Staff Profile – Tristan
Tristan is a qualitative social researcher concerned with everyday experiences of alcohol and other drug consumption and care, with a particular focus on issues of gender, wellbeing and equity.
Turning Point consists of a diverse team that is committed to removing stigma around addiction and providing support for those that need it. We like to profile the great work that our teams do, and give people insights into what it’s like to work in the addiction treatment, training, and research sector. This is Tristan’s story.
Before starting at Turning Point late last year, Tristan was a Research Associate at the Centre for Alcohol Policy (CAPR) at La Trobe University where he explored digitally-mediated practices of alcohol and other drug consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tristan has also worked in various capacities within the harm reduction and homelessness sectors, including roles in provision and overdose prevention program design.
What does Tristan do?
Tristan is a Research Fellow on the Australian Research Council funded ‘Alcohol Consumption in Crisis’ project as part of the Clinical and Social Research Team (Turning Point and Monash University).
As part of this exciting project, Tristan explores the role of crises in (re)shaping how alcohol is consumed, experienced, and governed. He also contributes to Monash University’s Graduate Program of Addictive Behaviours and evaluations of various harm reduction and drug treatment initiatives.
Whilst the project has only recently commenced, Tristan says the ‘Alcohol Consumption in Crisis’ project has provided a “novel opportunity to explore how meanings and practices of alcohol consumption are impacted by crises like the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”
Together with a team of researchers at Monash and La Trobe University, they are particularly interested in the role of gender, social media and technology in any shifts in alcohol consumption practices arising from crises.
As a researcher at Turning Point, Tristan’s days usually involve designing, planning and undertaking a variety of research activities in collaboration with his colleagues. This includes developing research questions and data collection materials, recruiting research participants, generating data (e.g. via interviews and surveys), producing analyses and writing up and submitting manuscripts for publication.
Tristan was drawn to Turning Point because of the organisation’s commitment to producing policy and practice relevant alcohol and other drug research.
“The role has enabled me to join a lovely team filled with innovative and leading researchers and to work on a variety of exciting and productive lines of research,” says Tristan.
What is the culture like at Turning Point?
There are many different aspects of Turning Point that Tristan enjoys including being surrounded by his supportive, encouraging and collegial teammates.
“The culture at Turning Point is collaborative, supportive and welcoming. The team consists of a great group of people who are committed to their work and cultivating a collegial and friendly workplace,” says Tristan.
Additionally, Tristan loves having the flexibility and freedom to develop his own research track record and interests. He also believes there are plenty of opportunities to contribute to research initiatives outside of his primary project.
Throughout his time at Turning Point, Tristan hopes to contribute to the track record of theoretically driven qualitative research and produce innovative, impactful research that helps develop thinking in the alcohol and other drugs field.
Although Tristan hasn’t been at the organisation for long, he says Turning Point has allowed him to extend his research program and expertise by fostering new lines of research.
“Working in a team filled with talented, supported and multidisciplinary researchers has been great for building my network and for my own development,” says Tristan.
Interested in working with Turning Point?
For those looking to join the Turning Point team as a researcher, Tristan says, “Go for it.”
“Turning Point has invested in innovating how we understand and respond to addiction,” he said.
Tristan believes those who share that vision, and who have built a program of alcohol and other drugs research that contributes towards it, could be a great fit for the organisation.
As for a lot of people, COVID-19 has meant shifting workspaces from the office to the home and juggling new everyday challenges related to the pandemic such as social restrictions, isolation etc.
“How we plan and enact recruitment and data collection for our research projects requires a bit of ingenuity and creativity,” says Tristan.
Want to work at Turning Point? We currently have several amazing opportunities which you can view here.