Family Drug Support Australia
Support Line: 1300 368 186
(available 24 hours 7 days a week)

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FDS Volunteers

FDS is committed to furthering the education and well-being of its volunteers. A volunteer weekend workshop is organised each year and this is a great opportunity to learn and participate in ongoing training. This FDS workshop is highly beneficial to all volunteers. It's a time to network with other volunteers, renew old acquaintances, meet like-minded people and enhance not only your volunteering skills but also your own personal development. It is crucial that all volunteers keep updated on the latest information and trends. We do request that all volunteers commit to attending. There will be time for fun and relaxation as well as a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the valuable work you do for FDS.


Armstrong Legal is happy to assist Tony and the Family Drug Support Organisation by offering free legal advice from expert Criminal Lawyers.
FDS complies with State and Federal Government requirements to establish and maintain a child safe environment.
Family Drug Support acknowledges all Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people and their ancestors as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which we live and work. Family Drug Support embraces all people regardless of their origin, culture or religious background. We believe that all Australians have the right to feel safe, respected and valued as part of the community in which they live. As an organisation, Family Drug Support is committed to the principles of human rights which recognises and respects the value and dignity of all people.

We Believe

hands2In the interpersonal, family, social and political factors needing to be considered when planning drug prevention and treatment strategies.
In real changes occurring when individuals, families and the community participate in the process.
In education, health promotion and treatment activities linked to a continuum of service provisions providing a coherent and interrelated range of services.
In encouraging education and treatment, and promoting improved outcomes for users, their families and the community.
In contributing to the development and skills of volunteers.
In working in partnerships with governments and other agencies to effectively achieve these objectives.

FDS Board Members

John Della Bosca Chair
Anne Carroll Treasurer
Ros Cluning Secretary
Imogen Yang  
Beth Connolly  
Jane Andrews  
Jill Wran  


philosophyOur energies are given in primarily supporting families struggling as a result of drug use. We aim to assist in any way possible to empower families to cope with the realisation of their situation and to survive it intact. To this end we offer a seven day, 24 hour telephone line Australia-wide, manned by volunteers offering help to diffuse crisis, proffering strategies for coping and giving any information required. We believe families are important.
They are the ones who understand their family member more so than anyone else. If left to work through issues in isolation, families can become exhausted and give up. However, when supported they can become a vital force for positive change. FDS is committed to working with professional organisations and forming constructive partnerships. Armed with collective wisdom, FDS has adopted a view of harm minimisation.
We aim therefore to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of drug use for the community and for the individual. We do not condone or encourage illegal behaviour of any kind. FDS does, however, have a commitment to the reform of some drug laws. We believe the use of all drug substances should be decriminalised. We would like crimes committed as a result of drug use to be carefully assessed and where possible, perpetrators diverted to treatment and not sentenced to jail.
FDS has no sympathy or tolerance for major crime i.e. violence/drug importation.

Letter from a volunteer

FDS logo
Ten years as a volunteer and it all started with me lifting up the phone to reach out for help. Before this day my family never discussed the elephant in the room. I guess denial protected us very well for many years. Then one day it was like the cloak of denial had stretched too thin and an explosion of emotions erupted forth that jolted us out of our denial.
Due to my role as the eldest sibling and my career as a nurse, I had taken on the unspoken role of the fixer, so on this fine day on my way to work the phone calls started coming. The words drugs, psychotic, police and violence entered my world that morning and with those words came feelings of confusion, anger, frustration and concern just to name a few. I remember becoming very emotional as everyone's feelings seemed to be absorbed by me (not a pleasant feeling). For once I recognised that I needed help and somehow I reached Family Drug Support.
What a relief, the person on the other side knew exactly how I felt. He was non judgemental, empathic and cared about my needs. From this first phone call my life began to change. I was able to harness the frustration and anger that I had in motivating myself to become a volunteer. I wanted to give to others the support and hope I had received on that first phone call.
Nervously and with much trepidation I went to the volunteer training. There I met Tony and Sandra who have a special place in my heart for the people that they are.
Little was I to know that FDS was to become like a second family to me. They encouraged, supported and occasionally pushed me along my journey. As I began volunteering I also began a journey of self discovery. The realisation that I needed to sort out my life was scary but at the same time thrilling. With everything I had learnt from FDS and all the callers were; that we all have the ability to face up to our challenges.
I have grown in so many ways that it is difficult to describe. I have gained a better understanding of myself and the confidence to train in another profession as a counsellor.
It is with great sadness that I am leaving FDS as a volunteer. I feel like the child that has been nurtured and encouraged to grow and go into the world as a grown up and leave the comfort of my home of 10 years.
So I am sad to leave whilst at the same time thrilled with what may be around the corner. Always knowing that they are only a phone call away. So if you have ever wondered what it would be like to volunteer, take the plunge and give it a go as I can guarantee you, you won't be disappointed.
Au revoir my family and friends I am continuing my journey and who knows when we will meet again. It will never be good bye as you will always be in my heart.



