ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - March 2013
ATODA eBulletin -

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT

Service User Participation Project
The Service User Participation Project (SUPP) has been established to facilitate the drafting of a Consumer Participation Framework for the ATOD sector. The framework will initially focus on Service User Participation and will provide a framework for providers and service users to enable meaningful participation in the ATOD sector.
A Consumer Participation Forum will be held on the 12th April 2013. The forum will include presentations and workshops on the draft framework, the Service User Satisfaction Survey and Stigma and Discrimination training.
For more information: email or call (02) 6255 4070

ACT ATOD Minimum Qualification Strategy
The ACT is currently in the process of implementing the ACT ATOD Minimum Qualification Strategy (ACT ATOD MQS) for the ATOD sector, which aims to ensure the development and maintenance of a competent and professional workforce. It also aims to ensure that all workers have a shared minimum knowledge and skill base. Under the ACT ATOD MQS it is necessary for all workers employed by ATOD services operated by the ACT Government Health Directorate or community organisations funded by the ACT Government Health Directorate, to either possess the minimum qualification or have an agreed plan and timeline with their agency to meet the minimum qualification within 3 years.

An alternative model of the MQS is being piloted in Semester 1, 2013, which includes industry providers and different delivery modalities. Upcoming dates for the face-to-face delivery for registered participants are:

•    18 – 20 March 2013
•    22 – 24 April 2013
•    20 – 22 May 2013
•    24 – 26 June 2013

Additional pilots are occurring regarding online delivery of the 4 Core Competencies, and post graduate level ATOD units. The outcomes of these pilots will inform the development of the ACT ATOD MQS Policy.

For more information: See ATODA’s website, email or call (02) 6255 4070

First Aid (Subsidised for ACT ATOD Workers)
As part of the ACT ATOD MQS, Senior First Aid will be subsidised for ACT ATOD workers. The training will be held:
Date: 13 May 2013
Time: 8.30am – 5pm
Venue: St Johns Ambulance Service, Deakin
Application: Essential to ATODA, for more information email or call (02) 6255 4070.

Expert, Customised and Evidence Based ACT Specific ATOD Training
It can often be challenging in the ACT to access evidence-based, expert, customised, and industry delivered ATOD education and training. In response to this ATODA has engaged expert trainers and educators across Australia to deliver training and education that can be tailored to your service or organisation’s needs. A diversity of courses is available, and can be customized to meet service needs.
For more information: download the information package  or contact ATODA by email or call (02) 6255 4070.

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

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

ACT ATOD Services Directory
ATODA, in partnership with the ACT ATOD Workers Group are progressing the development of the ACT ATOD Services Directory as an online tool for workers. The new, searchable, electronic version of the Directory will be released in the coming months. Version 9, the current pdf of the Directory, is available in the meantime from ATODA's website

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

Also for other ATODA involvements see: Drug Action Week 2013, Aboriginal Recognition, ACT Budget Consultation, ATOD EDs Group, ATOD Workers Group, Justice Reinvestment, Training, Consumer Participation, Employment.

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Drug Action Week 2013

Drug Action Week is a week of activities held nationally to raise awareness about ATOD issues in Australia and is an initiative of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia. It will be held from 16 - 22 June 2013, with the theme "Drugs, Communities & Families!"
Visit the DAW's website for more information about national activities.

Get Involved in ACT Drug Action Week
Services are again invited to be involved in Drug Action Week in the ACT. ATODA coordinates Drug Action Week in the ACT, and brings together stakeholders to plan activities, develop a promotional Calendar, launch Drug Action Week in the ACT and develop the annual conference. If you would like to be involved email to be added to the ACT contact list.

Save the date: 6th Annual ACT ATOD Sector Conference
The conference, New and Emerging Technologies: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Research, Policy, Practice and Participation, will be held on Friday 21 June 2013 at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra.  
Registrations are (limited to 100 participants) and the conference program will be available in coming weeks
For more information: Visit the ATODA's website.

This conference is supported through the Alcohol and Other Drugs Conference Program which is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the 'Substance Misuse Prevention and Service Improvement Grants Funds' and is managed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

Drug Policy Modelling Program Annual Symposium: In Canberra
Drug Policy Modelling Program, University of New South Wales
This year the Drug Policy Modelling Program (DPMP) Symposium is being held in Canberra during Drug Action Week. The program will be most relevant for those interested or engaged in evidence informed policy development, including researchers, policy analysts/makers and service providers.
Date: Thursday 20 June
Time: 10am – 4pm
Venue: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
Cost:  No registration fees and catering provided.  
RSVP:  As numbers are capped, RSVP's are essential. Please contact Colleen Faes by Friday, 31st May.
For more information: contact Colleen Faes by email

