ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - March 2012
ATODA eBulletin -

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT

ACT Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Sector Forum: Homelessness and Legal Issues
Partnership between ATODA, Street Law & ACT Shelter
Many people accessing alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) services will be experiencing multiple and complex issues, including homelessness and legal issues.  This forum will provide opportunities to stakeholders to network and will include a How to Spot a Legal Issue Workshop.
Date:    Thursday 22 March
Time:    9:30am - 12pm
Venue:  1 Genge St, Canberra City - Mental Health Community Coalition Training Room, Griffin Centre
RSVP:  Essential, limited numbers to
Download the forum flyer

ACT ATOD Services Directory: Version 8
The ACT ATOD Services Directory aims to support workers to make referrals to ATOD services in the ACT, 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.
To view the directory electronically or download a copy visit
Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy for ATOD, Mental Health and Youth Workers: Register Now
Access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is now 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 Kathryn Sequoia on (02) 6255 4070 or at

Other ATODA news and activities are included throughout the eBulletin. 

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Drug Action Week 2012

Drug Action Week is the annual ATOD awareness initiative coordinated by the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) and supported by the Federal Government through the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA). The theme is "Looking After YOUR Mind!".  Drug Action Week 2012 is scheduled to run from Sunday, 17 June through to Saturday, 23 June.  For more information on Drug Action Week nationally visit
Get involved! ACT Drug Action Week Planning Committee
ATODA, with the support of ATOD and allied services, coordinate Drug Action Week in the ACT. Help to make Drug Action Week 2012 in the ACT the best yet! Anyone can join the Committee, the first meeting is scheduled for Thursday 8 March from 9:30am – 10:30am.
Contact ATODA on (02) 6255 4070 or to RSVP or for further information. As information becomes available it will be uploaded at

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Submissions to the ACT Budget 2012 - 2013 Consultation

The public was invited by the ACT Treasurer to make submissions to inform decisions regarding the ACT Budget 2012 – 2013.  ATODA’s submission included 7 priority areas:
  1. To ensure that ACT residents can access alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment and support from evidence and needs based, effective and efficient quality services through increasing base funding; and
    To ensure all ACT ATOD sector non-government organisations benefit from the outcomes from the Fair Work Australia Equal Remuneration Case decision.
  2. To prevent and reduce blood-borne virus transmission and infection and to meet current and projected need by increasing harm reduction services in the north Canberra region through implementing a full-time primary needle and syringe program.
  3. To improve road safety in the ACT through reducing drink driving recidivism, by increasing access to alcohol treatment and strengthening the partnerships between law enforcement and health services through conducting an evidence-based, evaluated pilot of an alcohol ignition interlock program targeted at high-range and repeat drink driving offenders.
  4. To reduce re-offending and poverty and to promote social inclusion by reforming the ACT infringement schemes, including offences related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
  5. To expand and strengthen alcohol, tobacco and other drug research and enhance ATOD policy and service delivery in the ACT and region, through establishing a structured collaboration, such as a Centre for Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research, Policy and Practice in the ACT
  6. To prevent chronic disease and promote healthy behaviours by implementing workplace tobacco management programs targeted at services that work with disadvantaged people who have high-smoking rate, including at the Alexander Maconochie Centre
  7. To improve the health and wellbeing of people experiencing co-occuring mental health and alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues (comorbidity) through enhancing the service system’s capacity by implementing three priority initiatives in the ACT Comorbidity Strategy 2010 -2014.
Download ATODA’s submission.

For further information about the ACT Budget consultation see: For information about other peak bodies’ work in this area visit:  back to top

Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the Constitution

PM pledges support for constitutional change
The campaign for constitutional recognition is gaining momentum with the announcement by the Prime Minister that Reconciliation Australia is to lead a national, community-based movement for change.
Read the Prime Minister’s statement on ”Closing the Gap”.
Reconciliation Australia Welcomes Support for Constitutional Recognition
Reconciliation Australia
Reconciliation Australia Co-Chairs Ms Melinda Cilento and Dr Tom Calma have welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement that Reconciliation Australia is to lead the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the Constitution.
View the full media release at
Watch the video from the Closing the Gap event at Parliament House on Tuesday 15th February.
Read up-to date media coverage on the constitutional recognition on the You Me Unity website.

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Calls for ACT Infringements System Reform
An infringement system is an important and effective way to respond to low-level offending and road traffic violations. However, it has been identified that the ACT’s system requires significant reform to mitigate disproportionate impacts on disadvantaged people, including those with ATOD related problems, and be an effective system for collecting revenue.
The Downward Spiral: How a fine can cause homelessness in the ACT
Street Law
Street Law, a project of the Welfare Rights and Legal Centre that provides legal services to persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, released a report in 2011 outlining how the current infringement scheme can contribute to homelessness among disadvantaged ACT residents, why this occurs, and how it can be addressed. The report highlights specific consideration of persons experiencing “Addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance.” ATODA broadly supports the recommendations made by Street Law. Download the report.
ACT Infringement Schemes Reform – including ATOD offences
Priority 4 of ATODA’s budget submission called for reform to the ACT’s infringement system, which should include a focus on alcohol, tobacco and other drug offences and linkages with diversion. An evaluation of a NSW scheme, similar to the one proposed, has demonstrated that reform has reduced reoffending, increasing social inclusion, supported people to access drug treatment and support and increased the re-payment processes. See ATODA’s submission to the ACT Budget 2012 – 2013 for details regarding how reforming the system could reduce re-offending and poverty and promote social inclusion.

