ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - July 2012
ATODA eBulletin -

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT

ACT Drug Action Week – A wonderful success!
ATODA would like to congratulate and thank all the dedicated people who made 2012 Drug Action Week such a success. Over 40 activities took place including information stalls, a conference, a launch, information sessions, soccer game, BBQs and much more!  A huge effort by all involved and a great opportunity to annually get together to raise awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues and the dedicated individuals in our sector.

ACT ATOD Services Directory (Version 9)
Version 9 of the ACT ATOD Service Directory is now available.  The directory aims to support workers to make referrals to services, increase cross and intra-sectoral knowledge and foster collaborations. It also aims to better communicate the diverse range of services and programs in the ACT ATOD sector.  The Directory is available at

Staffing at ATODA
  • Kathryn Sequoia’s secondment has ended with ATODA and we wish her well in her new position with the Mental Health Council of Australia.
  • Luisa Coates has finished up with ATODA and we wish her well with her future.
  • Amanda Bode is on extended personal leave.
For at least the month of July, the staff contact for the organisation is Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer, on or (02) 6255 4070.  We apologise for any inconvenience or delays that may occur over the next two months – and thank you for your ongoing support.

Other ATODA news and activities are included throughout the eBulletin. 

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NAIDOC Week 2012
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2012 is Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on. This year’s theme celebrates the champions who lived to renew the spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972. Forty years ago, the embassy became a powerful symbol of unity. Its founders instilled pride, advanced equality and educated the country on the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There are many great activities taking place across the ACT.
Above from:

Professor Mick Dodson – Prohibition of racial discrimination in the Australian Constitution
Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) Institute for Governance
The Labor Government has promised to hold a national referendum on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on or before the next federal election.
As part of this promise, the Prime Minister of Australia nominated an expert panel of 19 indigenous leaders, politicians and legal minds who conducted a national consultation process. Input was sought from communities, public submissions, constitutional experts and extensive research.
Professor Mick Dodson will speak on the issue of constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the journey towards constitutional change.
Date: 11 July 2012
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue: The Innovation Centre, University of Canberra, Building 23, Level B, Room 5
For more information: See or call 6201 2977

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2nd National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference 2012
The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference, hosted by the Australian National Council on Drugs, was held from 6- 8 June 2012. Based on the theme, Beyond 2012: Leading the Way to Action, NIDAC 2012 aimed to highlight how the sector is able to lead the way to action in addressing the harmful effects of alcohol and other drugs and its associated harms among Indigenous Australians. See below for some highlights, news and commentary about the conference.

National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Awards 2012
These awards recognize the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander drug and alcohol workers to the reduction of drug and alcohol use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the harm reduction that follows. Three awards are presented annually. The 2012 winners are:
  • Mr Paul Parfitt of the Drug and Alcohol Office in WA received the Award for Excellence, Male Worker;
  • Mr Richard Burchill of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service in Mossman, Queensland received the Encouragement Award; and
  • ATODA would particularly like to congratulate Ms Gabrielle Sledge, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Medical Service, for being the recipient of the Award for Excellence, Female Worker.
Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work – NEW and FREE
Kylie Lee, Bradley Freeburn, Steve Ella, Warren Miller, Jimmy Perry and Kate Conigrave – University of Sydney
The Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work, launched at NIDAC, is a practical tool written for Aboriginal drug and alcohol workers, mental health workers and others working in this field. It offers a detailed look at alcohol and drug work from clinical, through to prevention, early intervention and harm reduction. This handbook is also likely to help people working to improve policy and those advocating for change. The idea for it came from workers all over Australia. They told us that they needed an easy to use handbook that can help them respond to the range of alcohol and drug issues they face every day. They also told us that such a book needs to take into account the complex challenges facing workers when helping clients, their families and, sometimes, whole communities.
For more information: This free resource can be downloaded from

National advisory body urges government and service providers to take action to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee
The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) has released its Position Paper: Addressing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Australia, and is calling on government and health and related services to implement several recommendations to combat this preventable condition and to support sufferers and their families.
The NIDAC Chair, Associate Professor Ted Wilkes explains that “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is not well known in Australia, that it is an umbrella term describing a range of adverse effects caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol which presents as a range of symptoms in children, youth and adults, who suffer impairments to their development, learning and behaviour.”
For more information: See

Monograph on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Intergovermental Committee on Drugs
This landmark publication will add much to the evidence base and our understanding of FASD in Australia. FARE is also pleased that the Monograph will be considered by the current House of Representatives Inquiryinto FASD, being undertaken by the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.
The House of Representatives Inquiry commenced  in December 2011 and today heard evidence from representatives of three Commonwealth Government Departments: Health and Ageing (DoHA), Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
For more information: See the paper here