Nominations Open for National Drug and Alcohol Awards (NDAA)
Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, Australian National Council on Drugs, Australian Drug Foundation and Ted Noffs Foundation
Nominations have opened for the 2013 NDAA, which will be presented at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday night, 20 June 2013. The NDAA are a highlight of the annual Drug Action Week and encourage, recognise, and celebrate achievements of the many people and organisations that do exceptional work to reduce the harm and impact of alcohol and other drugs in Australia. The 2013 Awards are being hosted by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) and are open to all people and organisations working across the health and wellbeing sectors.
Award categories include the Prime Minister’s award, Excellence in Prevention and Community Education, Excellence in Treatment and Support, Excellence in Research, Excellence in Services for Young People, Excellence in Law Enforcement, Excellence in Alcohol and Other Drug Media Reporting, Excellence in School Drug Education, Excellence in Creating Healthy Sporting Communities and the Honor Roll which recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution, over a considerable time period, to the alcohol and other drugs field.
Applications close: 30 April 2013
For more information: Visit the NDAA's website, or contact Brian Flanagan by phone (02) 6215 9802 or email

Registrations Flowing in for Drug Action Week 2013
Alcohol and other Drug Council of Australia
Drug Action Week (DAW) 2013 has attracted an early response from health and welling organisations, the education sector, community groups, and police services with more than 100 registrations of events/ activities by 28 February 2013. This number is more than double that of previous years and is an indicator that the overarching theme of “Drugs, Communities & Families!” has been embraced by a wide cross-sector of organisations/ people in all States and Territories wishing to raise awareness of issues around the excessive consumption of alcohol and the misuse of other drugs.
DAW 2013 will be launched nationally by the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Mark Butler MP, at Le Fevre High School in Adelaide on Wednesday, 12 June 2013. Supporting daily themes for DAW 2013 which will run from 16 to 22 June focus on “Illicit Drugs/ Stimulants/ Inhalants” on 17 June, “Alcohol/ Tobacco” on 18 June, “Pharmaceuticals (both script & non-script)” on 19 June, “Families/ Youth Issues” on 20 June, and “Building Resilience” on 21 June.
For more information: visit the DAW's website.

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Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

On 13 February 2013, the House of Representatives passed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012. The Bill includes a statement of recognition of the unique and important place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that largely reflects the wording suggested by the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Bill contains a sunset date of two years.

For further information about these processes see:

ATODA supports constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Visit our website for further details.

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Update: Kava use in the ACT

Kava is listed as a prescription only medicine in the ACT, which means that traditional forms of kava are not legally permitted. Kava may only be used in preparations prescribed by a doctor.
The new section 864 of the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 specifies that the Minister can declare that a public event is exempt from the prescription only requirements for kava. The Chief Minister and Minister for Health granted an exemption to allow the use of kava for cultural purposes at the National Multicultural Festival 2013 and for subsequent events.

For more information:

Kava exemption for National Multicultural Festival
ACT Government media release, 6 February 2013

Kava to be allowed at all multicultural festivals
The Canberra Times, 6 February 2013
See the article

Use of Kava to be allowed at Canberra Multicultural festival
Radio Australia, 10 February 2013
Listen to the radio clip

The Australian Kava Movement
Visit the website

Kava Facts
Australian Drug Foundation
Visit the website

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods (Kava Exemption) Amendment Regulation 2013 (No 1)
Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory Explanatory Statement, January 2013 and the Amendment Regulation 2013

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Release of Request For Tender for review of the drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services sector

The Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing have released a request for tender to engage a consultant to undertake a national review of the drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services sector in collaboration with states and territories, peak bodies and other key stakeholders.  
The objectives of the review are to achieve:
  • clarity as to the range of services currently funded, their distribution and the demographic groups targeted by these services;
  • a common understanding amongst governments and the sector of current and future service needs and where there may be service gaps, either in relation to service type, geographic area and/or demographic groups;
  • clarity as to the type and timing of drug and alcohol funding activities undertaken by governments; and
  • the development of a resource to help focus future government funding activities to ensure resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver quality, sustainable drug and alcohol services that respond to the needs of individuals, families and communities.
Interested parties with experience and expertise in the drug and alcohol prevention and treatment services sector and government funding processes, are encouraged to participate in the tender process.
For more information: Visit the AusTender's website, contact Susan Cadman by phone (02) 6289 7174 or email

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ACT Government Budget Consultation 2013-14

Mr Andrew Barr MLA, Treasurer of the ACT, invited ACT residents, community and business groups, unions, and other stakeholders to share their views on the development of the 2013-14 Budget.  For further information about the ACT Budget consultation process visit the website.

ATODA submission
The requests for funding in ATODA’s submission are modest and considered within the context of the challenging fiscal realities of the ACT economy and Canberra’s ambitious social policy agenda. The priorities identified therefore are those which would seek to have a long term benefits for individuals, families and communities of Canberra.
ATODA acknowledges the ACT Government for its ongoing commitment to engaging with the community to identify resourcing priorities through the ACT Budget consultation process.
ATODA’s submission includes the following five initiatives to prevent and reduce ATOD related harms in the ACT:
  1. Collaboratively develop an evidence-informed ATOD outpatient services model for the ACT, which aligns with the ACT Labor Government’s election commitment with funding commencement in 2013/14, with the service to begin in 2014.
  2. Provide subsidised nicotine replacement therapy (not currently covered on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) to provide equity across non-government and government ATOD service consumers and to complement tobacco reduction and cessation interventions.
  3. In preparation for the opening of the Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm in 2014, commence the development and implementation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ATOD Workforce Development Strategy, including placements and traineeships.
  4. To reduce young people’s involvement with the criminal justice system, promote their safety and that of the community, and to address problematic alcohol consumption through providing a health intervention by expanding sobering up services in the ACT to accommodate referrals for young people under 18 years of age.
  5. To prevent chronic disease and promote healthy behaviours and workplaces, by:
  • Including, as a requirement of ACT Government funding, health agencies develop and implement workplace tobacco management  policies and programs particularly for those who work with disadvantaged groups who have high smoking rates.                 
  • Supporting non-government health services funded by the ACT Government to develop and implement workplace tobacco management policies.

