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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.

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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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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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