & service development

  • Providing information & training to professionals involved in ATOD work.

  • Potentially working with some level of collaboration with law enforcement agencies in advocating for responsible drug policy & in ensuring policing does not inhibit ATOD services ability to function effectively.

3) How do you think the Community Advisory Council could assist DASSA to improve the experience of communities?

  • Relaying information surrounding the services above with the potential to affirm areas that are working whilst providing constructive criticism in identifying areas that may require improvement.

  • Providing up to date information in evolving trends in ATOD use & various associated sub communities, & any pros & cons relating to these with the potential to influence policy & service development.

  • Relaying accurate information with the potential to reduce unwarranted stigma & public concern surrounding substance use that may not necessarily be as problematic as publicly perceived due to decades of political fear campaigns.

  • Engaging with experienced groups & individuals to help inform service providers & community members on how to safely & effectively manage situations surrounding the use of different substances.

  • Bridging communication gaps between Government departments, organisations & various sub communities relating to the use different substances & nature of various subcultures surrounding these.

4) What previous experience have you had representing views of communities and/or being on advisory committees? My main experience would be involvement in 12step fellowship presentations at detox & rehabilitation facilities, as well as involvement in associated committees & subcommittees. I also have some experience introducing myself & business to organisations such as the Australian Psychedelic Society & Entheogenises Australis. 5) The role requires members to consult with their ‘networks’ to gain feedback regarding certain topics. How will you seek feedback from individuals / networks? This is a complicated question as it potentially requires different “hats” & adhering to organisational standards that may not always necessarily align. Firstly I should seek clarification as to whether becoming a CAC Comm Rep would make me a DASSA employee or still involve a degree of separation. Whilst undertaking a role as a CAC Comm Rep is obviously seperate from my private endeavours in founding a Charitable organisation (Universal Asylum) primarily concerned with clinical trials & thorough research into the holistic therapeutic value of “psychedelics” & other “plant medicines” & their reintegration into contemporary society whilst advocating on broader terms for an “end to the war on drugs” - I see great potential for these roles to compliment one another for various purposes. However, once seeking clarification & familiarisation with various aspects of my CAC Comm Rep role, I feel it would be wise to start by reintroducing myself as a DASSA CAC: Comm Rep to relevant organisations & possibly arranging to meet with local chapters for the purpose of networking & discussing potential ways in which we may be able to work collaboratively. I have purchased tickets for the Entheogenasis Australis: Garden States 3-day Multi-Disciplinary Educational Conference in December 2022 & am considering enquiring about a time slot for Universal Asylum to run a presentation to more formally introduce itself to the “Psychedelic” / “Plant Medicine” community. If fortunate enough to be allocated a time slot, it may be beneficial to divide it in a manner by which I am able to start by introducing myself & role as a DASSA: CAC - Comm Rep followed by myself as the founder of Universal Asylum in a manner that clearly provides a degree of separation between the two roles & organisations. Obviously, this would require DASSA consultation regarding the nature of such presentation(s). However, approached right I believe the two roles have great potential to compliment one another in terms of credibility as the founder of Universal Asylum & the potential of this to reduce power barriers associated with my role as a CAC - Comm Rep in relaying potentially sensitive information back to a DASSA as a Government Organisation. Approached right, I do believe the “Psychedelic” & “Plant Medicine” community members are likely to be receptive in contributing to various projects. However, it is important to remain mindful that current drug policy classes such substances along side Heroin which understandably raises some degree of apprehension amongst such communities. Without, having my head entirely around CAC policy etc & what information is confidential & to be relayed - I have wondered about the potential for research projects I am currently setting up with Universal Asylum to serve as a third party channel via which it may be possible to relay information between the DASSA & the plant medicine communities. However, if this is not suitable or presents some form of conflict of interest - I may require some guidance in developing alternate means of doing so. In representing & relaying information in different directions between different entities for different purposes - I feel it is also important to remain mindful of variations in community standards & objectives of different organisations & communities, & the complexities of the broad range of substances which fall under the banner of “Psychedelics” & “Plant Medicines”. I guess from my perspective, both roles are essentially about exploring & representing the best interests of all members of the community which opens up many complex conversations. 6) Do you have any support or training needs for you to participate as a CAC member? I am open to any training that DASSA will support in maximising my ability to effectively fulfil my role as a Community Representative. Additionally, I have already purchased tickets for the 2022 Entheogenisis Australis; Garden States: Multidisciplinary educational event in December 2022 & am actively seeking other external training opportunities likely to assist my capacity to serve as a CAC - Comm Rep & my broader career objectives. Sorry, Kate. There's a lot there which although possibly reaffirms some of our discussions yesterday hopefully fills in the gaps we may have missed. If you do get time to read my hypothesis which is over a 20 minute read on its own supported by medical science journals that include literally weeks of reading material please be mindful the rest of the website is a bit of a rabbit warren related to countless complex interconnected social issues & it is probably wise to avoid being sidetracked by links to countless house of youtube videos. . Regards, Mark