The full submission can be read here.
90 submissions were made by a range of ACT stakeholders and are available from

Submissions to the ACT Government Budget Consultation
All submissions to the ACT Government Budget consultation can now be viewed online at

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group

The first meeting of the Executive Directors Group meeting for 2013 was held in February.  The group discussed a range of issues including:
  • ACT AOD Rehabilitation Services Review Draft Implementation Plan;
  • Discussion and feedback on the new Community and Work Order Program in the ACT;
  • ACT Budget 2013/14 Consultation; and
  • Other service and policy updates.
For more information: Please contact Vera Van De Velde, Chair on or for further information about the group visit ATODA's website

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group met on 7 February 2013, and are progressing work across a range of areas. If you would like to get involved, please review the information below and liaise with the Workers Group representative from your agency. Activities / discussions include:
  • Reviewing and developing a new Workers Group workplan. If you have any suggestions regarding the work of the group please email
  • Progressing the ACT ATOD Services Directory update, including transitioning the Directory to a new online format. 
  • Coordinating sector-wide training in ATOD case notes (hosted by Directions and delivered by Turning Point). 
  • Discussing workforce development challenges and opportunities, particularly as they relate to the ACT ATOD sector Minimum Qualification Strategy (this will be an ongoing conversation).
For more information: Please see the ACT ATOD Workers Group webpage.

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Justice Reinvestment
Value of a Justice Reinvestment Approach to Criminal Justice in Australia Inquiry
Parliament of Australia
Justice reinvestment diverts some of the money spent on prisons and puts it into communities where there is a high concentration of offenders, reinvesting the funds into education, programs and services that address the underlying causes of crime in these communities. This Inquiry will look at a number of issues, including: the economic and social costs of imprisonment; the over-representation of disadvantaged groups within Australian prison; and the cost, availability and effectiveness of alternatives to imprisonment, including prevention, early intervention, diversionary and rehabilitation measures.
Submissions close: 13 March 2013.
For more information: Visit the Parliament of Australia's website or contact the committee secretary by phone (02) 6277 3560 or email
ATODA, the Mental Health Community Coalition ACT and the ACT Council of Social Service are preparing a joint submission to this process. To provide input email
Indigenous Incarceration and Economic Modelling Reports
Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) and National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Committee (NIDAC)
ANCD & NIDAC submitted reports on the indigenous incarceration and economic modelling.
For more information: see the media release, the Deloitte Access Economics Report, the updated NIDAC Paper on Indigenous Issues or see the Sydney Morning Herald article
Jail costly way to tackle scourge
Canberra Times, 12 February 2013
With nearly $3 billion spent each year in Australia on building and operating prisons, the daily cost borne by ACT taxpayers is nearly double that of the national average. The cost of imprisoning someone at the Alexander Maconochie Centre is $595 per day, whereas the national average is $315. As a result, it is likely that the cost saving of diverting non-violent offenders to residential drug treatment instead of prison could result in a far greater saving to the ACT government than the national estimate. Alcohol and drug problems contribute to people becoming involved in the criminal justice system so by addressing these underlying problems we may be able to reduce high incarceration rates for non-violent offenders.
For more information: See the article

Aborigines in custody solution needs a correctional facility
Canberra Times, 28 February 2013
The recently released report sponsored by the Australian National Council on Drugs' national indigenous drug and alcohol committee under the title An Economic Analysis for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Prisoners: Prison v Residential Treatment prepared by Deloitte Access Economics deserves close scrutiny as it addresses an issue which is of great concern to many Australians.
For more information: See the article
Jail alternatives
Canberra Times, 16 February 2013
Comment in support to Ms Fowlie suggestion (''Jail costly way to tackle scourge'', February 12) that the ACT should have an adult drug and alcohol court - not a criminal one, but an administrative one similar to what they have in Sweden. To avoid the revolving door of use-rehab-use, the more successful drug-free treatments would need to be adopted in a private and/or government-funded residential rehabilitation centre.
For more information: See the article
ACT’s prison design is a fundamental problem
Canberra Times, 15 February 2013
In the recent commentary about the ACT’s prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, a fundamental point has been missed: the design is flawed. Specifically, the requirement to house all categories of detainees within a relatively small prison population of about 300 means that it will always be difficult to properly meet everyone’s needs.
For more information: See the article

