ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - November 2012
ATODA eBulletin -

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT

The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT Inc. (ATODA)’s third Annual General Meeting was held on 30 November, which included presenting the organisation’s second annual report.  ATODA is thrilled to congratulate and announce the new Board, which includes:
Position Name Organisation
President Anne Kirwan CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn
Vice President Nicole Wiggins Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation Advocacy
Secretary Vera Van De Velde Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Government Health Directorate
Treasurer Gerard Byrne Canberra Recovery Service, Salvation Army
Member Kate Pensa DIRECTIONS ACT
Member Camilla Rowland Karralika Programs Inc
Member Ronan O'Connor Ted Noffs Foundation ACT
Member Paulina Hellec Toora Women Inc
Member Dawn Bainbridge Workers Group Representative
ATODA’s second Annual Report (1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012) 

ATODA’s second annual report reflects the work of a thriving, proactive and collaborative organisation with members and staff committed to improving the health of the ACT community through the reduction and prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) related harms.

Download the annual report and the financial statement for 2011-12.

4th Annual ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Awards
The ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Awards aim to recognise, promote and reward outstanding practice in the ATOD field in the ACT.
The Awards recognise individuals who, during the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions: to improving the health and well-being of people affected by ATOD issues; to reducing ATOD related harm; and towards developing the ATOD profession.

Presentations at the Awards
Ms Katy Gallagher MLA Chief Minister, Minister for Health
Mrs Agnes Shea OAM    
Certificates will be presented to the 2012 participants of the ACT ATOD Minimum Qualification Strategy

Event details
Date: 12 December 2012 (please note the date change)
Time: Arrival: 10:30am. Ceremony: 10:45am – 11:45 am (including morning tea)

Venue: Reception Room, ACT Legislative Assembly, London Circuit, Canberra City
RSVP: By COB 7 December 2012 to ATODA on (02) 6255 4070 or
The Awards are proudly supported by the ACT Government Health Directorate, are an initiative of the ACT ATOD sector coordinated by ATODA, and are led by the ACT ATOD Awards Committee.
Download the Awards invitation flyer.

ACT ATOD Minimum Qualification Strategy (MQS)
Under the ACT ATOD MQS it is necessary for all workers employed by ATOD services operated by the ACT Government Health Directorate or community organisations funded by the ACT Government Health Directorate to either possess the minimum qualification or have an agreed plan and timeline with their agency to meet the minimum qualification within 3 years.
Classes are currently being held for participants who have completed the 4 Core Competencies and need to complete the remaining units of the Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs. The final block of classes will be held from 3-5 December.
Information on training available in Semester 1, 2013 will be available early in the new year.
For more information: And to express interest email or call (02) 6255 4070

ATODA employment opportunity: strategic policy
ATODA is looking for experienced strategic policy staff to engage in work on alcohol, tobacco and other drug policy issues. Candidates must have experience in strategic policy development and analysis, and have an understanding of government and political processes. People who are seeking full-time, part-time, casual or short-term contracts are invited to express their interest in being placed on the register. Short-term secondments from the public service are also encouraged. We strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
To apply complete the expression of interest form (PDF) (word), call (02) 6255 4070 or email

ACT Electronic Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (eASSIST): stage one implementation
Screening involves asking questions carefully designed to determine whether a more thorough evaluation for a particular problem or disorder is warranted. Many clinical guidelines related to ATOD identify the need to implement valid screening as a core part of ATOD treatment. The eASSIST was developed by Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) as an electronic version of the World Health Organization ASSIST (a questionnaire which screens for all levels of problem or risky substance use). An ACT version of the tool has been developed, and will be implemented by a group of ACT ATOD services from November 2012. Its implementation will be evaluated, and recommendations made regarding the potential further roll out of the tool.
For more information: Or to get involved contact

ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Information and Harm Reduction Training Module (Version 1)
An ACT ATOD Information and Harm Reduction Training Module has been developed to increase ATOD harm reduction knowledge and encourage best practice for those working with people who use ATOD in the ACT. The module is designed to be used as a resource or to inform harm reduction education activities and utilised by people who conduct training and education related to ATOD in the ACT. The information in the module can be adapted or used to meet a diversity of needs, with all the information in the slides having been referenced and sourced from peer reviewed literature.
For more information: See ATODA’s website, call (02) 6255 4070 or email

Free nicotine replacement therapy assistance for workers
Access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available to smokers who are ATOD, youth or mental health workers in the non-government, not for profit sector of the ACT and/or members of ATODA to help staff address their tobacco consumption and support quit attempts at no cost to the individual employee.
For more information: See ATODA's website, call (02) 6255 4070 or email

See other items throughout the eBulletin.

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Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011

The ACT is implementing Australia’s first background checking system, which covers people who have contact with both children and vulnerable adults in regulated activities, through the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011. The registration process includes a national criminal history check and may take into consideration information including apprehended violence and domestic violence orders, acquittals, charges and ACT Government employment information. The scheme came into effect on 8 November 2012 in a staged approach to 2018.

ATODA and the Mental Health Community Coalition (community mental health peak body) have had significant concerns about the potential unintended consequences of the new scheme on our sectors and on people with lived experience of mental illness and / or ATOD use that may have resulted in contact with the criminal justice system or other systems considered within the scheme.
Our sectors strongly value lived experience, and seek to ensure the system does not act as a deterrent to organisations employing consumers, or to people with lived experience seeking employment in the sector.

As negotiated through this process, at year four (2015 –16) there will be a review of the scheme. This will enable all stakeholders, particularly those who have expressed their concerns such as the ATOD sector, to learn from the early implementation and engage in strengthening the system. In the final year of the scheme’s implementation (2017 – 18) mental health, justice and ATOD services will become regulated activities.

Volunteer registration days
Volunteering ACT and the Office for Regulatory Services
The volunteering registration days will provide an opportunity for volunteers to register for the working with vulnerable people checks. If volunteers engage in regulated activities or services with vulnerable people they will need to be registered. The regulated activity to be registered in year one (this year) of the checking scheme is ‘activities or services with children’.  To register on the day volunteers will need to bring a completed application form and at least 3 forms of ID.
Date: 10 December 2012
Time: 10am – 3pm
Venue: Theo Notara Centre, 2nd Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit, Canberra City
For more information: See Volunteering ACT, call (02) 6251 4060 or email

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Partners in Recovery Initiative (PIR) Update
Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) and participating ACT Services
PIR aims to better support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs and their carers and families, by getting multiple sectors, services and supports they may come into contact with (and could benefit from) to work in a more collaborative, coordinated, and integrated way.  For further information about the program, including the application guidelines, see DOHA's press release, email or

ACT tender
The ACT Medicare Local is leading the development of an ACT tender with key stakeholders, including the ATOD sector. ATODA is actively involved in this process to support the development of the comorbidity aspects of the model. The ACT Medicare Local has sought expressions of interest to be a service provider as part of the ACT Partner in Recovery initiative. Submissions closed late November, and will inform the tender to be submitted by 18 December 2012. To provide further input regarding the tender, ACT model or governance please contact the Mental Health Team at the ACT Medicare Local on (02) 6287 8099 or at ATODA, Carrie Fowlie on

ACT Partners in Recovery symbolic signing ceremony
ACT Partners in Recovery and ACT Medicare Local
A symbolic signing ceremony will be hosted by the ACT Medicare Local for invited guests.
Date: 11 December 2012
Time: 9.30 – 10.30am
Venue: The Rheinberger Function Centre, Cnr Weston & Loch St, Yarralumla
RSVP: Essential for invited guests, via the ACT Medicare local website
For more information: See here, call (02) 6287 8099 or email

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ATODA Congratulates Dr Tom Calma, ACT Australian of Year

Dr Tom Calma has dedicated his life to improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. For more than four decades he has championed the importance of empowerment – a passion which runs through his work in education, training, employment, health, justice reinvestment and development. Dr Calma was formerly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Race Discrimination Commissioner. He works to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to be heard and to build partnerships to improve their health, well-being and economic independence. His landmark report calling for the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be closed within a generation laid the groundwork for the Close the Gap campaign. As Race Discrimination Commissioner and today, Dr Calma works to advance Australia as an inclusive society including many roles in the community relating to social inclusion, reconciliation, mental health and higher education. Dr Calma is also the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking.

