WASUA Strategic Plan 2016-2019

Our Vision

An inclusive society where all voices are heard, people are treated with dignity and have equitable opportunities regardless of their choice to use drugs.

Our Mission

The Western Australian Substance Users Association (WASUA) works to advance the health, dignity and social justice of people who use drugs in Western Australia (WA).

Our Role

WASUA is the only peer-based harm reduction organisation in the state of Western Australia. As a peer based organisation WASUA is a vital part of the national network of drug user organisations and a member of the Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), the national peak body organisation representing drug user organisations in Australia.

WASUA provides peer-based support, information and education, advocacy and harm reduction services, including those that aim to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections associated with drug use in WA.

About WASUA

WASUA is the only peer-based, not for profit, community based harm reduction organisation that advocates for the needs and concerns of people who use, or have used drugs. WASUA is in a unique position to provide the consumer voice in advocating for people who use drugs. Our aim is to bring the perspective of people who use drugs into all of our harm reduction initiatives; this includes our partnerships with other organisations and our advice and advocacy to governments.

As a peer-based organisation WASUA is run by and for people who use or have used drugs and we support consumer participation at all levels of the organisation. Our work is focussed on ensuring people who choose to use drugs are informed to use as safely as possible and with minimal harm to themselves and others. We strive to improve access to quality harm reduction information, education, support and advocacy services in the community and across service sectors. We also place significant emphasis on reducing the stigma and discrimination regularly encountered by people who use drugs.

The organisation is governed by an elected Board of Management and day to day operations are overseen by the Chief Executive Officer.

Our Priority Communities

People who use drugs are vulnerable to a wide range of harms; to their health, their rights, and their dignity and to realise their potential and enjoy a full and productive life. WASUA has considerable experience in delivering targeted peer-based services that reduce the level of drug related harm in the community.

WASUA maintains a priority focus on the most marginalised and disadvantaged sections of the drug using community and as such offers important advantages in engaging hard-to-reach individuals who do not typically access mainstream health services. WASUA also has a strong focus on people who inject drugs due to the increased risks associated with injecting drug use, including the transmission of viral hepatitis, HIV and other blood-borne viruses. WASUA is committed to overcoming stigma and discrimination experienced by people who use drugs by promoting social inclusion and participation across all levels of our work.

WASUA Guiding Principles

• Community ownership and accountability

WASUA exists for our communities, to identify and serve their needs. We have a commitment to constantly review ways to enhance representation and ownership by the community.

• Respect diversity and be socially inclusive

WASUA strives to represent and respect all people who use drugs, their families and significant others regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, health status, culture, ethnicity, spirituality or socio-economic status.

• Participation and ‘nothing about us without us’

WASUA continues to emphasise the rights of people who use drugs to be directly involved in the response to drug use and associated harms in WA, as declared in the Goa Declaration 2008.

• Human Rights

WASUA rejects all forms of discrimination against people who use drugs and is committed to working towards the elimination of stigma associated with the use of drugs. Furthermore, WASUA is committed to delivering culturally secure programs and actively support Aboriginal ways of working.

• Health and well-being promotion

WASUA seeks to advance the health and well-being of people who use drugs by creating an enabling environment in which individuals are empowered to realise their aspirations and participate fully in society.

• Partnerships and collaborations

WASUA is committed to forming partnerships built on shared goals and trust, in order to respond more effectively to the needs and reduce the harms for people who use or have used drugs.

• Continuous Improvement

WASUA maintains its commitment to its status as an accredited agency and implements a program of continuous quality improvement across all aspects of the organisation.

About this Strategic Plan

The National Blood-Borne Virus and Sexually Transmitted Infection Strategy 2014-2017, in conjunction with the National Drug Strategy 2010 – 2015 and the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan (2015 – 2025) have guided the development of the WASUA Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019.

The implementation of the Strategic Plan will be monitored by the Committee of Management. Actions and performance measures will be documented in the Operational Plan that will be overseen by the CEO and actioned by the staff of WASUA.

The four key directions of the WASUA Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019

o Peer education and harm reduction

To improve the knowledge and skills of people who use drugs to prevent the transmission of blood borne viruses and other harms association with their use, in particular injecting drug use.

o Access to health services

To provide accessible health services for people who use drugs including blood borne virus testing, sexually transmitted infection testing, hepatitis A and B vaccination, flu vaccinations, hepatitis C treatment and vein and wound care.

o Leadership, co-ordination and advocacy

WASUA will provide a strong voice which represents the needs and priorities of people who use drugs. WASUA will be a respected partner with our stakeholders and an advocate for consumers.

o Organisational governance

WASUA will be a strong and responsive organisation, accountable to our funders and the community and able to demonstrate our commitment to providing quality evidence-based services.