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Ivy league Fellowship for a Good Sport

24 June 2014

The leader of Australia’s largest preventive health sports program is one of just two recipients to be awarded a fellowship to study at Harvard Business School.

Ms Maree Sidey, General Manager of the Australian Drug Foundation’s very successful Good Sports program will leave for Boston this Thursday.

The Harvard Club of Australia has provided $10,000 to cover fees, accommodation and flights for Maree to attend the highly regarded six-day course Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management this July at the Harvard Business School. While in the United States Maree will also meet with a range of other not-for-profit organisations.

Maree said being awarded the fellowship to attend the coveted leadership development course is a great pleasure and honour.

“I thank the Harvard Club for this wonderful opportunity, and for providing those of us who work in the not-for-profit sector with the means to attend and learn from the 140 similar leaders from around the globe who’ll be there.”

“I work in the not-for-profit field because I have a strong passion for social justice and I believe that people can make a difference in the world around them. I stay in this field because I have realised that it provides me with a unique and very satisfying opportunity to find and develop community leaders right across Australia.”

Mr Ted Blamey, Chairman of Nonprofit Programs said the Harvard Club of Australia send two Australians every year to the landmark course for senior non-profit executives.

“We created the Nonprofit Fellowship program in 2001 with three aims, all of which we hold to today: enhance leadership and performance in the Australian nonprofit sector; assist leaders to examine their missions, develop new strategies and improve effectiveness; bring leverage to the community as a whole,” he said.

“Harvard Business School has achieved global leadership not just for its graduate and executive education in business but also for its Social Enterprise Initiative from which this course springs.”

“Maree faced stiff competition for her much sought-after Fellowship. We were greatly impressed not only by her focus, clarity of purpose and passion but, of course, by the Good Sports program she leads.”

Good Sports is a grassroots program helping community sporting clubs tackle Australia's problematic drinking culture by leveraging our national passion for sport. The program is working with nearly 6,600 clubs across the country, creating a powerful network of local change agents committed to building safe, healthy, family-friendly sports clubs.

For more information visit www.goodsports.com.au

Download the media release here...

 
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Support for medical cannabis – with conditions

20 June 2014

Australians suffering terminal disease, intense pain or debilitating conditions should have access to medical cannabis under prescription.

The Australian Drug Foundation has congratulated the newly formed multi-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform for advancing sensible discussion about the issue.

National Policy Manager Geoff Munro said some serious and debilitating conditions have been proven to be relieved by use of medical cannabis with low levels of THC.

“As a compassionate society, there is no reason to prevent doctors prescribing medical cannabis (preferably in a pharmaceutical product - such as Sativex) to those people for whom other medication has not provided relief,” Mr Munro said.

“The medically supervised use of other drugs, including heavy opiates which are very similar to heroin, is common-place in our community. It’s time we introduced the therapeutic use of cannabis for people who lack other alternatives and who suffer badly.

“We take note of the medical principle of ‘doing no harm’. So while we support using medical cannabis to reduce pain and suffering in a small population, we cannot ignore the strong evidence which shows it can damage mental health and cause harm.

“Australia must avoid the model of medical cannabis in the United States, where it is de facto legalisation and there is little control over its availability to the general population.

“It has led to the proliferation of cannabis products including confectionery and soft drinks which will appeal to children, and risks establishing Big Marijuana as a third addictive industry after Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol.”

The Australian Drug Foundation would support a system of medical cannabis only if it included the following conditions:

- the patient is diagnosed by a medical specialist, or a physician, as suffering from an ailment that the medical evidence suggests is likely to be relieved by medical cannabis
- the patient remains under the supervision of a medical specialist
- the patient’s condition has proved resistant to conventional therapies and interventions
- the patient agrees to the self-use only of the medical cannabis and not to transfer it to any other person
- the establishment of a ‘medical cannabis review board’ to oversee the therapeutic use of cannabis. Examples of such conditions are pain or other debilitating conditions associated with terminal illness, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment
- that continuing research is conducted into the efficacy and safety of cannabis products for therapeutic purposes.