Indigenous health professionals working in the alcohol and drug field deserve better
Kate Conigrave, Croakey – the Crikey Health Blog, 12 June 2012
Aboriginal communities face far too many of the risk factors for alcohol dependence, including childhood separation or trauma, lack of connectedness to society or control over life, unemployment and major ongoing stress.  And although Aboriginal people are less likely to drink than other Australians, some families or communities have severe alcohol problems. Affected individuals typically have both physical and mental comorbidities, so Aboriginal health professionals face daunting challenges.
For more information:

For more information about the conference visit:

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National Drug and Alcohol Awards
Australian Drug Foundation, Australian National Council on Drugs, Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, and Ted Noffs Foundation
The National Drug and Alcohol Awards are an annual event that encourage, recognise and celebrate achievements to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use and harm in Australia. The Awards are open to all people and organisations that work in the alcohol, other drugs and related sectors. ATODA congratulates all recipients of the awards and acknowledges:

ATODA congratulates all recipients of the awards and would like to particularly acknowledge for their ACT contributions:
  • The Excellence in Research award was won by the Salvation Army Recovery Services together with the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, Woolongong University. Part of this team was an ATODA board member, Mr Gerard Byrne. The Salvation Army’s winning entry was an evaluation and outcomes-based research project which examines treatment outcomes for 1100 clients in the Salvation Army’s Therapeutic Communities in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
  • Ms Annie Madden was inducted into the National Drug and Alcohol Honour Roll. Annie is a long time advocate and Executive Officer of the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League. Annie has had a strong voice in the sector for many years and has been instrumental in addressing the stigma which surrounds drug users in our society, promoting the health and human rights of people who use or have used illicit drugs and is based in, and has made significant contributions to, the ACT.
  • Professor Robin Room received the Prime Minister’s Award. The Director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at Turning Point and Professor of Alcohol Policy Research at the University of Melbourne's School of Population Health, Professor Room's research has contributed to international alcohol policy for more than 40 years. He has also made important contributions to the ACT sector, including presenting at both the 1st and the 5th and most recent ACT ATOD sector conference.
  • Mr Tony Trimingham was inducted into the National Drug and Alcohol Honour Roll. Mr Trimingham started Family Drug Support after receiving many phone calls from families suffering the effects of illicit drugs after he went public about the death of his son Damien from a heroin drug overdose. He has assisted many families who suffer the impact on their lives of family members who use illicit drugs, including those in the ACT.
  • Congratulations to both Karralika Programs Inc and DIRECTIONS ACT who were also nominated for awards.

For further information, including photos of the awards, visit:

Census 2011 Released
Australian Bureau of Statistics
The first release of data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing occurred on 21 June and shows a number of relevant facts about the ACT population:
  • The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT increased by one third in the five years from 2006 to 2011. The local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population represents 0.9% of the total Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population in Australia of 548 370 and 1.5% of the population of the ACT.
  • The overall population of the ACT has increased about 10% from 2006 to 2011, now totalling 357 222
  • The average median income in the ACT is $917 - considerably higher than the national median of $577.
  • The median rent in the ACT, $380 per week, is the highest in the country – compared with $285 nationally.
  • The median mortgage repayment in the ACT, $2167, is Australia’s equal highest, compared with $1800 nationally.
Information sourced from:

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group did not meet in June but have been busily progressing key areas including:
  • Implementing ACT Drug Action Week 2012
  • Completing the ACT ATOD Services Directory: Version 9 (now available!)
  • Undertaking the Service User Satisfaction Survey on 21 June.
If you have any questions, please liaise with the Workers Group representative from your agency.
For more information: See

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group

The ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group met in June to progress a range of sector-wide activities, including:
  • Meeting with members of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm
  • Following the May training ‘blitz, discussing the sector-wide roll out of the adapted DASSA e-ASSIST
  • Infringements reform, including ATOD services becoming community work order agencies.
  • Workplace Safety and new legislative requirements
For more information: please contact Vera Van De Velde, Chair on or for further information about the group visit

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Community Sector Reform
There are significant reforms ACT and national reforms underway which are and will effect the ACT non-government ATOD and community services.  The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) is taking a leadership role in many areas, with ATODA engaging through several mechanisms including the ACT Peaks Forum. Below are some recent developments.

The ACT Community Sector Reform Program: Some Questions and Answers
Community Sector Reform Advisory Group
In response to media reports around the funding of the community sector reform program, a document has been released outlining what reforms are proposed for the ACT Community Sector, how the reforms will be funded, whether the reforms will lead to a loss of services, where the benefits of the reforms will go, and the role of the community sector in the reform process. The reforms propose to reduce costs of doing business for the sector, reduce the impact of red tape, improve the skills base of the sector and its overall productivity and provide assistance to community sector governing boards and committees. The Government will seek a co-contribution from the community sector that will equate to 0.34% of total funding to achieve these reforms.  
ATODA notes that this .34% reduces the amount of indexation in 2012/13
For more information: Call Robert Gotts, Director Community Sector Reform Project on (02) 6207 6197 or e-mail  
Note: ATOD Sector (known as addiciton services in the legislation do not come into effect in this systems until after a review in several years.

Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Act 2011 – Community Information Sessions
Office of Regulatory Services
Public information sessions will be run to inform the ACT community about the requirements of the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) ACT 2011.
Date: 26 July 2012 (2 sessions)
Time: 10am – 11am and 2pm – 3pm
Venue: Hellenic Club – Matilda Street, Woden
Date: 1 August 2012 (2 sessions)
Time: 3pm – 4pm and 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Gungahlin Public Library – Corner Hibberson & Gozzard Street, Gungahlin
RSVP and for more information:  See, Call (02) 6207 1921 or email

ACT Multiple Enterprise Agreement 2012
Australian Services Union and ACTCOSS
It is time to negotiate a new ACT Multiple Enterprise Agreement (MEA) to secure wages and conditions for ACT Social and Community Services (SACS) employees.  The current ACT MEA needs to have some changes made to bring it in line with the SCHADS Award and the National Employment Standards.
This forum will be for organisations that are either a party to the current ACT MEA or have expressed an interest in being covered by the ACT MEA 2012.
We would like to have both an employer and employee representatives from each of these organisations in attendance at the forum. It is important that every workplace is represented.
Date: 18 July 2012
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Venue: COTA Hall, Hughes Community Centre – Wisdom Street, Hughes (Right of the Hughes Shops)
For more information and to register: Email or call 6202 7200

The ACT Social Compact – Refreshed
ACT Government
The foundation of The Social Compact is a collective commitment to a robust and effective relationship. The shared vision is of a Canberra where all people reach their potential, make a contribution and share the benefits of an inclusive and vibrant community.
The ACT community sector and Government share a commitment to improve life for all Canberrans through participation in cultural, social, humanitarian, environmental and economic activities. To achieve this, the two sectors need to plan, learn and work together, building on existing strengths, encouraging innovation and making sound decisions informed by evidence.
For more information: See and

Equal Remuneration Order
Fair Work Australia, 22 June 2012
The Equal Remuneration Case Full Bench has issued a decision and equal remuneration order. This order gives life to the decision by Fair Work Australia in February to lift award wages for community sector workers.
The Australian Services Union have advised the terms of this order mean that at any time from 1 July 2012 until 2020, SACS workers should be paid the highest of:
-    Their old state based Award rate (If higher than the SHADs Award) - this will be adjusted each year on 1st July in line with the National Wage Case outcome and then on 1st December with an Equal Pay installment;
-    The Modern SCHCADS rate - this will be adjusted each year on 1st July in line with the National Wage Case outcome and then on 1st December with an Equal Pay installment; or
-    Their EBA negotiated rate.

Federal government response:
The federal government has created a website which will provide up-to-date information for social and community services organizations impacted by the Fair Work Australia decision on wage increases for sector workers. It can be accessed here:
For more information: See

ACT Community Sector Salary Census – deadline 12 July 2012
A census has been issued for organisations receiving funding from the ACT Government through Service Funding Agreements, to assist with the progress of government funds to support implementation locally.
If you are unable to complete the census, or if you do not believe that the equal remuneration case applies to you, please contact Robert Gotts from the Community Services Directorate at for assistance, or to discuss. 

If you require assistance completing this census, please contact Mathilde Lamerton by email at 

Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission Taskforce Implementation Report, Media Release and Fact Sheets
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Implementation Taskforce, 12 June
In her first act as the Australian Government's nominee as Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Susan Pascoe AM issued a media release announcing the publication of the ACNC Taskforce Implementation Report and accompanying fact sheets.
For more information: The report, media release and fact sheets can be read at

Measuring the contribution of the not-for-profit sector  
Mark Butler MP, Minister for Social Inclusion, and Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services
Media Release, 7 June 2012

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will produce a Non-Profit Institutions Satellite Account for the 2012-13 financial year to provide an updated picture of the size, value, composition and economic importance of the not for profit sector and to contribute to the development of community related policies.
For more information: See

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Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm (NBHF) Design Plans Consultation closes 6 July
Health Infrastructure Program – ACT Government Health Directorate
The NBHF will be located on ‘Miowera’, Block 241 Paddys River Road. ‘Miowera’ is a working farm on the outskirts of Canberra, west of Tharwa. The NBHF will offer holistic care for ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples requiring alcohol and other drug rehabilitation. The NBHF will focus on ‘cultural healing’ - reconnecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to land and culture.
Stakeholders are invited to engage in the consultation which closes Friday 6 July 2012.
For more information and comments to: Health Infrastructure Program, Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm Plans, PO Box 11, Woden ACT 2606, see, email or call (02) 6207 9172

ACT 2012-13 Budget Estimates
As a follow up to ATODA’s budget submission and analysis. ATODA gave evidence to the ACT Estimates Committee on Friday 15 June 2012.  For further details see:

Smoke Free Environment Update
ACT Government Health Directorate
The Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug Services Directorate of the ACT Government has committed to introducing a smoke free environment by 1 January 2013. This update details the progress being made towards that goal.
For more information: The update is attached here:

Who is Looking out for the Territory's Children? Review of the Emergency Response Strategy for Children in Crisis in the ACT

Anita Phillips, ACT Public Advocate, May 2012
This Review focused on Out of Home Care placements following emergency responses and other action taken on behalf of children and young people for whom the Territory has parental responsibility. An Interim report was presented in October 2011 and included recommendations for immediate action such as the establishment of a reception centre, additional foster placements and mediation for the agency providing out of home care to the nine children who were the subject of the inquiry. This final Review of the authorities and arrangements for children coming into the Care and Protection Service over the past three years has revealed that the systemic problems identified in the Interim report were not an aberration. The review finds that despite the best efforts and hard work of front line staff within the Care and Protection Service, they were battling against systems that failed to support them and a lack of case supervision, all of which inevitably resulted in a reactive and defensive environment and workplace.  

For more information: The full review can be found here:, and the ACT Government response to the review can be found here:

Review of Standards for the Regulation of Vocational Education and Training
National Skills Standards Council (NSSC)
The NSSC is undertaking a broad ranging review of the standards for the regulation of vocational education and training (VET), focusing on issues of quality. A consultation paper on the Standards for the Regulation of VET is now available. The paper is the first activity of the review of the standards and is designed to stimulate thought and provoke discussion. The paper will confirm the need for and extent of change with the national standards for the regulation of VET, enabling the NSSC to appropriately set the priority areas and approach to the review of the standards. Feedback is sought from all interested stakeholders.
Submissions close: 13 July 2012.
For more information: See, call (03) 9954 2502 or email

Senate backs Inquiry into the adequacy of income support payments
The Federal Senate has agreed to hold an inquiry into the adequacy of income support payments such as Newstart and Youth Allowance after a motion was introduced into the senate by the Australian Greens. This has been greeted by support by the community sector – with the hope that it will allow for a fuller examination of the impact of keeping income support so low on people’s lives.
For more information: See or

Making the Grade? Homelessness Australia's Report Card on the Australian Government's White Paper on Homelessness

Homelessness Australia

This report card reviews the Australian Government's White Paper on Homelessness and examines which of the key proposals have been implemented, what the implementation looks like on the ground, what data/evidence has been provided by new service models that reveals who is being supported, what support is being provided, and how the interventions offered are improving outcomes for the people supported. The report card also examines the data/evidence/research component of the White Paper and makes an initial assessment of the impact it is having on increasing understanding of homelessness and related issues.
For more information: See the report card here:

Matters of Public Importance: Your Assembly @ Work Issue 8
ACT Legislative Assembly
This newsletter provides an overview of the business progressed by the ACT Legislative Assembly from 11 to 29 June. It includes details of recent funding decisions.
For more information: The newsletter can be downloaded from here

Health Reform

$1m to support Canberra GPs
Katy Gallagher MLA, Media Release 21 June 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA today announced an additional $1,003,387 (incl GST) in funding for 33 new projects to help Canberra doctors boost their services and update skills.
The funding is taken from the latest round of the Health Directorate's GP Development Fund and includes funding to help older Canberrans access GP services, help patients with alcohol and drug issues and tackle chronic diseases, such as diabetes
For more information: See$1m_to_support_canberra_gps

New GP workforce study announced
Katy Gallagher MLA, Media Release 21 June 2012
The ACT GP Workforce Working Group, through ACT Medicare Local will coordinate the new GP Workforce Scoping Study, which will examine the current and immediate past general practice workforce from the ACT and the accessibility of GP services in the ACT.
For more information: See

Plea for more funds to lure GPs to ACT
Canberra Times, 20 June 2012
Although there have been improvements in Canberra's GP crisis, the territory's health system remains too focused on hospital-based care. The Medicare Local network, established by the federal government last year, still faces major challenges in its work to promote and co-ordinate primary care in the territory.
For more information: See

Medicare Service Changes
Department of Human Services
On 1 July 2012 two changes to Medicare services will come into effect. The first change is that centres will no longer pay Medicare benefits by cash, but instead offer electronic payment options. In the local region, this change will be rolled out as follows:
  • Gungahlin Medicare will be cashless from 25 June 2012
  • Civic Medicare will be cashless from 13 August 2012
  • Queanbeyan Medicare will be cashless from 20 August 2012
  • Woden Medicare will be cashless from 3 September 2012
  • Belconnen Medicare will be cashless from 3 September 2012
  • Tuggeranong is already cashless
The second change is that from 1 July 2012, service centres delivering Medicare will cease evening trading. Service centres that currently open on Saturday mornings will continue to open as usual and online payment options will be available 24/7.  
For more information: See

Sector Development, Activities and Events

World Hepatitis Day – community and stakeholder forum
ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre
A community and stakeholder forum will be held in Canberra on 30 July 2012 to mark World Hepatitis Day. The forum will be of interest to hepatitis-affected people and other interested individuals, medical/clinical types (including students) as well as AOD/BBV/Corrections/ Indigenous Health sector workers.  
Date: 30 July 2012
Time: 12pm to 1:30pm
Venue: The Canberra Hospital Auditorium (adjacent to Reception)
For more information: Email or call (02) 6230 6344. 

