Mercy Vine

Term 2, Issue No. 2 - 10 June 2022


Our continuing partnership with Paul Dillon

By Anne Way

Giving guidance to our students and their families

“I’m not here to tell you what to do. My job is keeping you safe, and to make sure that you never say, ‘nobody told me’ if something bad happens to you or a friend at a party.”

This was a recurring message delivered by Mr Paul Dillon, nationally and internationally recognised drug and alcohol educator, when he spent Monday 16 May with our Senior School students.

Students were engaged, educated, and entertained as Paul skilfully, honestly, and explicitly outlined the facts and unpacked the myths associated with drug and alcohol use, the physiological and gender differences in tolerance, and the psychological and legal implications including Police procedures for roadside drug and alcohol testing.

Through sometimes graphic real-life scenarios, and reference to a strong body of contemporary evidence, Paul outlined the students' need to know information in relation to drug use to empower them to make informed decisions about their own behaviour and know how to help friends who may find themselves in risky situations.

Mitigating strategies suggested by Paul included having water time and a fistful of food ahead of social events, remembering that "you’re a mate, not a doctor” if friends get into trouble, and an overarching message of “don’t drink a lot, and don’t drink regularly - too much alcohol too early and you will lose some of your potential”, and these resonated with our young people.

Paul further encouraged students to download the Emergency+ app, which enables them to contact parents or emergency services with their accurate location in the event of a medical emergency where they are unsure of their exact street address.

This resource, along with Paul’s website, are invaluable resources for parents and caregivers. Paul is also happy to be contacted by e-mail at

We will continue to explore these topics with students and very much look forward to Paul’s continued work with our community.

Anne Way
Director of Wellbeing
College Psychologist R-12


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