To assist families throughout Australia to deal with alcohol and drug issues in a way that strengthens relationships and achieves positive outcomes.

Letter From A Member

FDS logo
Sunday, 16th October, 2011.
To Whom It May Concern,
As I sit here filling out my form to renew my subscription to FDS, I find myself thinking of the wonderful support that I have received over the last 2 to 3 years since becoming a member. Your telephone service/help line in particular has been such a fantastic support to me when I have needed encouragement or just someone to talk to.
My husband & I have been together for nearly 6 years and he is a user of speed/ice. He is a little bit like a good bottle of wine, with time he is getting better, but it's an addiction & he will always have urges. I've never used drugs or had the desire for them and FDS is the only service that I have found to support loved ones of the addicted. So many other services that I have contacted in the time that I have been in a relationship with John have told me to leave the relationship, to protect our children. We have our 4 yr old daughter & are now 3 months away from having our second. These are the last things that I have wanted to hear, simply because I love him. If I was John's parent, John's sister would I also be told to exit myself from his life? It should be no different for a wife.
John is a wonderful father and husband. Just because he has an addiction doesn't mean he should be taken away from these roles. John always puts his family first and I know in his heart we mean everything to him. Over my time with him I've learnt a lot about addiction. His whole personality changes completely when he is on speed & he is not proud of his behaviour when he is on it. He would never mean to hurt my daughter or myself and he has never put us in any danger. His drug use with each year that I'm with him becomes less and less & I hope one day that he never has to feel the urge for it. But it is something with time that I have learnt to accept. It's not easy, but it doesn't change how I feel about my husband.
There are only few people I can talk to open & honestly about John's drug use. It's quite a lonely world, something that you can't talk to many people about. I can't talk to my family or many of my friends about it. They just don't understand and most of all would not understand why I would stay with him. There is such a lack of understanding in the community about drug use. It's always portrayed so badly in the media, that it makes the person a bad person. My husband is not a bad person, he just has an addiction. One that has been in his life for nearly 20 years. No different to addiction to gambling, cigarettes or alcohol. These are just more socially accepted.
I enjoy your newsletters very much. It has educated me about drug use & the drug user, as well as helping me to feel not alone in my situation. I hope one day in the future the "Stepping Stones" course is run in Perth where I live. I admire all of the work that the volunteers do for FDS. You may not realise it, but you have a profound effect on someone like me. I also hope in the future that much more is done to support partners & children of drug users. There seems to be a gap in the support out there in the community in terms of partners. I certainly feel this is just as important as the support for parents and siblings of drug users.
Thank you very much FDS.


Tony Trimingham          Tony Trimingham
         CEO and founder
Family Drug Support was formed in 1997 after its founder Tony Trimingham lost his son to a heroin overdose. Bereft, Tony felt frustrated by the general apathy and ignorance of his own experience.
This was also the plight of many other families.
Realising this was but the tip of the iceberg, a public meeting was called where hundreds of people attended.
FDS was formed as a result.
FDS is a caring, non-religious and non judgemental organisation.
FDS is primarily made up of volunteers who have experienced first-hand the trauma and chaos of having family members with drug dependency.
Most have travelled the same road.

FDS Life Members

  Prof Michael Dawson (dec)
  Jenny Fleming
  Kathy Grech
  Patsy Hersee (dec)
  Elly Inta
  Graham Morritt (dec)
  Ann Symonds (dec)
  Evan Thomas (dec)
  Lorrie Jenkins
  Maureen Marriage
  Jim Bright
  Kath Ashton
  Hilary Lunzer
  Emeritus Professor Peter Baume
  Pam Morris
  Linda Millard
  Bob Lorschy
  Pam Lorschy
  Fay Morritt
  Debbie Warner
  Liz Wells
  Michael Stevens
Emily Fawthrop
  Sandra Lines
  Janet Kossy
  Theo Chang
  Kevin Friswell