Greens’ infringements laws will assist Canberra’s most vulnerable
Amanda Bresnan MLA, Media Release
22 February 2012
The ACT Greens will today table new legislation to improve the ACT’s system of traffic fine administration and improve social justice outcomes in Canberra.
Greens Transport Spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, said that the current system of traffic fine administration was resulting in harsh and unjust outcomes for Canberra’s most vulnerable individuals and families.
“It has been described as a ‘sledgehammer approach’, and the fact is that it is ruining people’s lives,” said Ms Bresnan.
View the full media release at
Road Transport (General) (Infringement Notices) Amendment Bill 2012
View the bill presented to the Legislative Assembly at
For more information about the Bill view the briefing paper released by the ACT Greens at

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Health Reform Update

ATODA, in partnership with the ACT Medicare Local will be monitoring the impacts of Health Reform on the ACT ATOD sector through the General Practice Engagement Working Group. Some recent relevant updates include:

Gillard Government welcomes options on dental care
Tanya Plibersek, Health Minister
27 February 2012
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek today welcomed the final report of the National Advisory Council on Dental Health.
Ms Plibersek said the report raised questions and pointed to challenges which would need to be resolved in order to deliver a publicly funded dental scheme. She said any scheme would need to be managed in a fiscally responsible way and be phased in over a period of time. It would also need to:
  • Be targeted at Australians who can least afford to pay for oral health care themselves.
  • Account for gaps in existing private and public dental services, including workforce and infrastructure constraints.
  • Ensure funding by the Commonwealth did not duplicate, or lead to a reduction, in existing state and territory dental care services.
  • Account for existing Commonwealth funding of dental care and be established after the closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.
The Government will be considering the content of the report as it continues to examine options for public dental care in Australia.
For the full media release visit

Simulation to stimulate local health reform
ACT Medicare Local
28 February 2012
A Health Simulation held tomorrow will focus on how successfully the national health reform can be implemented at the local level. The Simulation will model and test how this ‘new health system’ will function in the ACT and will draw directly on the experience and judgment of people who are, or have been, involved in the system.
The National Health Reform Agreement (August 2011) outlines a vision for whole-of-system reform which aims to deliver ‘national unity’ supported by ‘local control’ of service delivery.
“Canberra is facing challenges such as an ageing and growing population and increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes. The Simulation will assist us to plan how to better position health care services to face these challenges,” said Dr Sharma.
For more information visit

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group met on 2 February 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 include:
  • Finalising Workers Group workplan for the first half of 2012;
  • Coordinating Indigenous Risk Impact Screen training;
  • Identifying and discussing key policy activities including call for submissions related to expanded hepatitis c treatment options on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;
  • Identifying core skill needs of workers to inform ongoing workforce development activities.
For more information visit

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors’ Group

The Group met in February and discussed key sector issues, including:
  • Mapping potential ATOD services to in-reach into the Belconnen and Gunghalin Health Centres;
  • Discussing reconciliation and cultural competency of services;
  • Development of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm;
  • Strengthening support and processes for consumer representatives;
  • Potential input into the Health Directorate’s Clinical Services Plan;
  • ATOD residential services review progress; and
  • The ACT Drug Diversion Evaluation.
For further information please contact Vera van de Velde, Chair, on

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Sector Development, Activities and Events

National Drug and Alcohol Awards – NOMINATIONS OPEN
Nominations for the 2012 National Drug and Alcohol Awards (NDAA) are now open. They recognise the many people and organisations that are doing exceptional work to reduce the harm and impact of alcohol and other drugs in Australia.
Date: Friday, 22 June 2012
Venue: Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne
The Awards will be presented at the NDAA Dinner with each Category winner receiving prize money of $2000. The categories are as follows:
  • Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to Drug and Alcohol Endeavours
  • Excellence in Prevention and Community Education
  • Excellence in Treatment and Support
  • Excellence in Research
  • Excellence in Services to Young People
  • Excellence in Law Enforcement
  • Excellence in Alcohol and other Drugs Media Reporting
  • Excellence in School Drug Education, and
  • Excellence in Creating Healthy Sporting Communities.
In addition, there will be the announcement of the 2012 inductees for the National Drug and Alcohol Honour Roll – for which nominations can also be made. To find out more about the selection criteria, and access the nomination form visit
Nominations close Monday, 30 April 2012.
Public forum about new Official Visitors legislation
Amanda Bresnan, ACT Greens MLA, will be holding a public forum to outline the outcomes of consultation on the Exposure Draft of the Public Advocate (Official Visitors) Amendment Bill 2012.
Key topics will include the protection and privacy of people with disabilities, people experiencing homelessness, and people experiencing a mental illness, as well as the autonomy of Official Visitors and how they are supported.
Date:    Thursday 15 March
Time:    3.30pm to 5pm
Where: Exhibition Room, ACT Legislation Assembly, London Circuit, Civic
Light refreshments will be available.
Please RSVP to