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When Kate returned I received the following email which made me uncomfortable due to the "DASSA takes these decisions very seriously" remark


ealth:DASSA CPP <health.dassacpp@sa.gov.au> Fri, Jul 15 at 2:06 PM

Good afternoon I wanted to apologise again for the delay in the process of recruiting for the Community Advisory Council. DASSA takes these positions very seriously, and requires approval from the highest levels in order to appoint new members. Unfortunately, several people are unable to be in the office at the moment and so I will not be able to inform you of the final outcome for another two weeks. Thank you for your patience and I apologise again. Regards Kate Kelly (she/her) Coordinator GP Program (Wednesday, Thursday, alt Friday) Coordinator Community Partnership Program (Monday, Tuesday, alt Friday) Drug & Alcohol Services SA


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Health:DASSA CPP <health.dassacpp@sa.gov.au> To:mark parker Tue, Aug 2 at 9:59 AM

OFFICIAL Good morning Mark Thank you for your recent interest in becoming a member of the DASSA Community Advisory Council (CAC). Unfortunately DASSA is unable to offer you a position on the CAC at this time. We had a number of applicants who wanted to represent similar communities/experiences and DASSA decided to appoint someone who has been involved with the Community Partnership Program (CPP) for some time. Your application was strong and I would encourage you to express your interest again when another CAC position becomes available, and also to engage in other opportunities that arise. Taking part in CPP activities is a great way for staff to become familiar with you and your strengths, and for you to learn more about DASSA. Thanks again Mark and I hope to hear from you soon. Regards Kate Kelly (she/her) Coordinator, Community Partnership Program Drug & Alcohol Services SA


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mark parker <*****.*****@yahoo.com> To:Health:DASSA CPP Wed, Aug 3 at 9:03 PM

Thanks Kate, Hopefully that's not too unfortunate for everyone but I really do appreciate the feed back & will continue involving myself in proving my worth. I thought you might be interested in my "Ayahausca Assisted Rapid Opiate Detoxification Treatment Model" that I formulated under great pressure & tested with miraculous success over the past 24 hours. Please feel free to share with other professionals in the field as this is a monumental medical experiment with potential greater than I am yet to comprehend. Regards, Mark Parker https://www.universalasylum.com.au/post/ayahausca-assisted-rapid-opioid-detoxification-treatment-plan



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I am not blaming Kate as my experience with her has been positive & based on her comments feel she possibly would have given me a chance. However, unfortunately she is working within a highly bureaucratic organisation riddled with unintelligent & incompetent people with no integrity or spine. The reason I am documenting this is that my every attempt to offer my best in offering the best of my experience, skills, networks & qualifications towards helping improve aspects of our society like drug & alcohol service & policy development is blocked by bullshit systems run by incompetent shit-cunts. Although I have had many positive experiences with DASSA employees I have also lost count of how many people I've witnessed die due to their incompetence.

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