Finalists for the ACT Australian of the Year were:
    Mr Gregory Gordon OAM – rural health advocate
    Ms Libby Lloyd AM – human rights activist
    Dr Ken Henry AC – government advisor

Other award recipients include:
    ACT Senior Australian of the Year – Dr Jim Peacock AC
    ACT Young Australian of the Year – Ms Julie McKay
    ACT Local Hero – Mr Francis Owusu

For more information: See the ACT Government press release and the Australian of the Year website

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Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia – New Board Members and President

Dr Mal Washer MP has been confirmed as the new President of the ADCA Board following last week’s annual general meeting in Melbourne. ADCA patron Professor Ian Webster expressed confidence that the alcohol and other drugs sector would benefit from Dr Washer’s hands-on approach as exemplified during his long, successful career in medicine, and his drive and passion for the health and wellbeing of Australian communities since entering federal politics in 1998.
The current ADCA board membership is as follows:
Patron: Professor Ian Webster AO
President: Dr Mal Washer MP M.B.B.S.
Vice President: Alison Ritter
Board Directors: Dr Stefan Gruenert, Associate Professor Lynne Magor-Blatch, Ms Jeannie Little OAM, Ms Jill Rundle, Ms Donna Bull and Ms Carrie Fowlie
For more information: See the November 2012 issue of ADCA Activities, call (02) 6215 9800 or email

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group

The ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group met in November to review the recommendations of the ACT ATOD Rehabilitation Services  Review.  For further information about the review, see ATODA's website.  The group will continue to review the recommendations and plan for their implementation at a specific meeting in December 2012.

For more information: Please contact Vera Van De Velde, Chair on or for further information about the group visit ATODA's website

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group met on 1 November 2012, and are progressing work across a range of areas. If you would like to get involved, please review the information below and liaise with the Workers Group representative from your agency. Activities / discussions include:
  • Moving the ACT ATOD Services Directory into a new online and searchable format in early 2013. The current pdf version of the Directory remains available;
  • Coordinating case note training for ACT ATOD Workers. Contact your Workers Group representative to express interest;
  • Finalising stall registrations for the Comorbidity Interagency Day hosted by CatholicCare on 28 November 2012. Workers are encouraged to attend to network with mental health and ATOD services;
  • Discussing issues related to crisis accommodation access in the ACT. This will be further explored at the December Workers Group meeting
For more information: Please see the ACT ATOD Workers Group webpage.

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Community Sector Reform

ACT Government provides financial support to advance community sector equal pay.
ACT Government, 19 November 2012
As of 19 November 2012 the ACT Government has made offers of financial support to 34 community sector organisations, with 14 having already accepted these offers. Administrative arrangements are being finalised so that these employers can receive the support in December, when their commitment to pay higher award salaries under the equal renumeration case begins.
For more information: See the ACT Government press release

Part of government’s share of the $2.8 billion increase disseminated
Australian Government, 21 November 2012
The Federal Government has sent out letters of offer to Not for Profit organisations funded by the Commonwealth detailing the amount of additional funding they are entitled to as part of the Fair Work Australia pay decision for community sector workers.
About 150,000 of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers will benefit from regular pay rises following the first Equal Remuneration Order handed down by Fair Work Australia (FWA) early in September.
For more information: See the government media release  and an article from pro bono Australia