2012 ACT & Region Indigenous Expo
Habitat Personnel
Habitat Personnel are working in conjunction with the ACT & Region
Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Indigenous Business Chamber, the
National Disability Coordination Officer and the Department of
Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to host the 2012 ACT &
Region Indigenous Expo
You're invited to showcase your business by holding a stall at this expo.
Date: Wednesday 21st March 2012
Time: 10am - 3pm
Venue: Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning, 51 Fremantle Drive, Stirling
To find out how you can get involved, please contact Paula Davidson on 02 6297 6899 or or Louise De Busch on 02 6283 5200 or email
Follow the event on Facebook at

Survey of Health Professionals’ Views of Cannabis Use Treatment Guidelines
Are you a health professional who counsels individuals who use cannabis? If so, the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre would like to invite you to participate in an online survey to find out your views on cannabis use treatment guidelines. The survey takes less than 30 minutes to complete and participation is confidential. You will not be asked to identify your place of employment. Participants who complete the survey will be asked to provide an email address to enter a draw to win one of ten $100 AUD vouchers via PayPal.
To complete the survey, please go to:
For further information please contact Dr Melissa Norberg ( This research has been approved by UNSW Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel (HREA: 2011-7-47).
Survey closes 18 March 2012.

Indigenous Risk Impact Screen
ATODA, in partnership with Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and Queensland Health recently held training in the Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS). The IRIS provides a culturally secure and validated screening instrument and brief intervention designed to meet the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. The IRIS is also the only tool that screens for both ATOD and mental health issues.
ACT ATOD Services are encouraged to explore how the tool can be implemented within their practice, and materials are available online at

Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm Community Newsletter – February
Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm Advisory Board
The February edition of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm Community Newsletter is out now and contains an update on the establishment of the Farm, which will be a holistic service, implementing culturally appropriate alcohol and other drug prevention and education programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Download the newsletter.

The first National Indigenous Youth Parliament
Australian Electoral Commission
Applications are now open for the first National Indigenous Youth Parliament, a new and exciting opportunity for 48 young Indigenous Australians to represent their community and develop skills that will make a difference in their community.
For more information and to access the application pack visit the AEC’s website at
Applications close on Friday 30 April 2012.
Education and Therapy Groups 2012
Alcohol and Drug Service, ACT Government Health
The Alcohol and Drug Service regularly runs support and education groups for people who are having difficulty with alcohol and other drugs, people seeking support in preventing relapse, and for friends and family members.
For information about the groups download the information sheet.
All groups are free but require registration to attend.
Call 6207 9977 for the Alcohol and Drug Service Intake & Helpline.
New Indigenous mental health web resource
A new web resource for Indigenous social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) workers is now available on the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website – a free resource supporting those working to help ‘close the gap’ in Indigenous health. The SEWB web resource was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing through the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
View the resource at
What works to increase Indigenous employment?
Closing the gap clearinghouse
Free seminar featuring the following:
  • Increasing Indigenous employment rates
    —Professor Matthew Gray (Australian National University)
  • Strategies to enhance employment of Indigenous ex-offenders after release from correctional institutions
    —Professor Joe Graffam (Deakin University)
Date: Monday, 19 March 2012 

Time: 2.00–3.30 pm
Venue: Novotel Canberra, 65 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra 
(above Jolimont Centre)
RSVP: or phone 1800 035 938 by Friday 16 March 2012
To find out about the Clearinghouse visit:
2012 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards
Volunteering ACT
Volunteering ACT is now calling for nominations for the 2012 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards.
The Awards ensure that the diverse and generous contribution of volunteers to the well being of our community is publicly recognised and valued.
The Awards acknowledge volunteer service across many activity categories, including the arts, sport, the environment, community services and health.
This year each activity category will have an Award for individual volunteer achievement and for the achievement of teams of volunteers.
Nominations are welcome from community, corporate and government agencies and from individuals.
Go to the Volunteering ACT website at for the nomination form. Nominations close on 6 April2012 and the Awards will be presented at a public event on 15 May 2012.
For further information contact Lynne at or phone 6251 4060.

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Training and Professional Development in the ACT