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Joint submission to the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council: Consultation on AOD VET qualifications
ATOD Peaks and the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction
The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector offers several AOD-specific qualifications, including the Cert IV (AOD), Dip CS (AOD), Dip CS (AOD/MH), and AOD skill sets/stand alone units. It is of the utmost importance that these qualifications equip the future AOD workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively deal with AOD issues. However, recent research and discussions with key stakeholders have highlighted significant reservations pertaining to the delivery and quality of these qualifications. There exist several issues of concern regarding the qualifications themselves, the trainers and student outcomes.
This submission provides information on the challenges currently facing AOD education, and recommendations for improving VET sector AOD qualifications.
For more information: See the Final Submission
Future Direction of the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program
ACT Government Health Directorate
The ACT Government Health Directorate is seeking input into the future direction of this program, and has released a discussion paper to help inform a consultation process about delivery of its future activities. The discussion paper provides background information and detail about the key question being consulted upon. Written submissions are encouraged as part of the community consultation.
Submissions close: 5pm Friday 22 March 2013
For more information: See the discussion paper or call (02) 6205 1325.
Canberra’s Public Hospitals: Feedback Sought
ACT Local Hospital Network Council
The ACT Local Hospital Network is seeking feedback on Canberra’s public hospitals. In particular, they want to get a good idea of “consumer experiences ranging from the contact, treatment and care given within the ACT public health system”.
Consultations close: 30 April 2013
For more information: visit the ACT Health Directorate's website

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Community Sector Reform

Remove gag clauses legislation welcomed!
Community Council for Australia
Finance Minister Penny Wong will introduce into the Senate a motion banning gag clauses in all Federal government contracts with the not-for-profit sector.
According to Rev Tim Costello, Chair of the Community Council for Australia (CCA) and CEO of World Vision, ‘this is a welcome move that acknowledges the important role of charities and not-for-profit organisations in our communities.  Civil society is at its best when the voice of the not-for-profit sector can be heard loud and clear.  The removal of gag clauses is a critical part of the reform process, and one charities and not-for-profits will strongly welcome.’
For more information: See the media release

At last – Charities finally recognised
Community Council for Australia
It has been announced that the Australian Capital Territory will join the South Australian government in exempting nationally registered charities from also having to register in the ACT has been warmly welcomed.  More charities are now questioning why other states are not offering the same level of support to charities when the case for change is so clear. 
For more information: See the media release

Phase II of the National SACS Education and Information Workshops ACT
National Disability Services, Australian Council of Social Services and Jobs Australia
The workshops will update participants on ongoing changes to the industrial landscape within the disability and community sectors, including:
  • clarification of employer obligations under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services (SCHADS) Modern Award, including penalty and loading phasing requirements;
  • Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) payments for 2013, and how to use tools such as pay tables and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) ERO calculator;
  • the impact of the Modern Award Review including changes made in November 2012 affecting some provisions such as rosters, sleepovers and breaks between shifts;
  • addressing employers' questions, concerns and challenges in meeting IR obligations and how funding arrangements affect them;
  • the opportunity to gain practical advice and guidance on how to manage issues that have arisen following the implementation of the Modern Award and the first instalment of ERO supplementation funding;
  • ACT Territory specific issues.
Date: 19 March 2013
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Level 1 meeting room, Weston Community Hub, 1/6 Gritten Street, Weston ACT
For more information and to register: Visit the NDS's website
Confirm your charity details with the Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
If your charity has been transferred from the ATO to the ACNC, you should confirm your details.
For more information: visit the ACNC's website

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Health Reform

The National eHealth Record System
Australian Government and ACT Health Directorate
New information is available from the ACT Government regarding eHealth in the ACT, including information for healthcare providers.
For more information: Visit the ACT Health Directorate's website
The new eHealth record system is a landmark initiative of the Australian Government to streamline and enhance patient care. Now, with patient consent, an ehealth record can be created to linking key information. This means that no matter where people are in Australia (or which doctor or hospital they visit) a summary of peoples healthcare information will be available to assist in diagnosis and treatment.               
For more information: visit the eHealth's website, call 1800 723 471, or visit your nearest Medicare office

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Sector Development, Activities and Events

Local Health Connections - Regional Network Meetings
ACT Medicare Local
Stakeholders are invited to attend a series of 5 regional network meetings to discuss health services in local areas:
Focus area: Health care for the marginalised communities
Date: Thursday 14 March
Time: 6- 8pm
Venue: Raiders Club Kippax (Belconnen)
Focus area: Health care connections for families with teenagers
Date: Thursday 4 April                          
Time: 6-8pm
Venue:  Southern Cross Club (Tuggeranong)
Focus area: Health care connections for the vulnerable
Date: Thursday 14 May
Venue: Yatch Club Marquee (South Canberra)
Time: 6-8pm
Focus area: Health care connections for young families
Date:  Thursday 30 May       
Venue:  Gungahlin Lakes Golf Club  (Gunghalin)
Time: 6-8pm 
Focus area:  Health care connections for young adults
Date: Thursday 13 June
Venue: Ainslie Football Club (North Canberra)
Time: 6-8pm
For further information please download the invitation and registration form.
Register online at, for individual events, or email with your preferences or call (02) 6287 8099

Survey – National Representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Alcohol and Other Drug Workers and Organisations 
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC)
The NIDAC is seeking participants who would like to share their views on national representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug workers and organisations.
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
For more information: See the survey, or visit the websites,