ATODA will be releasing a special alert to mark World Hepatitis Day in July 2012

Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy assistance for workers
Access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available across all alcohol, tobacco and other drug, mental health and youth services in the ACT to help staff address their tobacco consumption and support quit attempts at no cost to the individual employee. The NRT Policy and registration form can be accessed on the ATODA website
For further information please contact ATODA on (02) 6255 4070 or email

Prison Issues Update (June 2012)
Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)
The Prison Issues Update details recent events, research reports and news about Prisons in Australia.
For more information:

The Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing for Young People Engaging in Problematic Substance Use
headspace Evidence Summaries are prepared by the Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. The series aims to highlight the research evidence and best practices for the care of young people with mental health and substance abuse problems. This factsheet summarises the available evidence for using Motivational Interviewing to intervene with young people who present with substance use/misuse that is problematic, yet below the level that would constitute the diagnosis of a full-threshold use disorder.  
For more information: See or the full range of summaries here:

Canberra’s inaugural Homeless Connect Day
Canberra Homeless Connect
To celebrate Canberra Homeless Connect day, a FREE and hearty lunch will be held, as well as housing assistance, health checks, haircuts, massages and lots more.
Date: 9 August 2012
Time: 11am – 3pm
Venue:  Pilgrim House Conference Centre – 69 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra
For more information: See, or call 6247 5041.

Painful Truths – Workshop
Chronic Pain Australia
The partnership between people in pain and their primary care health professionals is critical in arriving at meaningful pain management outcomes. This RACGP accredited workshop is for primary care health professionals including GPs and allied health professionals. GPs will earn 40 CPD points for the day. An expert panel of speakers and interactive learning design will provide participants with their own individual action plan to strengthen their practice with people in pain.
Date: 25 July 2012
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: The Theatre, Australian Parliament House
Cost: $400
For more information: See flyer:, email or call 9954 4400

‘Climate Change and the Community Welfare Sector’ World First National Survey
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Climate Risk P/L
People experiencing poverty and disadvantage will be affected first and worst by climate change, including the worsening impacts of extreme weather events. The community welfare sector provides essential services to those struggling to meet basic needs; as climate change impacts worsen, more people will turn to our organisations for assistance. And yet we have very little understanding about how the sector itself is placed to cope with climate change risks.
The survey should be filled in by a senior staff member who has access to information about the organisation's services, workforce, insurance policies, finances and operational context
To participate: Go to

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Training and Professional Development
June – July 2012 Training and Professional Development Calendar
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT, 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 at
To include your training in the next calendar, email or call the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540.
ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (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 alcohol, tobacco and other drug 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. There are currently 3 bus tours operating (Tour A, B & C) with each tour visiting different services.
Upcoming tour dates:
Tour A :
  • Wednesday 8 August
  • Wednesday 5 September
  • Wednesday 3 October
  • Wednesday 14 Novembe
Tour B:
  • Wednesday 15 August
  • Wednesday 12 September
  • Wednesday 17 October
  • Wednesday 21 November
Tour C:
  • Wednesday 29 August
  • Wednesday 26 September
  • Wednesday 24 October
  • Wednesday 28 November    
Cost: Ranges from $50 - $70.
Registration: Contact Katrina on (02) 6247 3540 or
For more information: See

Safer Injecting Workshop
Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre
Provides participants with an understanding of:
  • Harm Reduction and the role of specialist services
  • Injecting drug use and associated harms
  • Safer Injecting information
  • Practical demonstration of techniques using a mannequin
  • Legal and ethical issues
Date: 11 July 2012
Time: 9:30am – 1:30pm
Venue: Greenknowe Room, Rex Centre, Kings Cross - 58A Macleay Street - entrance near Baroda St, Kings Cross NSW
Cost: $150
For more information: See flyer, email or call (02) 9360 0194

Raising the Issue of Gambling
Mission Australia
This training course will assist Community Services workers to understand problem gambling, identify possible signs of problem gambling, and discuss gambling with their clients in a sensitive manner. It will also assist community services workers to understand what help is available for problem gambling and how to refer clients to problem gambling services.
Date: Wednesday 18 July 2012
Time: 9.15am - 4.30pm    
Venue: Mission Australia ACT Gambling Counselling and Support Service, CIT Southside, Block E, 160 Ainsworth Street, Phillip
Cost: Free
RSVP: Registration required, closes 13 July 2012.
For more information: Call (02) 6129 6100

Project Management Masters Certification Program
Project Management USA
The PMMC is designed for those seeking professional project management certification. It serves as both a thorough professional education and recognized certification. The certificate program teaches technical and business professionals how to master the critical skills of project management techniques as part of their technical career development. The skills developed in the Project Management Masters Certification program apply to large and small projects, product design and development efforts, construction projects, IT projects, software development, and any project with critical performance, time, and budget targets.  
Cost: Tuition for the four-day Project Management Masters Certification program is $1,995
For more information: See: or email