February - March 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 and other drug, youth, mental health, family support and community sectors.
Download the training calendar at
Call for Contributions: April - May 2012 Training and Professional Development Calendar
The Youth Coalition is calling for contributions to the April - May 2012 Training and Professional Development Calendar. The Training and Professional Development Calendar is produced bi-monthly by the Youth Coalition of the ACT, in partnership with the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) and the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT.
To include your training in the calendar for April - May 2012, email katrina@youthcoalition.netor call the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540 to provide the following details:
  • Name of training / course
  • Date(s) of training / course
  • Contact person, phone number and email address for RSVP
  • Cost of training / course
Please submit your training details for this calendar by COB Tuesday 13 March 2012
ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT 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 B - Wednesday 7 March 2012 (FULLY BOOKED)
  • Tour C - Wednesday 21 March 2012
  • Tour A - Wednesday 11 April 2012
  • Tour B - Wednesday 9 May 2012
  • Tour C - Wednesday 23 May 2012
  • Tour A - Wednesday 6 June 2012
  • Tour B - Wednesday 13 June 2012
Cost: Ranges from $50 - $70.
Registration: Contact Katrina on (02) 6247 3540 or
For more information visit
Dealing with Difficult Callers/Clients - A toolbox of skills
Lifeline Canberra
The Dealing with Difficult Callers/Clients course is a half day workshop which aims to provide participants with fundamental skills in counselling and dealing with difficult people.
During this course, participants learn strategies and skills they can use to help foster effective relationships and deescalate tense situations with clients.
Date: 12 March 2012
Cost: $100.00 per participant including GST (Or a concession rates of $90.00 for not for profit organisations).
To download the registration form please visit or contact Lifeline Canberra by phone on 02 6247 0655. To make a booking for a course, please forward your registration form and payment to Lifeline Canberra email
P2P: Innovative practice for community workers
OzHelp Foundation
You have the possibility to participate in this six month pilot project: “P2P (peer to peer) – Innovative practice for community workers”. This peer supervision group aims to be practical, structured and to give participants the possibility to learn new ways to solve problems. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to network. P2P aims to provide community workers with a confidential, safe and supportive environment, to reflect on professional practice. Community workers will improve their self-awareness and take responsibility for their practice.
Information Sessions:
9.30 – 10.30 am, Wednesday 14 March at Majura Hall, Dickson.
9.30 – 10.30 am, Thursday 15 March at Woden Community Services, Woden.
Frequency: Meetings will be once a month for 1.5-2 hours
Cost: Free
Target group: Community workers who provide direct client service
OzHelp will facilitate a compulsory (free) training session to those participating in the project. This session will review the structure of P2P; set the framework, establish groups and how participants can ensure their effectiveness.
Training session date: 3 April 2012.
To register for this project, for the information session or for more information, please contact the OzHelp Community Services Team on or (02) 6251 4166.
Aboriginal Culture, History and Heritage Training
ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS)
Facilitated by Kerry Reed-Gilbert of Kuracca Consultancy, this one-day workshop for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal workers provides participants with a general introduction into the recent history of Aboriginal people in Australia. It aims to improve knowledge of Aboriginal culture and dispossession, and explores ways organisations may improve their practice to respond to the needs of Aboriginal people.
Date: Friday 16 March 2012
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: Level 1 meeting room, Weston Community Hub, 6 Gritten Street Weston
Cost: $59 Homelessness Services; $167 ACTCOSS members; $203 Non-members; $244 Government or Corporate
Registration: Essential, as places fill fast.
Access registration forms at
Forms can be returned to or by fax to (02) 6202 7200.
Appreciation of Torres Strait Culture Awareness Training
ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS)
Facilitated by Benny Hedges of Wis-Wei Consulting, this one-day training for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers aims to assist participants in developing a better understanding of the cultural perspectives of Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. The training will explore ways for organisations to develop a better understanding of some key issues such as culture, kinship and community. This training assists participants in developing and improving a range of cross-cultural communication skills.
Date: Friday 23 March 2012
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: Level 1 meeting room, Weston Community Hub, 6 Gritten Street Weston
Cost: $59 Homelessness Services; $167 ACTCOSS members; $203 Non-members; $244 Government or Corporate
Registration: Essential, as places fill fast.
Access registration forms at
Forms can be returned to or by fax to (02) 6202 7200.
Front Office and Reception Staff Training
The Front Office/Receptionist Toolkit course offers participants a greater understanding of the skills and dynamics of effective communication and listening in this key role. It also provides a range of knowledge, skills and strategies to understand and respond effectively to people face to face or on the phone who may be: angry, threatening or upset; have a mental illness; are intoxicated/drugged or in crisis.
Dates: 28 March 2012
Time:  9.00 - 5.00 pm
Venue: Om Shanti Training Rooms, 2a Barker St Griffith (Griffith Shops, above Macka's newsagency & the IGA supermarket - free parking at rear of shops)
Cost: $165.00 (GST inc)
Includes: morning and afternoon tea and all manuals and certificates.
RSVP: essential to your name, contact details, numbers of registrations required, the dates & title of the course you wish to attend. A confirmation email and invoice will be sent to you.
Minimum of 8 participants and maximum of 20 participants.
For further information contact Gloria Claessen on 0421 159 400.
Bookings close 20 March.
Smoking Cessation Training Course for Act Workplaces
ACT Government Health Directorate
The Health Directorate is sponsoring a two day Quit Educator's Training course.
Delivered by Quit Victoria, this training is designed for those wishing to deliver the Quit Fresh Start program and to develop knowledge and skills in the area of smoking cessation.
Date: 15-16 May 2012. A 1 day Refresher course will also be run on the 17 May for those who have already done this Quit educator training in the past.
This training aims to support smoking cessation programs in workplaces and targets:
  • workplace representatives wanting to start programs in their own workplace; and
  • service providers wanting to deliver services in workplaces for employees.
Expressions of interest may also be considered by service providers wanting to deliver services to the community.
This training is fully subsidised but places are limited. For more information contact Patricia Byrne, Health Promotion Branch, Health Directorate on 620 57382 or email

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Interstate Conferences and Symposiums