Community Seminar: Exploring Complex Needs
Institute of Child Protection Studies
Recently there has been the emergence of the term ‘complex needs’ across health and community services. The term encompasses individuals who require service across areas of health, welfare and other community based services. Professor Baldry will talk about her research which focuses on complex clients who are high service users. Her research uses data linkage across NSW Government service delivery, including child protection, education, justice, disability, health, housing and police. There are important lessons through this research about how we intervene early and work together in the ACT to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.
Date: 18 April 2013
Time: 1:30pm – 3pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Room 6, Griffin Centre, Genge St, Canberra
For more information: See the ICPS Seminar Flyer or email
Seminar and Launch of Identity and Meaning for Vulnerable Young People
Institute of Child Protection Studies
This seminar will launch the final report of the Identity and Meaning for Vulnerable Young People Project. Debbie Noble-Carr, Research Associate at the Institute of Child Protection Studies will present the findings from this qualitative study which aimed to explore the role and potency that concepts such as identity, and a search for meaning, have in the lives of vulnerable young people.
Date: 16 April 2013
Time: 2pm – 4:30pm
Cost: $15 (includes afternoon tea and a copy of the report)
Venue: Australian Catholic University Canberra Campus, 223 Antill St, Watson
For more information: See the ICPS Seminar and Launch Flyer  or email
Social Determinants of Health Alliance
Social Determinants of Health Alliance (SDOHA)
The Social Determinants of Health Alliance (SDOHA) is a collaboration of like-minded organisations from the areas of health, social service and public policy established to work with governments to reduce health inequities in Australia. Abundant evidence shows that the higher your income or level of education in Australia, the better your health will tend to be. People in the most disadvantaged social groups are also far more likely that those in the higher socioeconomic groups to have long-term physical or mental health problems.
For more information: Visit the SDOHA's website
Subsidy for Groundbreaking Hepatitis C Treatments
Department of Health and Ageing
More than 130,000 patients will benefit from new and extended subsidies of important medicines each year through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Among the listings, announced by Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek are two groundbreaking new treatments for chronic hepatitis C. The government will provide more than $220 million over five years to subsidise the drug boceprevir (Victrelis®) and telaprevir (Incivo®), which will double the cure rate and shorten the treatment by six months.
ATODA warmly welcomes this great news and congratulates every individual involved in this accomplishment without whom this outcome would not have been possible.
For more information: See the media release
Other related news releases: see The Australian article, the News article,  The Sydney Morning Herald article, The Age article or listen to the ABC radio clip
Low Literacy Resources About Cannabis
The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)
In collaboration with community groups and agencies that work with young people, NCPIC has produced a range of low literacy information resources, based on existing NCPIC resources. These resources, comprising of four booklets and five accompanying posters, contain very little text, instead attempting to convey important messages through culturally appropriate images. The resources developed for this project are booklets (What is cannabis; Cannabis and the law; Cannabis and addiction; Cannabis and pregnancy), posters (Cannabis and motivation; Cannabis and the law; Cannabis and pregnancy; Cannabis and mental health; Cannabis and dependence). The booklets and posters have been through a rigorous focus testing process, with both NCPIC’s consortium partner, Orygen Youth Health and community organisation, Youth Off The Streets, providing advice and assistance.
For more information: Visit the NCPIC's website
Launch of the Centre for Research Excellence for Mental Health and Substance Use and the Centre of Research Excellence for Suicide Prevention
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Two national research centres have been launched by Federal Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and Federal Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler. The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use will focus on prevention and treatment. It aims to break down single disorder silos by generating significant new research on the prevention, treatment and epidemiology of comorbid mental health and substance use disorders. The Centre of Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention will involve clinical and research experts from around Australia, and aims to test new delivery options for inventions, investigate models of suicide causation including social patterns and gene-environment interactions, improve help-seeking behaviour nation-wide and inform government on funding priorities.
For more information: Watch the ABC News video, or see the Sydney Morning Herald article, the Australian article and the ProBono Australia article

Nominations for the 2013 ACT Health Promotion Awards Now Open
Health Promotion, Health Directorate and ACT Medicare Local
The ACT Health Promotion Awards aim to recognise the critical role of health promotion and prevention in the primary health care setting. These Awards recognise local outstanding achievements and innovative contributions to health promotion practice within the ACT. 
Nominations are encouraged from all areas of health promotion in the ACT, including in the primary health care setting.  Programs and initiatives, which have not received funding from the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program, are eligible to nominate. Programs, which have been funded by the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program, will be assessed through a separate process.
Nominations close: 5 April 2013
For more information: Visit the ACT Health Directorate's website or call 6207 9527
Nominations for the 2013 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards Now Open
Volunteering ACT
Volunteering ACT is calling for nominations for the 2013 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards. The Awards offer Canberrans the opportunity to publicly recognise the generous voluntary service of individual volunteers and teams of volunteers who make such a difference to our city. This year nominations are invited for both individuals and teams in the following categories: Young Person (Under 25); Arts & Environment; Community Care and Health; Community Services; Education, Science and Technology; Sport & Recreation; and Emergency Services. In addition, in celebration of Canberra’s 100th Birthday, there is a special category to nominate an individual who has contributed over 50 years of voluntary service to the ACT community.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony held during National Volunteer Week in the second week of May at Old Parliament House.
Applications close: 5 April 2013.
For more information: Visit the Volunteering ACT's website

