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For media enquiries, please contact Jennifer Willis, ADF Media on 03 9611 6109, 0430 948 380. If your enquiry is not of an urgent matter, please feel free to email us on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Community prevention – free seminar & webinar

10 June 2014

Prevention is the wisdom needed to improve the health of all Australians.

Individuals can do a lot to improve their own health, and that of their families, however we also need to tackle the social risk factors that influence health related behaviours.

That means making changes at the community level because community prevention is crucial to achieve sustainable and permanent change.

Over the weekend a great example of a community in action was published in The Age; the Victorian goldfields town of Maryborough is taking responsibility for domestic violence – and using its own resources. With funding provided by local Rotary, key workers in Maryborough are being trained in how to identify the risk of family violence and how to prevent re-offending. This task is one identified by the health, education and justice sectors which got together in 2009 to develop a whole town plan to improve the wellbeing of all children and young people in Maryborough. It’s a great example of community prevention in action.

More models of successful community action will be on display at our upcoming free seminar and webinar on 18 June when speakers from Deakin University, the Australian Drug Foundation, the Surf Coast Shire and Sale Tennis Club present programs that work. The seminar’s focus is on case studies and programs that the community can use to encourage and people concerned about AOD harm to take action.

Speakers on the day include:

  • - Simone Lewis from Surf Coast Shire will outline the Good Times Great Breaks program that has created a safer event for school students to celebrate the end of their Year 12 exams;
  • - Robin Lowe will explain how the Sale Tennis Club reinvented itself as a health promoting club by controlling the use of alcohol and was recognised by Tennis Australia for its leadership;
  • - Matthew Dunn of Deakin University will talk about the Western Alcohol Reduction Program that helps schools in Melbourne’s western suburbs to build trust between students and local health and police services;
  • - Julie Rae of the Australian Drug Foundation will explain why community programs needs to tackle AOD problems ‘upstream’ to prevent issues early on; and
  • - Geoff Munro from the Australian Drug Foundation will outline why advocacy for legislative change needs to accompany community programs to achieve change.

Common to the work is partnerships between not-for-profits, local and regional services, local governments, and other community organisation and voluntary associations.

Prevention can be challenging, but the Preventing Alcohol and Drug Problems in Your Community Seminar will show how grass roots community prevention programs can reduce AOD harms with best practice approaches.

Register and find more information here.


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Sensational reporting reinforces stigma

21 May 2014

Sent to Letters to the Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald. story Crazed sheep die 'like heroin addicts' 16/5/14 used a gratuitously sensational headline, which has no place in responsible reporting which readers expect from the SMH.

Grabbing hold of a farmer’s crude off-the-cuff and false analogy to describe the death of livestock from a poisonous plant, this article had nothing to do with the very real and often tragic reality of drug dependence.

Stigma is a very real barrier to a drug user seeking help for the health issue that is their drug dependency. Headlines like this one do nothing but inflame it and heighten feelings of humiliation and shame.

The SMH should show more decency than to use sensationalist headlines to increase online traffic to a story at the expense of some of the least empowered people in our community. Reporting an expression used in an interview is one thing, making it the headline is another.

And for the record, in my 30 years working in this field, I have never witnessed or come across reports of heroin users “bashing their heads open” on posts.


Geoff Munro, National Policy Manager, Australian Drug Foundation.

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Good Sports progam refunded


Wednesday 14 May 2014

The Australian Drug Foundation congratulates the Federal Government on its commitment to help make our sporting clubs better places to be for all Australians.

CEO John Rogerson said the Budget provides $19m over four years for the continuation and expansion of the Australian Drug Foundation's award winning Good Sports program.

"This is a win for preventing alcohol abuse in communities across the country," he said.

"This funding will allow us to continue to help more clubs and communities shift the spotlight away from drinking and back onto sport," he said.

"We know sports clubs are somewhere we can significantly reduce binge drinking, as people who regularly participate in organised sport are 4-9 times more likely to drink at 'at risk' levels," said Maree Sidey, General Manager of Good Sports.

"We are already reaching more than 1.8 million Australians with our proven grassroots sports club alcohol management program - and this funding will allow us to reach three million people, more than half of our Australian sporting community," she said.

A recent poll of 1000 Australian parents conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation found 87% of parents would be more likely to choose a sports club or code for their child if it manages alcohol responsibly. By creating safe and healthy sports clubs we can break the unhealthy link between alcohol and sport in Australia.

"Preventing alcohol problems in our community means reducing the future burden on our health and emergency services as well as helping Australians live healthier and happier lives. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Federal Government to tackle this important issue," John Rogerson said.

The Australian Drug Foundation's Good Sports program also receives funding from all state and territory governments.

For more information or to find a Good Sports club near you - go to or



Media enquiries: Jennifer Willis 0430 948 380 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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6500 sports clubs tackle binge drinking

22 April 2014

The Australian Drug Foundation is proud to have this week reached 6,500 community clubs as part of our Good Sports program.

Good Sports works in communities to make sports clubs safe and healthy by helping clubs learn to manage alcohol responsibly.

With Australia’s constant battle to reduce the harm of binge drinking in our society, we are proud to be contributing to the effort, working hand in hand with 6,500 sports clubs across the country.

Thank you to all of these clubs for working with us to change Australia’s binge drinking culture and break the link between alcohol and sport.

Maree Sidey
Head of Community Programs
Australian Drug Foundation

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Global Drug Survey reporting

14 April 2014

The results of the Global Drug Survey (GDS) "Risky drinkers in denial", 14 April 2014) gives an exaggerated view of Australian drug use compared with the much more comprehensive National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS). The NDSHS reports annual population cannabis use at 10% and cocaine use at 2%, while the respective GDS figures are 35% and 20%. Even allowing that the NDSHS typically underestimates illegal drug use, the GDS survey is not remotely representative of the whole population.

The article didn't provide relevant demographic details of the respondents, nor how they were recruited. The survey's website acknowledges its severe limitations: "the self-nominating sample were typically in their 20s and 30s". As the reports fail to mention this sample bias, they also fail to give readers a clear understanding of the meaning of the survey.

This lack of disclosure is particularly problematic when the article ends with a member of the Drug Law Reform party using the exaggerated reports of drug use to call for 'an end to prohibition.'

Alcohol and other drug policy remains a key issue for our community, and readers deserve a fairer reading of this issue than is served up by this exaggerated and sensationalised account.

Geoff Munro
National Policy Manager
Australian Drug Foundation

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