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Conferences and Symposiums

13th International Mental Health Conference
Public Health Association of Australia
The theme for this years conference is "Positive Change: Investing in Mental Health".
The 13th International Mental Health Conference will focus on the complex mental issues affecting the elderly including depression, dementia, delirium, paranoid disorders and anxiety. The conference will examine state, federal, international and COAG initiatives, early intervention strategies, validated treatments, suicide prevention and the effectiveness of mental health preventive measures.
Date: 6-8 August 2012
Venue: Outrigger Inn (formerly Holiday Inn), Gold Coast, Queensland
Cost: Varies depending on membership – see website for details
For more information: See, email or call (07) 5502 2068

Justice in Health in Australia: Equity in Health Care
Public Health Association of Australia
Speakers and topics include:
  • Dr Helen Watchirs OAM: ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner: Human Rights in Prison
  • Prof Tony Butler, Program Head, Justice Health Program, Kirby Institute, Sydney: Medicare and PBS access for prisoners
  • Prof Michael Levy: Director, ACT Justice Health Service: Equitable Management of blood borne viruses in the Alexander Maconochie Centre
  • Dr Ed Heffernan, Director, Queensland Forensic Mental Health Services, Brisbane: Benchmarking of forensic mental health services nationally; findings of recent ‘Inside Out’ report on the mental health of Indigenous prisoners
  • Dr Stephen Allnutt, Justice Health NSW, Community Forensic Mental Health Team
  • Ms Jocelyn Jones, Adjunct Research Fellow, National Drug Research Institute (NDRI): Health-related experiences of female Indigenous prisoners
  • Ms Julie Tongs OAM, CEO, Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service: Indigenous prisoner health & transition to community (post-release) challenges
  • Bernadette Mitcherson, Executive Director of ACT Corrective Services: Post –release care planning for prisoners in the ACT
  • Dr Mark Stoove, Head, HIV/STI Research, Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne: Transitional issues for prisoners/ex prisoners with a history of injecting drug use
  • Mr Brett Collins, Coordinator, Justice Action, Sydney
  • Ms Marion Watson, Prisoner Advocate
  • Ms Nicole Wiggins, Manager of Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy
Date: 15th August 2012
Venue: Rydges Capital Hill Hotel – Forrest, Canberra.
Cost: Earlybird registration $130 - closes 6 July 2012, Full registration $150
For more information: See, email or call (02) 6285 2373

Stigma, and other Barriers to Treatment
Australiasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA)
The theme of the symposium is Stigma, and other Barriers to Treatment which addresses the social, psychological and physical barriers to treatment for many people.
Symposium Concerns:
  • Co- morbidity and Acquired Brain Injury:  best practice for consumers with co-occurring AOD, mental health and ABI concerns.
  • Indigenous Consumers:  best practice, cultural security.
  • Corrective services and coerced clients: working collaboratively with our partners in the justice system.
  • The GLBTI Community: recognising the divide to access.
  • Pathways to treatment for diverse clients: multicultural concerns.
  • Families and Children:  family involvement in treatment, interventions for children affected by parental drug use and associated issues.
Date: 27-30 August 2012
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Launcestion, Tasmania
Cost: ATCA Member - $500, ACTA non-member $550
For more information: For information and registration forms see, email or call 0422 904 040

NDARC Annual Research Symposium
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Celebrating 25 Years of Drug and Alcohol Research: Scoping the Future
The 2012 NDARC Annual Symposium is a celebration of the Centre’s 25 years in the drug and alcohol research sector. Presentations will be divided into four topic areas: young people and prevention; trauma, self-medication and treatment; current challenges: emerging drugs and prescription medication, and planning for the future. As always, the program will spotlight NDARC’s latest research into vulnerable communities including young people, those with criminal histories and those with past trauma or comorbidities.
Date: 28 August 2012
Venue: John Niland Scientia Building, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW
Cost: $170 if registered before 3 August 2012
For more information: See, email or call (02) 9385 0333

Population Health Congress 2012
Public Health Association of Australia
The 2012 Population Health Congress on the 10th to 12th September at the Adelaide Convention Centre 2012 will be the largest public health event of the year, without a doubt, anticipating an audience of at least 1300 people.
Organised and sponsored jointly by the four leading professional population health organisations in the Asia Pacific region, it will replace their normal annual conferences in 2012 and create an environment for a very large gathering of population health professionals. It will provide the opportunity for working across and within organisations on key population health issues and for unparalleled opportunities for networking.
Dates: 10 - 12 September 2012
Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia
Cost: Varies depending on organisation membership
For more information: See, email, or call 6292 9000