Training and Professional Development

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

ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
ATODA, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCCA) and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Comorbidity Bus Tour seeks to increase the capacity of frontline workers to support people experiencing co-occurring ATOD and mental health issues (comorbidity). The Comorbidity Bus Tour visits a variety of services in the ACT from the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD), mental health and youth sectors.
The next Comorbidity Bus Tour for 2013 will be Tour B on Wednesday 20 March.
For more information: Visit ATODA's website, email or call (02) 6247 3540
Workshop: Aboriginal, Culture, History & Heritage Training
ACTCOSS & Kerry Reed-Gilbert, 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 peoples.
Date: 5 April 2013
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm
Cost: ACTCOSS member $165, Non-members $235, Government/Corporate $305
Venue: Level 1 meeting room, Weston Community Hub, 1/6 Gritten Street, Weston ACT 2611
For more information: See the ACHH Registration form, email or call (02) 6202 7200

Volunteering Into the Future – the next 100 years - Symposium
Volunteering ACT
Volunteering ACT is hosting a one-day Symposium exploring how the volunteering sector will evolve and change into the future and how volunteering programs can achieve their full potential in a new and challenging environment.
Date: 27 March 2013
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Cost: $120 members/$220 non-members before 15 Feb 2013, $150 members/$250 non-members after
Venue: NATSEM Building 24, University of Canberra
For more information and to register: See the Symposium program, visit the website or call (02) 6251 4060

Workshop: Raising the Standard training
Raising the Standard Training is a practical workshop to assist participants implement quality improvement in community organisations.
Many organisations have a requirement to use Raising the Standard (RTS) as part of service funding agreements. This workshop is for people who want to learn about:
  • The service standards developed for ACT community organizations which meet ACT Government funding requirements;
  • The self-assessment process and tool;
  • How to use the standards in a quality improvement process; and
  • How to write a quality improvement workplan.
Additionally this workshop will introduce the Cultural Awareness Self-Assessment Toolkit (CASAT), a set of good practice standards developed to assist community organizations improve the quality of their services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities and to improve the organisation’s knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
Date: 7 March 2013
Time: 10:00am – 3:30pm
Cost: ACTCOSS member $80, Non-members $95, Government/Corporate $115
Venue: ACTCOSS meeting room, Weston Community Hub, 1/6 Gritten Street, Weston ACT 2611
For more information: contact Lisa by phone (02) 6202 7200 or email
Kids Central Toolkit: Workshop on child and young person centred approach
Institute of Child Protection Studies, ACU
The Kids Central toolkit provides workers with practical ideas and tools to adopt a child and young person centred approach to their work. This two-day workshop introduces participants to the Toolkit and how it can be used. It aims to provide workers with a theoretical and practical context for why it is important to work with children and young people, the key messages that they have identified about how they might be best supported, and opportunities to use and reflect upon the tools in the Toolkit. This training is appropriate for all workers and practitioners that support and engage with children and young people. 
Date: 20 and 21 March 2013
Time: 9:00am – 5pm
Cost: $300 (includes full catering on both days, a Kids Central Toolkit valued at $90, and a set of Kids Central posters)
Venue: Canberra Campus, Australian Catholic University, Antill St, Watson
Registration: Complete the Registration form and return to Jane Lawson by email or fax on (02) 6209 1228
For more information: See the Workshop flyer or visit ACU's website

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Conferences and Symposiums

2013 Australian Winter School conference
Lives Lived Well
The alcohol and drug sector in Australia has and is experiencing pressures and changes which both have major implications for the development of responsive and sustainable services into the future.
The drivers of change include–the growing concept of recovery, patterns of substance use, a recognition of co-morbidity issues, both a scarcity and competition for funding and resources, pragmatism and misperceptions in the treatment and support of AOD issues existing outside the sector, and the increasing importance of demonstrated outcomes.
A must attend event for workers and clinicians in the alcohol and drug sector, this year’s conference – Limited Resources, Unlimited Ideas, will show case how new ideas, new practice, new models of treatment and new approaches can achieve not just results, but efficiencies.
It’s a chance to learn and to find out how the AOD sector is alive with opportunities and turn great ideas into action!
The 2013 Australian Winter School – connecting the alcohol and other drug sector | igniting debate and discussion | sharing new ideas, practices and research.
Date: 17-19 July 2013
Cost:  Before 31 May 2013 – Full Delegate $495, Day Delegate $275, Cocktail party-networking forum $55, Workshop $330.
Venue: Novotel Brisbane, 200 Creek St, Brisbane
For more information: Visit the Conference website, or contact Michelle Bordignon, event manager, by phone 07 3834 3333 or email
PHAA National Social Inclusion and Complex Needs Conference
Public Health Association Australia (PHAA)
It has long been acknowledge that people with complex needs often fall through the crack in service delivery – between national and jurisdictional service deliver, between government and non-government services, and between services delivered by different portfolio agencies. This conference seeks to identify and showcase successful collaborative efforts in service delivery, with a view to informing whole-of-government approaches to policy ad program development.
The conference will be an excellent opportunity to hear the most recent research and practitioner wisdom and to make your own contribution to breaking down structural and systemic barriers to achieving better health and social outcomes for people with complex needs.
Date: 15-16 April 2013
Cost: From 9 March 2013 – Member Full Registration $650, non-member Full Registration $750
Venue: Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Canberra
For more information: Visit PHAA's website
APSAD Scientific Conference 2013: Bridging Knowledge and Practice
Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
This conference will feature an exciting program which includes international and national speakers, focussing on new treatment, prevention and policy in the areas of drugs and alcohol research. The conference will include local issues and content relevant to our region, but will also offer a range of presentations and workshops that have international relevance. Featuring original work from the field, the conference program will continue to encourage alternative presentation styles such as film, yarning circles and artwork whilst maintaining conventional modes of presentation styles such as oral and poster presentations, participatory workshops, debates/discussions and late breakers. This year we will also be targeting clinicians and front line workers, with translational research as well as continuing to include the latest content from criminal justice system interventions, workforce development, research, and health policy, to mention just a few topic areas.           
Important dates: call for abstract 11 March; registration 22 May; Early bird registration deadline 4 September 2013.
Date: 24 27 November 2013
Venue: The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Queensland
For more information: Visit the APSAD Conference website, email or call (02) 9265 0700
ACOSS National Conference 2013: The Heart of the Economy
Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)
The ACOSS National Conference this year will put important social policy issues at the forefront of current economic debates and the election agenda. ACOSS has invited both the Prime Minister Juila Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbot to present their election platforms to the community sector at the opening of the conference.
Date: 25 26 March 2013
Cost:  Before 14 February – Members $540, Non-members $720, Concession $115
Venue: The National Wine Centre, Corner of Botanic and Hackney Roads, Adelaide, South Australia
For more information: Visit the ACOSS Conference website, email or call (02) 9310 6202