The 2012 Melbourne Drug & Health Alliance Conference: What's the harm?
You are cordially invited to the first annual Melbourne Drug and Health Alliance Conference.
Date: 29 March 2012
Time: 9am – 4.30pm
Venue: The Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria
This conference presents an opportunity for professionals that work with people using drugs and alcohol and students studying in a relevant field, to gain access to some of Australia's finest thinkers on drug and alcohol clinical practice, workforce development and public policy.
‘What’s the harm?’ will showcase innovative and successful strategies to minimise the harms related to injecting drug use and inspire attendees to explore, discuss and debate what has held Victoria, and more broadly, Australia back in drug policy, attitude and action.
To ensure your place, order tickets at
For more information on the Melbourne Drug and Health Alliance please contact Luke O'Connor on or visit
ATDC 2012 Challenging Conversations: Creating an inclusive system
Alcohol, Tobacco & other Drugs Council Tas Inc.
The conference aims to provide an opportunity for those working in the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs (ATOD) and related sectors to engage in conversations that challenge the way we think about our industry and provide our services. 
The conference will address challenges and opportunities in the following areas:
  • Providing clinical and community care
  • Creating effective collaborative networks
  • Expanding workforce development
  • Managing sustainable organisations
  • Embedding consumer choice as a tenet of policy and program development
Date: 15-16 May 2012-02-03
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania
The call for abstracts is now open.
For further information visit

Crime prevention and communities: Social and environmental strategies for safer neighbourhoods
Australian Institute of Criminology
Australian and International speakers will discuss social and environmental projects and programs; urban and community planning and safety; crime prevention and safety in Indigenous communities; and the design development, implementation and evaluation of crime prevention programs.
This conference presents an opportunity for those crime prevention practitioners, police, urban planners, non-government organisations and policy makers to come together and advance the knowledge and thinking around this burgeoning – and successful – area of community safety and security.
Date: 4 – 5 June 2012
Venue: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Call for abstracts are now open.
For more information or to register visit

Beyond 2012: Leading the Way to Action
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC)
This conference aims 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.
Date: 6 - 8 June 2012
Venue: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle, Western Australia
Call for papers and online registration is now available at
Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia Annual Conference 2012
Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia
The 2012 DANA conference is themed “In the Age of Complexity”.
The conference is open to anyone with an interest in sharing their knowledge and experience in working with drug and alcohol issues. This conference will bring together nurses and other allied health professionals from all types of settings. 
DANA encourages your involvement in the 2012 DANA conference and present some of your work and research to enable this event to be our most memorable ever!
Date: 13-15 June 2012
Venue: Melbourne
The call for submission of abstracts for oral presentations and posters is now open at
For further information visit
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. It will also explore the mental health issues of young Australians (aged 18 -- 24 years) struggling with schizophrenia, depression, suicidal thoughts, bipolar, anxiety disorders and drug use and drug induced psychosis. With 7% of Australian children and adolescents (aged 0-17 years) experiencing mental health problems and only one in four receiving professional health care, a positive change is long overdue.
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
Call for papers is now open at
Population Health Congress 2012
Public Health Association of Australia
The overall theme of the Congress will be ‘Population health in a changing world’ to reflect the dynamic environment in which the broad public health field needs to, and does, operate.
Date: 10 - 12 September 2012
Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia
Call for abstract submission and online registration now available at

The First International Conference on Law Enforcement and Public Health
Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Institute of Police Management, University of Melbourne
A conference to establish and investigate the role of law enforcement in relation to public health.
Law enforcement, especially through police forces, has a crucial but largely unacknowledged role in the protection and promotion of the public health. This conference is about the inter-relationship of law enforcement and public health, with invited papers from world experts in specific aspects of this relationship, from multiple sectors and disciplines; and case studies of successful collaborations of police and public health across a wide range of issues.
Date: 11-14 November 2012
Location: Melbourne
For further information please contact Professor Nick Crofts, Conference Director, at

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Policy Activities

Blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT: Consultation
Youth Justice Implementation Taskforce, and, Office for Children, Youth and Family Services
The Human Rights Commission’s report ‘The ACT Youth Justice System 2011’ was released in July 2011. The ACT Government response to the HRC Report was released on 18 October 2011, informed by the Youth Justice Implementation Taskforce (YJIT), with a blueprint for Youth Justice in the ACT to be a key part their response. The role of YJIT is to develop the blueprint and monitor it's implementation over 12 months, and the taskforce is consulting with the ACT community to inform the development of the blueprint.
To access the consultation paper visit
Canberrans invited to have a say on ACT Youth Justice System
Joy Burch MLA, Media Release
5 March 2012

Public consultation forums about the development of a plan to reform the youth justice system in the ACT will be held this month, ACT Minister for Community Services Joy Burch said today.
Ms Burch said the planned public forums were an opportunity for the community to have a say about what the Blueprint might look like, and what it would include.
Five public consultation forums will be held:
  • 2.30pm-4.30pm Tuesday 13 March Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre
  • 2.30pm-4.30pm Thursday 15 March West Belconnen Child and Family Centre
  • 6.00pm-8.00pm Friday 16 March Civic Library
  • 10.00am-12.00pm Monday 19 March Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • 6.00pm-8.00pm Tuesday 20 March Gungahlin Library
Join the discussion at

Consultations close 30 March 2012.