2nd National Cannabis Conference – from genetics to practice
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
The topic areas have been chosen to respond to the developing evidence-base on issues such as cannabis and mental health. The emerging areas to be featured will include cannabis use and intervention approaches among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, school based approaches to preventing and reducing cannabis use, the role of genetics in cannabis use and dependence, the relationship between cannabis and tobacco, synthetic cannabinoids, and promising approaches to cannabis and comorbid mental health conditions. The conference will include perspectives from health, education, youth services and criminal justice sectors.
Dates: 19- 21 September
Venue: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre – Grey St, Brisbane, QLD
Cost: Full fee - $499 if registered by 17 August, Student - $250 if registered by 17 August, otherwise $559 and $310 respectively.
For more information: See, call 9385 0208 or email

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Consumer Participation

AIVL’s new website section on stigma and discrimination
Australian Injecting and Illict Drug Users League (AIVL)
AIVL have just released a new section on our website focussing on stigma and discrimination. The main aim for this section was to have a collection of AIVL’s work on stigma and discrimination easily accessible all in the one place. The majority of the current content relates to the various aspects of AIVL’s National Anti-Discrimination Campaign which has been running for the past 3 years.
For more information: See

Resource Profile: Getting Started: Involving Consumers on Committees
Health Issues Centre
Designed to help health professionals who are new to consumer participation and want to understand how to work effectively and meaningfully with consumers. Provides information and guidance about the first crucial steps involved in working with consumers.
For more information: Download the guide at

Afternoons with Max Marshall
Australian Illicit and Injecting Drug Users League
This production is a short film exploring drugs, discrimination and the media. Feedback and research shows that stigma and discrimination is one of the prime reasons why people who inject drugs don't access health care around their hepatitis C. This film hopes to generate discussion and break down the barriers around drug use and health care.
See the film:

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors

Youth Studies Australia – New Papers
Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies    
A highlight in current issue of Youth Studies Australia includes papers about the trend of excessive alcohol consumption in female university students and the adverse effects this can have, including increased levels of risk sexual behaviour.
For more information:

Working with Adolescents – Keeping romantic relationships in mind
The series aims to highlight the research evidence and best practices for the care of young people with mental health and substance abuse problems. This evidence summary examines romantic relationships as they relate to clinical practice and the mental health and well being of adolescents.
For more information: The summary and others in the series can be found here

Quit Smoking Training for Health Professionals – FREE TRAINING
Mindscapes and Cancer Council ACT
The training aims to provide you with an understanding of the role smoking plays in the lives of consumers, and will address the additional barriers many mental health consumers face in making a quit attempt and remaining smoke-free in the long-term”.
Please see the attached flyer for the upcoming Quit Smoking Training For Health Professionals, learning how to support Mental Health Consumers on the difficult journey to stop smoking.
Please note this course is only for people working in the Mental Health Sector. A tasty lunch will be provided.
When: Tuesday 10 July 2012
Time: 10.30am – 1.30pm
Where: MHCC ACT Meeting Room, Griffin Centre, Level 1, Room 7
For more information:  Email or call (02) 6257 9999

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Employment Oppourtunities

Note: employment opportunities in the sector are also promoted on the Jobs of Substance website at

ACT Local Hospital Network Council
ACT Government
The ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA is seeking expressions of interest from a suitably qualified individual with financial management experience to fill a vacancy on the ACT Local Hospital Network (LHN) Council. Expressions of interest (EOI) are sought from individuals who have financial management experience and are keen to be considered for appointment to the Council for a two year term. Interested candidates should submit an EOI of no longer than four pages (including a short curriculum vitae) in writing by close of business on Friday 13 July 2012.
To apply: Submit an expression of interest of no longer than four pages (including a short curriculum vitae) in writing by close of business 13 July 2012.
For more information: See here, email or call (02) 6207 7958

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Grants and Funding Oppourtunities

Many of the grants listed in this section and others can be found at the ACT Government Grants portal online at or through the Australian Government Grantslink at

Community Support and Infrastructure Grants
ACT Government Community Services
The Community Support and Infrastructure Grants program provides funding for projects undertaken by community organisations that provide key services to ACT residents. The funding assists a wide range of projects that support the priorities and goals of the Canberra Social Plan.
The objectives of the program are to fund projects that support community sector viability; provide for community inclusion; assist small community organisations to access information technology resources or improving the environmental sustainability of community facilities.
Applications close: 16 July
For more information: See, email or call 6205 3685

Volunteer Grants 2012
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Volunteer Grants 2012 recognises the valuable work of Australia’s volunteers.  This initiative forms part of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to organisations whose volunteers assist disadvantaged communities and encourage inclusion of vulnerable people in community life.  
Funding of $16 million is available to support and encourage volunteering.  Eligible not-for-profit community organisations can apply for grants between $1,000 and $5,000 to:
  • Purchase portable, tangible, small equipment items to help their volunteers
  • Contribute to the reimbursement of fuel costs for their volunteers who use their own car to transport others to activities, to deliver food, assist with medical appointments or help people in need
  • Contribute to the reimbursement of transport costs incurred by volunteers with disability, who are unable to drive
  • Contribute to the costs of training courses and/or undertake background screening checks for their volunteers.
Guidelines: See
Applications close: 5pm 25 July 2012
More information: Email or call 1800 183 374