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Service Delivery and Referral

This section contains details about new or updated services that accept referrals. For a complete listing of ACT services, please see the ACT ATOD Service Directory

Stepping Stones to Success- 2 weekend workshop for family members of AOD dependants
Family Drug Support
This 2 weekend course brings together family members to share common challenges and strategies.  Harnessing and sharing collective experiences, wisdom and skills can be life changing for families.  
Stepping Stones aims to increase confidence and competence in managing complex drug and alcohol issues.  It also provides skills to better manage the relationship with the user.  This will create a more positive environment for the user towards better outcomes.  The course is a reality based approach that includes self care and valuing self.  Becoming more resilient will assist family members to cope better with their journey and ultimately survive the journey intact.
Please note that this course is not for those who are actually using drugs and/or alcohol.
Dates: 16-17 and 23-24 March
Venue: Canberra Hospital Garran, Level 1, Training Room 2, Building 5
Cost: $60 (FDS members $40). Fee assistance is available.
Registration and for more information: Visit FDS's website, call 0402 604 354 or email

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Newsletters, Magazines and Updates

Of Substance magazine
The National Magazine on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
Of Substance covers the latest Australian and International news and research on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. It is essential reading for organisations and individuals who provide services to those affected by substance use.
For more information: see the latest issue March 2013 or visit the OfSubstance's website
Australian National Council on Drugs Prison Issues Updates (PIU)
Australian National Council on Drugs
The PIU provides information sourced from the ANCDs regular media and policy monitoring activities and information services provided by external organisations.
For more information: see the latest February 2013 issue

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

Healthier Work Newsletter
National Partnership on Preventative Health
This issue of the healthier work newsletter covers topics including workplace resolutions, number crunch and health workplaces audit tool.
For more information: See the Healthier Work newsletter

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Consumer Participation

Consumer Participation Forum
A Consumer Participation Forum for the ACT ATOD sector will take place on the 12th of April 2013. The forum will include presentations and workshops on the draft Consumer Participation Framework, the Service User Satisfaction Survey and Stigma and Discrimination training.
For more information: email or call (02) 6255 4070
Testing 123… Hepatitis C Testing for Injecting Drug Users – New Resource Just Released!
Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League
The AIVL has just released a new resource for people who inject drugs on hepatitis C testing. It is a resource for people who inject drugs to inform them of the importance of regular testing for hepatitis C. It includes information on what the different tests mean, what you need to know before a test, how the virus is transmitted, it's effects, information about the liver, and how to protect yourself from getting hepatitis C. This resource is a must for anyone with a history of injecting drug use and anyone wanting more information on hepatitis C testing.
For more information: Visit the AIVL's website or email
Survey: Canberra LGBTIQ Community
Diversity ACT
Diversity ACT is conducting a survey to obtain quantitative data on the actual experiences of LGBTIQ individuals and communities in the ACT. The data will be used to provide feedback on several issues, including respondents’ experiences of discrimination, existing services within the LGBTIQ community, and what services they would most like to see provided by a new LGBTIQ centre.
Participants have the chance to win a JB Hi-Fi voucher.
For more information: See the survey
Seeking young people aged 12-18 to participate in Children of Prisoners Research Project
Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS)
The Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) is undertaking a research project in the ACT on behalf of SHINE for Kids, to explore the needs of children and young people who have, or have had, a parent incarcerated in the ACT. This research will produce new insights into how service systems might work more effectively and responsively together to reduce future involvement in welfare, health and criminal justice systems.
ICPS is seeking young people aged 12-18 years, and their parents or carers who have experienced parental incarceration, to participate in an interview. Participants will be reimbursed with a $40 gift voucher for providing their time and expertise.
For more information: contact Vicky Saunders by phone (02) 6209 1219 or email
“Advocate for change” workshop
Health Care Consumers’ Association
Are you interested in building effective advocacy skills ad developing an Advocacy Action Plan on your own issue during the workshop? This workshop will work on two levels: skills for self-advocacy and collective advocacy.  It will have a health issues focus but is suitable for almost any topic.
Date: 8 April 2013
Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: MacKillop House Conference Centre, 50 Archibald St, Lyneham
For more information: Register by contacting HCCA by phone 6230 7800 or email 

