Prior to working the alcohol and drug sector, Ms Josephine (Jo) Baxter held the position of Educational Manager in the TAFE sector in Australia in both South Australia and Victoria. In this role, Jo was able to contribute to quality educational management in international TAFE/University course development. This included curriculum development in-country in Bangladesh, India, Italy and the United Kingdom. During this time she completed two research scholarships in the United States.
Jo entered the Alcohol and Drug sector as CEO of Life Education in South Australia in January, 2000. Two years later she accepted the position of National Director of Programs & Training for Life Education Australia, based in Sydney. Over the past 20 years, Jo has worked closely with alcohol and drug rehabilitation teams, including at Odyssey House (Victoria). She is currently Executive Director, Drug Free Australia, where she oversees strategies in capacity building, project management and community development, focussing on prevention of drug use and demand reduction.
Ms Baxter was a member of the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) from 2007 to 2010, providing drug prevention advice direct to the Prime Minister. In 2009, she was elected as a founding member of the Board of WFAD (Oceania) and International Vice President. Jo remained in that role for 10 years, supporting WFAD’s stance in the Rights of the Child to be protected from drugs and their harms. She is currently a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs (ANACAD), now in its second 3-year term, and a member of the Australian Health Ministry’s National Preventive Health Strategy’s Expert Steering Committee.