ACT Government Paper: Extending Throughcare for Offenders
Chief Minister and Cabinet Directorate
Based on the findings in the report, 'Seeing it Through: Options for improving offender outcomes in the community', a paper proposing options for the co-ordination and governance of Throughcare was developed for consideration by Cabinet. In December 2011 Cabinet agreed to extend the Throughcare policy framework which supports offenders' reintegration into the community. The framework seeks to recognise the diverse and complex needs of prisoner during transition into the community. The framework will focus on seamless service provision with a view to reducing the risk of re-offending behaviours.
Based on Government's decision to extend the throughcare policy framework,
Chief Minister and Cabinet Division will meet the key Government and community stakeholders in early 2012 to discuss timeframes and next steps to progress the policy framework.
More information and the report can be accessed at

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Consumer Participation

Free Consumer Representative Training Course
Health Care Consumers Association Inc
Are you, or a member of your family, a patient, carer or user of health care services? Then you are a health care consumer.
The Health Care Consumers Inc invites you to come along, learn some new skills and meet other health care consumers in a friendly atmosphere over a two day course.
This course will answer your questions and provide you with the necessary skills to help you to make a really valuable contribution to the health system.
After completing the course (you must attend both days), you will receive a certificate of participation, which enables you to nominate to be a consumer representative on a Health Directorate Committee.
Date: Friday 23 & 30 March 2012
Venue: HCCA Meeting Room, Sports House, 100 Maitland Street, Hackett ACT
Time: 10am-2pm

Morning tea and lunch will be provided. 
Transport assistance may be available. Please ask for details.
To find out more and to register for course please contact 6230 7800 or email
Althea Wellness Centre Reference Group
Expressions of interest for a consumer representative to join the DIRECTIONS ACT Althea Wellness Centre Reference Group.
The Althea Wellness Centre is a Department of Health and Ageing funded Community Based Health Care Service for clients and their family members with past or active alcohol and/or other drug issues.
For more information click here, or contact DIRECTIONS ACT on 6122 8000.

News from The Drug War Front
Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy
News From The Drug War Front is CAHMA's weekly radio show. It is broadcast on Canberra's community radio 2XX, on 98.3 fm, every Tuesday morning from 11am to 12pm.
For more information contact Geoff Ward on

Survey: HIV futures seven - Making positive lives count
HIV Futures seven is the seventh national survey of Australian People Living with HIV (PLHIV) conducted by the Living with HIV program at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University.
HIV Futures is an anonymous survey of PLHIV. It asks people about a range of issues including their health, treatments, work and financial situation. HIV Futures surveys have been conducted every two to three years since 1997, attracting responses from around 1000 PLHIV each time.
The HIV Futures survey has been developed in consultation with a variety of community groups and it is officially supported by the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWA), the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) and the Australasian Society of HIV Medicine (ASHM).
HIV Futures provides information to PLHIV, community organisations, service providers, doctors and government about the actual experience of living with HIV and the current needs of PLHIV.
The survey can also be filled out online by going to
For more information, or to request a copy of the survey booklet, contact us on 1800 064 398 (freecall) or 
The survey will be open to responses until 1 April 2012.

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors
New MHCC ACT Executive Officer
Mental Health Community Coalition ACT
It is the great pleasure of Mental Health Community Coalition ACT to announce that the new Executive Officer will be Mr Ian Rentsch.
Ian comes to MHCC ACT with extensive experience in senior management and leadership positions in the not for profit sector. He has previously held positions in South Australia and ACT as well as in national organisations. Ian is currently finishing in the position of Chief Operating Officer with Palliative Care Australia. The MHCC ACT Board is very pleased to have attracted an Executive Officer of Ian’s calibre and look forward to him carrying forward the great work MHCC ACT has done over the last several years and bringing a new depth to the work of MHCC ACT with his broad experience and knowledge.
Ian will commence with MHCC ACT on Monday 19 March 2012 and is looking forward to meeting MHCC ACT members, partners and stakeholders, and to getting to know the ACT community sector.
MHCC ACT Quarterly Community Forum: New MH Inpatient Unit and other updates
Mental Health Community Coalition ACT
MHCC ACT, ACTMHCN, MH JH & AD, and Carers ACT are hosting the next Quarterly Community Forum. The topic of the Forum is New Inpatient Mental Health Unit and other Updates.
Date: Monday, 5 March 2012
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Venue: Room 6, Level 1 Griffin Centre
The ACT Health Directorate is overseeing the building and commissioning of a new adult acute mental health inpatient unit to replace the current Psychiatric Services Unit (PSU). The new Unit is expected to begin operations in March and over a transition period it will become the home of adult inpatient MH services and the PSU will close.
This will mean big changes in the way services are delivered and in the experience of clients. Come to this Forum to hear more about the transition into the new Unit and what events consumers, carers and service staff are planning to mark the opening of the new Unit and closing of the PSU. 
There will also be updates on the Community MH Policing Initiative and on two projects on documenting consumer experiences of care.
For more information or to RSVP your attendance please contact MHCC ACT on (02) 6249 7756 or email
Volunteers assistance package for new work health and safety laws
Safe Work Australia
Safe Work Australia Chair, Mr Tom Phillips AM, has launched a new volunteer assistance package developed by Safe Work Australia in partnership with Volunteering Australia.
The package includes a Volunteer Assistance Line, email and webpage designed to provide guidance and support to volunteers and volunteer organisations who may be affected by the new work health and safety (WHS) laws.
By calling the Volunteer Assistance Line on 02 6240 4990, people can talk to an expert for advice on how the new WHS laws affect volunteers and their activities.
The volunteer assistance package includes fact sheets, frequently asked questions and useful contacts and is available at
Best practice recruitment and selection – a tool kit for the community sector
State Services Authority, Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria
This tool kit has been developed to assist the community sector in the application of best practice in the recruitment and selection process. This, in turn, supports the broader objectives of meeting workforce capability needs.
Download the tool kit at