Independent Charities Commission commences operation
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
Australia’s first independent charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) commenced operation today, following royal assent of the ACNC legislation. The minister for social inclusion, Mark Butler, has said that the start of the ACNC marks an important milestone for Australia’s not-for-profit (NFP) sector and is a cornerstone element of the Gillard Government’s NFP reform agenda, which aims to support a vibrant, independent and innovative NFP sector.
For more information: See the ACNC’s website , and the press release from David Bradbury MP

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Launch of Families Global Declaration calling for better drug laws and policies
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform has launched a declaration to be signed by family organisations, families and their friends calling on all countries to align their drug policies to deal with drug use as a health and social problem not as a criminal one.
The Declaration also calls on the United Nations to evaluate existing treaties, promote evidence based policies and an international drug control regime that causes the least possible harm to our children, individuals and to society generally.
For more information: See the declaration, call (02) 6254 2961 or email

Australian National Council on Drugs meeting communique – October 2012
Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)
The ANCD is the principal advisory body to the Prime Minister and Federal Government on drug and alcohol policy and plays a critical role in ensuring the views of the many sectors involved in addressing drug and alcohol problems, as well as the community, is heard. This communiqué outlines what was discussed at the October 2012 meeting.
For more information: See the comminique

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Inquiry report released
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Inquiry Report, FASD: The Hidden Harm, Inquiry into the prevention, diagnosis and management of FASD has been released. It makes 19 recommendations on strategies to better prevent, identify and manage FASD in Australia. Among these were 11 recommendations on the prevention of FASD and to raise awareness of the harms resulting from alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
The first recommendation of the report was the need to develop a FASD National Action Plan to be publicly released by 1 June 2013.
For more information: The report can be accessed here or call (07) 3344 2622

Tobacco plain packaging: effective from 1 December
Australian Government
As of 1 December 2012, all tobacco products sold, offered for sale or otherwise supplied in Australia must be in plain packaging and be labelled with the new and expanded health warnings. The introduction of tobacco plain packaging is one of the comprehensive reforms the Australian Government is delivering to reduce smoking and its harmful effects.
For more information: See the new enforcement policy, frequently asked questions, and an overview of the new laws

Federal Senate Inquiry into Justice Reinvestment
Senatory Penny Wright, Australian Greens
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will investigate growing imprisonment rates and the benefits of implementing a Justice Reinvestment approach.
“Our justice system, as it stands, is not producing safer communities and it is time for a new strategy,” Senator Wright said.
“In the past 30 years, the proportion of Australians in prison has been growing four times faster than our population to the point where we now spend $3 billion a year keeping people in prison. This is too costly, both in human and monetary terms.
For more information: See the press release and the terms of reference for the inquiry 

NSW Justice Reinvestment Campaign for Aboriginal Young People
Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Working Group
A Justice Reinvestment strategy would seek to better manage the growth of New South Wales’ custodial population and increase public safety. Funds reinvested into identified communities would be used to redevelop abandoned housing and better coordinate services such as treatment for substance abuse and mental health, job training, and education.
Priorities and needs should be identified in consultation with the community, and investment in these services would benefit everyone in the community, regardless of their involvement in the criminal justice system.
For more information: See the website, or email

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Sector Development, Activities and Events

New Alcohol Drug Information Network (ADIN) search directory
Alcohol Drug Information Network, Australian Drug Foundation
New ADIN features include:
  • 5-star ratings, making it easy to find quality results
  • A searchable Australian help and support services directory
  • New search-by-tag functionality
With results from over 1800 professionally rated websites, ADIN now allows you to search for accurate information on alcohol and other drugs, with links to treatment services, research, statistics, journals, policy, campaigns, events, curriculum, professional development opportunities and more.
For more information: See the website, call (03) 9611 6100 or email