Everyone Connected Grants Program
Telstra Foundation
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Telstra Foundation is donating one million dollars to help Australian children and young people make the most of modern communication technologies. One hundred $10,000 Everyone Connected grants are available to local community organisations to support activities that help enhance digital inclusion - connecting disadvantaged children and young people to the internet, building their online skills and promoting cyber safety. Non-profit community organisations with a great idea for an Everyone Connected activity can apply for a grant. Organisations need to complete an online application form and find a Telstra employee to endorse their project or activity.
Applications close: 30 July 2012
For more information:  See, email or call 1800 208 378

2012 Make the Difference Grants
Future2, The Foundation of the Australian Financial Planning Profession
Future2’s grants focus on the under 25s who may be financially disadvantaged, homeless, juvenile justice offenders, drug or alcohol dependent, disabled or Indigenous. Grants are awarded to projects and programs in the areas of financial literacy, skills training, work experience, community service or mentoring. The Make the Difference! Grant program is designed to encourage the involvement of financial planning professionals in community projects by requiring their endorsement and support of each grant application. Every grant application must be supported by a member of either the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) or Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Guidelines: Can be found here:
Applications close: 31 July 2012
For more information: See!%20grants, email or call (02) 9220 4500

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Debate lights up at mental health centres
Canberra Times, 28 June 2012
The Health Directorate has ruled the Adult Mental Health Unit, the Mental Health Assessment Unit, the Withdrawal Unit at Canberra Hospital and the Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre at Calvary will all be smoke free from next January 1.
But smoking rates among mental health patients are up to 90 per cent in some groups and cigarettes have been tolerated in treatment centres, despite an official Health Directorate smoke-free policy being in force since 2008.
For more information:

Alcohol sponsorship ban not on agenda: Plibersek
Canberra Times, 25 June 2012
Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says banning alcohol sponsorship of sporting events is not on the government's agenda.
The government's new ''Be the Influence'' strategy has resulted in 12 sporting organisations agreeing to end all current and future alcohol sponsorship deals.
For more information:

Support Canberra’s cancer patients by giving up alcohol this Dry July
Katy Gallagher, MLA, June 24, 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA today encouraged Canberrans to participate in Dry July, an annual event that challenges people to go one month without drinking alcohol in order to raise money through sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues.
The Chief Minister officially launched Dry July last night at the Canberra Hospital Foundation annual ball and said all proceeds from the ball were being donated to assist adult patients living with cancer throughout the region.
For more information:

Treating methadone stigma
Canberra Times, 24 June 2012
METHADONE use is rising in the ACT community, but Health Alcohol and Drug Services are challenging the stigma attached to it and are urging the community to recognise drug dependency as a mental illness.
ACT Health currently treats about 900 patients on the Opioid Treatment Service program, weaning dependents off illicit drugs and onto methadone or buprenorphine, and about 200 patients through the Canberra Hospital public clinic.
For more information:

Hopes for idyllic farm setting to aid rehab
Canberra Times, 23 June 2012
Canberra could soon host a rehabilitation facility aimed at treating addicted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents by reconnecting them with their land and culture.
A development application for the multimillion-dollar Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm has been lodged with the ACT Planning and Land Authority, outlining plans for the eight-bed alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation facility near Tharwa.
For more information:

$24 Million for Drug and Alcohol Research
Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform, Media Release, 20 June 2012
Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler today announced $24 million over three years to be invested into alcohol and drug research. The three-year funding will enable a particular focus on areas such as reducing harm from alcohol, Indigenous substance misuse and workforce development. Mr Butler said the funding would be provided to Australia’s internationally recognised drug and alcohol research and data collection under the National Drug Strategy.
For more information:

$2.6 Million for Drug Action Week
Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform, Media Release, 18 June 2012
Drug Action Awareness activities will benefit from $2.6 million to support future events, Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler announced today. 

The announcement of this funding, which will also support the continuation of the National Drug and Alcohol Awards and other national drug-prevention activities, marks the start of Drug Action Week 2012. Minister Butler said the projects would boost community awareness of illicit drug use. “This funding will fund seven projects over three years to continue the prevention of substance misuse and promote service improvements across the drug and alcohol sector."
For more information:

$8.9m funding boost to reduce risky drinking at sporting clubs across the nation
Australian Drug Foundation, Media Release, 28 May 2012
A more family-friendly environment through a reduction in risky drinking at community sporting clubs across the nation looks set to continue thanks to the Australian Government’s announcement it will fund $8.9m towards the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program.
For more information:

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Contact ATODA:

Phone: (02) 6255 4070
Fax: (02) 6255 4649
Mail: PO Box 7187,
Watson ACT 2602
Visit: 350 Antill St. Watson

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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.