Alcohol and other drugs commissioning 2021



Funding Amount:

$4.7 million over 2 years



Melbourne Macedon Ranges Yarra Moonee Valley Darebin Maribyrnong Hobsons Bay Wyndham Brimbank Moorabool Melton Hume Merri-bek


In 2021, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) commissioned $4.7 million (over 2 years) of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) treatment activity per year to better meet the needs of our community. 

The new approach was informed by input from service users and subject experts to ensure it:

  • addresses the needs of people using AOD treatment services
  • is better integrated with relevant supports and services, such as mental health, primary care, housing and social services. 

To deliver on this, NWMPHN co-designed the AOD commissioning approach with stakeholders. This included 2 stakeholder groups: 

  • The Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) included people who have lived expertise through their lives having been affected by AOD use. This group also reflected the diversity of our region.  
  • The AOD Subject Matter Expert Reference Group (SME) provided clinical expertise and insight on contemporary evidence informed practice into the development of new AOD models of care.

The insights from this process informed our commissioning process, consistent with the Primary Health Network Guidelines and Policies for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services.

Co-design process

We undertook a series of co-design workshops to inform the commissioning of AOD services. To facilitate this process, we partnered with the Association of Participating Service UsersClear Horizon and Harm Reduction Victoria.

The workshops were intended to co-design opportunities for improving (AOD) service delivery with experts with a lived experience and experts from the sector.

Read our project updates for more information:

 Project update 1 – 22 March 2021 (.pdf)

 Project update 2 – 29 March 2021 (.pdf)


The review found a need to substantially refresh and bolster support for people at increased risk of harm from substance use, and in particular people who are at greatest risk of missing out on access to services, or whose needs may not be met by the current service system.

To address these unmet needs, NWMPHN commissioned 2 new AOD treatment services:

  • Thorne Harbour Health to deliver an AOD service for LGBTIQ+ people
  • YSAS, Odyssey House Victoria and Drummond Street Services to deliver an intersectional AOD service for young people and their families

These organisations join our other commissioned AOD service providers which already embrace other communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities including refugees and people seeking asylum, and people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Services involved