A Picture of ACT’s Children and Young People 2012
ACT Government
This report incorporates nationally recognized indicators of child and young people’s health, wellbeing, learning and development along with ACT specific indicators. Findings relevant to the ATOD sector include:
  • That the percentage of women smoking during pregnancy decreased significantly between 2001 and 2009, however the percentage of ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who reported smoking pregnancy was five times higher compared with the overall ACT percentage in 2009;
  • The prevalence of tobacco use by secondary students in the ACT has decreased steadily over time;
  • Alcohol use among ACT secondary students has remained similar over time;
  • There was a decrease in the proportion of students reporting the use of illicit substances between 1996 and 2008.
For more information: The report can be accessed here, call (02) 6207 1983 or email

National Inhalants Information Service - website
National Drugs Sector Information Service, Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia
This website provides information about the inhalants used in Australia, treatment guidelines, where to go for help, user stories, new resources and projects as well as links to other sites and major reports on inhalant use.  A database and virtual library of inhalants resources have been established offering everything you’d expect from a traditional library, including an ‘Ask a Librarian’ reference service, and document delivery.
For more information: See the website

Submit a complaint about irresponsible alcohol advertising
Alcohol Advertising Review Board
The Alcohol Advertising Review Board accepts complaints from the Australian community about alcohol advertising and aims to provide an independent review of alcohol advertising.
The public is encouraged to submit complains about any alcohol advertising that is of concern. To find out more about the Alcohol Advertising Review Board, or to submit a complaint, visit the website
For more information: See the website, call (08) 9266 7117 or email

Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Although only about 5% of young Australians are Indigenous, in 2010–11, almost 2 in 5 (39%) of those under juvenile justice supervision on an average day were Indigenous. There were 2,820 Indigenous young people under supervision in Australia on an average day and 5,195 under supervision at some time during the year.
Indigenous young people aged 10–17 were 4–6 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be proceeded against by police during 2010–11 and 8–11 times as likely to be proven guilty in the Children’s Court (among the states and territories with available data).
At a national level, they were, on average, 14 times as likely to be under community-based supervision during the year and 18 times as likely to be in detention.
For more information: The report can be accessed or call (02) 6244 1270

HESTA Community Sector Awards – nominations open
HESTA and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
The HESTA Community Sector Awards recognise outstanding service provision, advocacy and leadership in improving the lives of people who rely on access to the services of this sector. It is an opportunity to publicly recognise the inspirational work individuals and organisations provide to the broader community, supporting those who need it most. The awards are also intended to raise community awareness of the need for all members of our community to share the responsibility of working towards a more inclusive, compassionate and effective society.
There are three award categories, designed to cover the wide range of professions and skills within Australia’s community sector.
Nominations close: 31 January 2013
For more information and to nominate: See the award’s website, call (03) 8660 1600 or email

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Training and Professional Development

December- January 2013 training and professional development calendar
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The ACT Training and Professional Development Calendar collates training and professional development opportunities for workers in the alcohol, tobacco and other drug, youth, mental health, family support and community sectors.
Download the training calendar
To include your training in the next calendar, email or call the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540.

ACT comorbidity bus tours
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCCA) and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Comorbidity Bus Tour seeks to increase the capacity of frontline workers to support people experiencing co-occurring ATOD and mental health issues (comorbidity). The Comorbidity Bus Tour visits a variety of services in the ACT from the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD), mental health and youth sectors.
Bus tours will recommence in 2013 with dates being released in late January 2013.
For more information: See ATODA's website, call (02) 6247 3540 or email

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Conferences and Symposiums

The 5th international conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
The University of British Columbia, Canada
This conference brings together experts from many disciplines to share international research, to discuss the implications of this research, and to promote scientific/community collaboration. It provides an opportunity to expand our understanding of the relationships between knowledge and research, and how this can apply to critical actions needed to address FASD prevention, intervention and research. For the past ten years, the conference has brought together people who are passionate about this area of work and have provided a stimulating environment for them to make new connections and partnerships.
Date: 27 Feburary – 2 March 2013
Venue: The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cost:  Before 13 Jan 2013 - $700 CDN, after 13 Jan 2013 - $784 CDN
For more information: See the website