 
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Victorian Rugby League partners with Good Sports

16 June 2014

The Victorian Rugby League (VRL) has become the first state sporting body in Victoria to form a partnership with the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports alcohol-management program.

Good Sports works in communities to make sports clubs safe and healthy. Through the program, clubs learn about managing alcohol responsibly to become more family-friendly.

VRL General Manager Brent Silva, said that by working with Good Sports to promote healthier attitudes to drinking in clubs, they hope to lead the way for other sporting codes across the state.

“The Good Sports program is a fantastic program and resource to assist community clubs in appropriately managing alcohol within their club. Being a part of this program allows our clubs to not only take a lead in caring for the wellbeing of their members and providing a healthy environment at their club but also take a lead role and set a positive example within their local community.”

“Rugby League has a formed a strong relationship across Australia with the Good Sports program and the VRL’s formal commitment to the program is consistent with the initiatives of the National Rugby League’s club alcohol management plans within the local community and is supported by the Melbourne Storm.”

Good Sports Victorian Manager Rod Glenn-Smith, said that with this new partnership, the Australian Drug Foundation hopes to help Victorian clubs continue to build healthier environments for players, members and supporters of the game.

“This is a big move by the VRL to show leadership in the area of binge drinking in community sport. With alcohol a leading cause of preventable illness and death in Australia, breaking the link between alcohol and sport has never been more important.

“Rugby League clubs right across the state have been committing to healthier environments for some time, with more than 90 per cent of VRL clubs already signed-up to the Good Sports program to date,” Rod said.

“We’re thrilled to be able to strengthen this relationship, working with the VRL to get even more clubs on board to ensure they have the best alcohol management practices in place.”

See more on the Good Sports website.

- See more at: http://goodsports.com.au/around-the-ground/articles/victorian-rugby-league-partners-good-sports-health-clubs/#read
 
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One in 5 workers under the influence at work

 

10 June 2014

One in 5 employees has performed their job while under the influence of alcohol.

The findings from a poll conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation across a range of industries, found that:

• 1 in 5 workers polled had taken a sickie due to the effects of alcohol.

• Around 40% admitted to going to work while still feeling the effects of their drinking.

• Nearly 1 in 5 had performed work duties while tipsy or drunk.

The Australian Drug Foundation's Head of Workplace Services, Phillip Collins, will be in Perth for this week's Safety in Action Conference at the Convention and Exhibition Centre for a panel discussion on alcohol and drugs in the workplace.

Phillip said that many people don't realise the hidden costs and risks associated with drinking.

"From an individual perspective, most people don't fully understand the effect alcohol has on them – particularly when it comes to drinks one night having an impact well into the next day.

"Alcohol affects a person's concentration, coordination, decision making ability and slows reaction times. These can have implications for workplace safety and productivity."

Alcohol and other drugs cost Australian businesses $6 billion a year in lost productivity and absenteeism, with alcohol use contributing to 5 per cent of all Australian workplace deaths and 11 per cent of accidents.

Many workplaces look to drug testing as one solution to alcohol and other drug problems in the workplace.

"People engaged in safety critical work such as transport, or the use of heavy machinery, expect to undergo drug testing to reduce the risk of harm to themselves and others. Yet in other contexts workplace drug testing is far more controversial."

The poll surveyed 1000 Victorian employees and was funded by the Myra Stoicesco Charitable Fund.

Phillip Collins is available for interview on the issues associated with drug testing and other workplace alcohol and drug issues.

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

About the Australian Drug Foundation: Celebrating more than 50 years of service to the community, the Australian Drug Foundation is one of Australia's leading bodies committed to preventing alcohol and other drug problems in communities around the nation. The Foundation reaches millions of Australians in local communities through sporting clubs, workplaces, health care settings and schools, offering educational information, drug and alcohol prevention programs and advocating for strong and healthy communities.

 
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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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