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Employment Opportunities

Association of Alcohol and other Drugs (AADANT) Coordinator
Northern Territory Council of Social Service Inc. (NTCOSS)
The coordinator will work with a high degree of autonomy to coordinate the new AOD peak body. This position will initially sit with NTCOSS but AADANT is expected to become incorporated within 3yrs.
Position Purpose: Facilitating input from AOD sector organisations, including those in regional and remote centres in the Northern Territory, to social policy development and advocacy, including input into Government reviews and consultative processes. Facilitating the development of partnership opportunities between the Department of Health and the AOD sector.
Position Reports to: Executive Director NTCOSS and the AADANT Steering Committee.
Position Location: Darwin with Territory wide and interstate travel.
Terms of Employment: Full Time (37.5 hours per week)
Salary level: $85 000 pa plus vehicle.
For more information contact NTCOSS on 08 8948 2665 or
Applications close 12 March 2012.
Conciliator and Senior Review Officer - Health Services
ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate, Human Rights Commission
The Commission provides a fair and accessible process for dealing with complaints about discrimination, health services, disability services, services for older people, community services, and services for children and young people; as well as promoting service improvement and developing awareness in government, and the community, of human rights.
For more information contact Mary Durkin on (02) 6205 2222 or visit
Applications close 12 March 2012.

Various vacancies at Ted Noffs Foundation ACT

Mentoring and Life Skills Coordinator
To work with vulnerable young people at risk of or transitioning from homelessness. The main functions of the role are individual advocacy, training the young person in life skills, setting up and managing healthy mentoring relationships between the young person and their mentor and developing young people’s engagement and capacities through social enterprise.

Alcohol & Other Drugs Worker
Working as a member of a multi disciplinary team in a residential setting. Group management and crisis intervention skills, creativity, initiative and practical life skills and experience are essential along with the ability to organise positive recreational and educational activities.

Receptionist / Office Worker
Duties and responibilities will include courteous and efficient answering of all phone calls, clerical support and office coordination.

Adolescent and Family Counsellor
Work with residential clients from their first contact through to completion. A major aspect of this role is to assist young people to rebuild their relationships with their families and other significant people in their lives and to manage their lives more effectively.

For more information on these roles visit
Some applications close 16 March 2012.

Counsellor - Counselling and Treatment Service, Alcohol and Drug Service
ACT Health Directorate
The Alcohol and Drug Service is a multidisciplinary service within ACT Health, providing a range of specialist services for people affected by alcohol and other drug use. This position will work with a multi skilled team of health professionals to provide a range of psychosocial interventions and services to the community. The successful applicant will be required to have recent demonstrated experience in the provision of comprehensive assessments, counselling  and  group work to a complex standard.
Eligibility/Other Requirements: Tertiary qualifications in Psychology with unconditional registration with the Psychologists Board of the ACT or Social Work with eligibility for membership and accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers, or degree with postgraduate Diploma in Counselling or related discipline. Previous clinical experience is essential. Current drivers licence.
For more information contact Carmel McBride on (02) 6205 1609.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Worker - Casual Positions
Successful applicants will provide casual AOD worker support in programs and services within DIRECTIONS ACT which include Needle and Syringe Program, Outreach and Promotions, Arcadia House and Administration and Reception. A training program (paid) will be provided to successful applicants and attendance to the training, both theoretical and practical elements, is a requirement of accepting the position. A six month tenure is required for all casual positions at DIRECTIONS ACT, with an extension available which is negotiated with the Manager or Executive Director.
For the alcohol and other drugs worker position description and selection criteria visit
For more info, contact Diedre on (02) 6122 8000 (Tuesday to Thursday) or email

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

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Grants and Funding Opportunities