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Newsletters, Magazines and Updates

Smoke Free Environment Initiative newsletter
ACT Government Health Directorate
This newsletter is an update about the implementation of a Smoke Free Environment within the Division of Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug Services.
For more information: See recent editions of the newsletter here, here and here

ACT Population Health Bulletin – volume 1, Issue 2
Population Health Divison, ACT Government Health Directorate
The ACT Population Health Bulletin is published quarterly and each issue has a theme and will highlight a particular body of work, a key function or an emerging topic of interest to population health in the ACT.
For more information: See the bulletin or email

Australian National Council on Drugs Project update – November 2012
Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)
Each year the ANCD commissions a number of projects, either via the ANCD itself or its subcommittees, the National Indigeneous Alcohol and Drug Committee (NIDAC) and the Asia Pacific Drug Issues Committee (APDIC). These projects are selected following consideration of the ANCD’s and its subcommittees’ roles and work plan priorities, consultations with the AOD sector, and consideration of where the AOD sector and/or the ANCD require further information in order to provide credible advice to government. The ANCD ensures that research projects provide a current and evidence based approach to current AOD issues and that the project findings are widely disseminated.
For more information: See the update
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Consumer Participation

2012 edition of CAHMA's JACKBACK released

Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy
JACKBACK is CAHMA's magazine, full of articles and stories from, and about, drug users. JackBack also contains information about harm reduction information, pictures, poetry, news items and much more. The 2012 edition identifies opportunities for people to participate in a range of activities or groups, such as the Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Action Team.
For more information: See the magazine

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors

Housing as a human right and launch of the ACT Shelter Policy Statement, 2012-2014
ACT Shelter
Taking place on International Human Rights day, this event will feature Dr Andrew Leigh MP, the Federal Member for Fraser.
Date: 10 December 2012
Time: 12:15pm for 12:30pm
Venue: Havelock House Meeting Room, Northbourne Avenue, Turner
No RSVPs necessary - light lunch, tea and coffee provided

Emergency services and mental illness survey

SANE Australia
SANE Australia have developed a short survey asking consumers and carers about how well emergency services respond to help people with a mental illness and what support they offer to family and friends. The survey will be used in developing recommendations for improvement.
For more information: The survey can be accessed here

Poverty in Australia – new report
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
A new report by the Australian Council of Social Service has found that despite 20 years of economic growth, many people in Australia do not have at least a decent basic standard of living.
For more information: The report can be accessed here

Research update from the Institute of Child Protection Studies at the ACU
Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University
The December 2012 update provides information on the following current research projects (and identifies the researcher for each project):
  • Identity and Meaning in Vulnerable Young People;
  • Children of Prisoners: Building Resilience in a Uniquely Vulnerable Group;
  • FaHCSIA Homelessness and Services: ‘Connecting the Dots’; and,
  • Literature Synthesis: What works for children experiencing homelessness and/or family violence.
For more information: See the update, call (02) 6209 1190 or email

The changing face of Aboriginal Australia: 2011 Census released
NACCHO Aboriginal Health News Alerts
Director of the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics, Julie Nankervis, said the Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011 looks at the 2011 Census statistics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Findings include that v=overall nearly 550 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were counted in the 2011 census, which is an increase of 21 percent from 2006.
For more information: See NACCHO, call (02) 6246 9309 or email

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Employment and Volunteering Opportunities

Note: employment opportunities in the sector are also promoted on the Jobs of Substance website.
See also ATODA Employment Opportunity above.

Opportunities to work for the peak body for Youth Affairs in the ACT
The Youth Coalition of the ACT is the peak body and leading policy advocate on youth affairs in the ACT.  The Youth Coalition’s vision is for an ACT community that values and provides opportunity, participation, justice and equity for all young people.
The Youth Coalition is now recruiting for the following positions:

Policy and Development Officer (28-35hrs p/w)
The Policy and Development Officer works with young people, youth services and other stakeholders to develop services, projects and policies to better support young people in the ACT. The position aims to: engage with young people, youth services and other stakeholders to undertake policy analysis and development; actively seek and facilitate opportunities to build the capacity of the ACT service system to better support young people and their families; and support the development and implementation of youth participation strategies.