Many of the Grants listed in this section can be found at the ACT Government Grants portal online at or through the Australian Government Grantslink at
Worker Subsidy Grants: 2012 NIDAC Conference
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee
NIDAC has funding to support workers from rural and remote areas to attend the 2012 NIDAC Conference in Fremantle, Western Australia.
NIDAC recognises there are individuals in rural and remote Australia working to address harmful Indigenous alcohol and drug use who often find it difficult to take up opportunities that assist them in keeping abreast of the latest knowledge and best practices being used within the field across Australia.  Workers are also often isolated from other workers in the AOD sector. 
To support these workers who otherwise may not be able to attend the Conference, applications are now being accepted for Worker Subsidy Grants.
The Worker Subsidy Application package can be obtained by accessing the 2012 NIDAC Conference website: Worker Subsidy Grants
For more details about the 2012 NIDAC Conference go to: NIDAC Conference
Applications Close Friday 9 March, 2012
Small Grants Program
The Australian Rechabite Foundation
Organisations that seek to prevent alcohol-related harms are invited to apply for grants of up to $25,000 through the ARF’s small grants program.
Organisations must be existing Australian-based entities with Deductible Gift Recipient status (applications from individuals will not be considered)
Organisations may be providers of community support services (including clubs and associations), involved in research, involved in teaching, training or provision of educational services, sporting bodies or associated groups, other groups with objects aligned to the ARF’s mission to build knowledge of the harmful effects of alcohol, inform lifestyle choices and encourage/support change within communities and individuals.
Projects must be grounded in evidence of potential effectiveness, in the case of action projects, address issues which hold promise for reducing alcohol problems, in the case of research projects, undertake to collect and provide evidence of the project’s effects in relation to its aims.
If you are interested in applying for a small grant please email request a copy of the application form.
Applications close 23 March 2012.
Invitation to Tender: Youth Mental Health Step Up Step Down Supported Accommodation
ACT Government Health Directorate
The Health Directorate seeks the services of an organisation to operate a youth Step Up / Step Down residential mental health service for people aged 18 to 25 years, for up to three (3) months, using a case management approach.
For further information contact Julie Buttriss on 02) 6207 3399 or
To access the tender visit
Tenders close 29 March 2012
Community Centenary Initiatives Fund
The year 2013 and the Centenary of Canberra is fast approaching and the ACT Government is keen to support high quality, community driven projects, events and initiatives to enhance the program of activity being developed for 2013.
Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, elements of existing festivals and events which particularly relate to the Centenary of Canberra; regional, national or international extensions of events; and projects with community benefit, engagement and legacy.
The ACT Government’s Centenary of Canberra unit, under the guidance of Creative Director Robyn Archer AO is currently planning a year of heightened activity and special programs in 2013 to celebrate this significant milestone in the history of our nation. Visit to familiarise yourself with Centenary programs and progress to date. 
Proposals are invited from organisations or individuals wishing to conduct activities which will enhance the Centenary of Canberra program in 2013.
Projects must be delivered/completed in 2013.
Application details, including a guidelines and application form are available at or call Centenary of Canberra Community Engagement Officer, Mr Dan Watters on 6205 8408.
Applications close on 30 June 2012 or when all available monies have been committed, whichever comes first.

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More support for Indigenous communities to tackle alcohol and substance abuse 
The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Media Release
1 March 2012
Indigenous communities will get extra help to tackle alcohol and substance abuse, with a share in $20 million in funding from the Gillard Government.
The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the Breaking the Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Indigenous Communities initiative delivers on the Government’s election commitment to address the harm caused by alcohol and substance abuse through local, community led solutions.
View the full media release at
New road safety operations team expands drug driving capability
Simon Corbell MLA, Media Release
17 February 2012
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell, today announced the number of officers trained to conduct roadside drug testing would be increased to enable a multipronged approach to roadside operations.
Mr Corbell said that the new team would provide the community with multi-skilled police officers specifically trained to target and remove high risk takers from our roads.
View the full media release at
ACTCOSS asks "Whose Rights?"
ACTCOSS Media Release
13 February 2012
On the fourth anniversary of the Federal Parliament's apology to the stolen generations the ACT Council of Social Service is launching a report advocating actions in a number of areas to ensure
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT can enjoy the same rights as the general community.
'Human rights allow people to vote, have a say in public affairs, move freely, receive healthcare as needed, go to school and go to work. Unfortunately, for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT, various human rights are not being realised,' commented Roslyn Dundas, Director of ACTCOSS.
Read the entire media release at
Download the report 'Whose Rights? Strengthening Human Rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the ACT' at
New System to Crackdown on Prescription Painkiller Abuse
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Media Release
12 February 2012
The Australian Government will set up a new $5 million national electronic records system to combat abuse of controlled drugs including prescription painkillers, said Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek.
The Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs system will be made available to doctors, pharmacists and state and territory health authorities across Australia to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of addictive drugs in real time.
View the full media release at
Grants Announced to Fight Youth Binge Drinking
The Hon Mark Butler MP and The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Media Release
10 February 2012
The Australian Government is continuing its fight against youth binge drinking armed with $10 million to fund 26 community level projects across Australia.
The projects will receive funding of up to $500,000 each in the third round of grants under the Community Level Initiative—part of the Labor Government’s National Binge Drinking Strategy to help combat risky drinking.
The Youth Coalition of the ACT has been awarded$490,594 for the Champions ACT project. The project will increase awareness of alcohol related harm in young people who access entertainment precincts and licensed venues across Canberra.
View the full media release at
New national body to support Medicare Locals
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Media Release
7 February 2012
A national primary care organisation, the Australian General Practice Network, will form on 1 July 2012 a new national body for Medicare Locals–the Australian Government's landmark new primary health care network.
To view the full media release, select the link below:

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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.