Sector Development Officer (14hrs p/w)
The Sector Development Officer supports workers, services and sectors to build their capacity to support young people aged 12 – 25 in the ACT. This is a largely practical position that will require the Sector Development Officer to work with a range of stakeholders and undertake a variety of activities. This position will primarily working on two key projects: the Comorbidity Bus Tours and the Training and Professional Development Calendar. The Youth Coalition supports the ACT Youth Sector through a range of additional sector development work. There may be opportunity to work in other areas, and to expand into policy and advocacy work.
Applications close: 8am 10 December 2012 - interviews will be held on 12 and 13 December.
For more information: See the attached position statements (Policy and Development Officer, Sector Development Officer), call (02) 6247 3540 or email Emma Robertson, Director at

Part time GP wanted for busy Canberra ATOD service
Althea Wellness Centre (Directions)
Althea provides medical and psychological care to people who have issues with substance use: whether they are actively using, are in recovery, or are affected by their family member's use. Althea works collaboratively with other programs of Directions ACT and clients can access a range of services including counselling and case management, support groups, needle and syringe program, and residential based therapies.
Remuneration is 0.2 FTE from $50000 per annum (inclusive of 9% superannuation). Additionally, Directions is a PBI and the position can access salary sacrificing up to $16000 per annum. Directions is open to negotiating extra days per week with the right candidate.
The call for applications is ongoing
For more information: Email or call (02) 6122 8016

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Grants and Funding Opportunities

The ACT Health Promotion Grants Program 2013/14 Community Funding Round
ACT Health Directorate
The 2013/14 Community Funding Round is open to community-based groups, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies. The aim of the 2013/14 funding round is to support activities that promote good health and the prevention of chronic disease with a particular focus on reducing health inequalities including improved physical activity outcomes, healthy eating, smoking prevention/reduction/cessation, and responsible consumption of alcohol.
Applications close: 10 December 2012
For more information: See the Health Promotion Grants website, call (02) 6205 3837 or email

Supporting communities to reduce the risk of suicide (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islsander component)
Department of Health and Ageing
Under the Mental Health: Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package¸ the Australian Government has committed $4.5 million funding over three years (2012-13 to 2014-15)¸ for activity that is specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities who are at risk of suicide. The purpose of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander component of the Supporting Communities to Reduce the Risk of Suicide initiative is to reduce the risk of suicide for Aboriginal and torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities.
Applications close: 2pm 21 December 2012
For more information: See the application guidelines, call (02) 6289 2574 or email

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Nicola Roxon wins highest public health award for 2012

Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), 3 December 2012
Attorney-General, Hon Nicola Roxon MP has been announced as the Sidney Sax Medallist for 2012. This is the highest award given annually by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to public health.
“The PHAA is proud to present an award to someone who has really made a difference in public health,” said Professor Keleher (PHAA’s immediate past president) in making the announcement. “As Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon embraced public health, understood the role of social determinants and recognised the importance of prevention. Most importantly, however, she was prepared to take action including standing up to big tobacco and vested interests in the alcohol industry in favour of a healthier community.
For more information: See the press release

Cops making dents in drug trade with second grow house raid
Canberra Times, 30 November 2012
Police have made another marijuana bust in Canberra's north, uncovering a sophisticated hydroponic set up and a stash of drugs worth $300,000 in Forde.
The haul was discovered during a raid on a newly built home in the northern reaches of Gungahlin about 7am this morning.
Detectives swooped on the property on Proud Street following a public tip-off, one of a number they have received regarding the local cannabis trade in the past month.
For more information: See the article

Alcohol a real age-old issue
Canberra Times, 25 November 2012
Preliminary findings from a UNSW study at the Prince of Wales Hospital suggest almost one in five people over 60 presenting at aged care services may be substance abusers. The study, presented at the Australiasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs conference this week, found that of the 240 patients aged 60-plus who were screened, 47 were classified as subtance abusers. Alcohol accounted for two-thirds of cases, with other patients testing positive for misuse of sedatives and painkillers.
For more information: See the article

Parents buying booze for minors: report
Canberra Times, 21 November 2012
Parents are willing to buy alcohol for children as young as 14 even though they know it is illegal to do so, according to a new survey, but older brothers and sisters are most guilty of providing drinks to minors
For more information: See the article

Legal pills causing car crashes
Canberra Times, 21 November 2012
Drivers taking prescription tranquilisers were responsible for four out of five collisions in which they were injured, new research has shown.
For more information: See the article

Time for the Libs to grab the needles
CityNews, Opionion, 20 November 2012
Between 2008 and 2010 the government of Iran ran trials of Needle and Syringe Prisioner Programs (NSPP) in three prisions in its country. This was at a time when the Canberra Liberals were putting in every effort to stop such a process in Canberra. The outcomes of the Iranian experience should give courage to the ACT Government. As in other countries, there was a reduction in the spread of HIV and other blood-borne viruses. However, it was not achieved without similar challenges as the government is facing.
For more information: See the article

Campaign to promote responsible drinking
Canberra Times, 20 November 2012
Some of Canberra’s best-known pubs and nightclubs hope to play a role in young drinkers having a safer summer. A campaign aimed at the cities newest drinkers was launched on Monday, targeting 18-24 year olds, many of whom are about to graduate from high school or finish university exams. The joint initiative between the Youth Coalition and the Australian Hotels Association ACT branch is about encouraging young drinkers to be accountable.
For more information: See the article

Dangerous new drugs sold on web ‘silk road’
Canberra Times, 19 November 2012
Dangerous new psychoactive drugs are emerging in Australia at a breathtaking rate, say experts conducting groundbreaking research into online drug sales.
For more information: See the article 

Call for drug tests to trap patient dealers
Canberra Times, 18 November 2012
Patients being given powerful painkillers should be routinely drug tested to make sure they are not selling their drugs in the booming black market, doctors say.
Leading pain and addiction medicine experts say there is increasing evidence of doctors being scammed for large doses of prescription drugs, particularly addictive opioids such as OxyContin.
For more information: See the article

New Acton store sold cigarettes without license for 28 months
Canberra Times, 14 November 2012
A New Acton food store has been stung with more than $1600 in fines and court costs after selling cigarettes over the counter without a licence.
For more information: See the article

Influences of alcohol consumption and related harm in central Australia
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee, Media Release, 12 November 2012
The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) welcomes the release today by the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) of the report, A Longitudinal Study of Influence on Alcohol Consumption and Related Harm in Central Australia: with a particular emphasis on the role of price.
For more information:  See the press release

Cocaine-like ‘bath salts’ paralyse police
Canberra Times, 11 November 2012
Weeks after the country's first ''bath salts'' death claimed the life of a NSW truck driver, similar products are freely available in ACT stores. ''Bath salts'', which mimic the effect of cocaine and have nothing to do with bathing, are legally marketed online as a pharmaceutical.
For more information: See the article    

Suicide Support line now available around the clock
The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Ageing, 27 November 2012
A phone line funded by the Australian Government will operate 24 hours a day to provide urgent assistance to people at risk of suicide who are participating in the Access to Allied Psychological Services program.
For more information: See the press release
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The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) is the peak body representing the non-government and government alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) sector in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ATODA seeks to promote health through the prevention and reduction of the harms associated with ATOD. 

Views expressed in the ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. Not all third-party events or information included in the eBulletin are endorsed by the ACT ATOD Sector or the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT. No responsibility is accepted by the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT or the editor for the accuracy of information contained in the eBulletin or the consequences of any person relying upon such information. To contact us please email or call (02) 6255 4070.