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors

National Youth Week 2013
Youth Coalition of the ACT
National Youth Week as an annual, weeklong celebration of young people (aged 12-25) throughout Australia, It is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments and Beyondblue.
As part of National youth Week 2013, the Youth Coalition of ACT is holding a Festival in Garema Place. The Festival will feature young performers, artists and musicians; youth and community service stalls, competitions and lots of activities.
Date: 5-14 April 2013
For more information: visit the Youth Week's website

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Employment and Volunteering Opportunities

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

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

Project Officer – Part-time
ACT Government’s Health Directorate
The ACT Government’s Health Directorate is looking for a part-time temporary ASO6 to further develop, implement and evaluate the ‘Beyond Today... it’s up to you’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tobacco and healthy lifestyle campaign, in consultation with community partners and stakeholders.  To get access to the advert please:
1.     Go to
2.     Click on “Current Vacancies” tab.  This then opens a new window. 
In the Job Number field, enter the code 00B93

Psychologist – Part-time
Karralika Programs
Karralika Programs operates a range of programs, including the Solaris Therapeutic Community (in a corrective services setting), the Karralika Therapeutic Community (Adult and Family Programs), the Nexus Program (incorporating the Men's Halfway House Program and After-care Program), the Early Birds and Outreach Program, and drink drug driving education programs.
The position of Psychologist focuses on the provision of clinical advice for the development and design of programs, as well as staff clinical supervision.
This position is required to work within the operational and clinical practice guidelines and policies of Karralika Programs Inc.  The Psychologist will contribute to the overall strategic objectives of the organisation, adhering to and actively promoting the Karralika Programs Inc. vision and mission.
Salary packaging including PBI fringe benefits-free threshold is available.

Essential Qualifications and Skills
  •  Undergraduate Psychology Degree (4 years)
  •  General AHPRA Registration
  •  Experience in the Alcohol and Other Drugs sector gained through previous appointments, service or study.
Key Selection Criteria
  • Experience in working with individuals with a Substance Use and Mental Health Disorder,  vulnerable children and families;
  • Experience in working as part of a multidisciplinary team;
  • Experience in provision of clinical supervision and support to other staff;
  • Have a general empathy for those whose lives have been affected by problematic alcohol and other drug use;
  • Adhere to professional and agency ethics, boundaries and practices; and have a flexible work attitude.
Applications close: 2 April 2013
For more information: Contact Camilla Rowland or Sharon Tuffin by phone (02) 6163 0200 or email

Expressions of Interest Sought for the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Sexual health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases
ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Sexual Health HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases (SHAHRD)
SHAHRD was formed in 2001 to provide strategic advice to the Minister of Health from consumer and community perspectives, on issues related to the health and well-being of all ACT residents in the areas of sexual health and blood borne viruses. The ACT Health Directorate is seeking expressions of interest from suitable applicants to fill two vacancies on SHAHRD. Appointments are for a four-year period and are made on the basis of demonstrated skills and attributes of individual applicants, and consideration of the current skills and attributes already represented across the membership. Interested persons should note that SHAHRD membership is not remunerated.
Applications close: 15 March 2013
For more information: Contact Stephanie Marion-Landais by phone 6205 1875 or email
Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Support Worker - Casual
Directions is seeking a casual AOD Support Worker to work across all programs including the Needle Syringe Program (NSP), Arcadia House and Reception as needed. A two-week paid Buddy Shift Program will be provided to the successful applicant.
Responsibilities and duties are to provide casual AOD worker support at programs and services throughout Directions in a range of programs and services across the organisation:
  • Provide AOD Worker support to Arcadia House residential service, including assisting with the Arcadia House program and undertaking duties such as client liaison, administration duties and housekeeping duties commensurate with the position. Actively engage with clients to provide information and referrals;
  • Provide reception/admin duties within Directions including: answering phones, filing, photocopying and faxing, booking appointments, providing referrals and information;
  • Provide support and assistance to the Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) in both locations, including dissemination of free injecting equipment, resources and information;
  • Actively engage with clients to provide information and referrals;
  • Attend to any reporting requirements including statistical entry;
  • Undertake training as required by the organisation;
  • Willingness to work with clients who may present with dual diagnosis/mental health issues.
For more information: Contact Michelle Preston by phone (02) 6122 8041 or email

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Grants and Funding Opportunities

Request for Tender (RFT) released: the development of a quality framework for Australian Government funded drug and alcohol treatment services
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
Australian drug and alcohol treatment data shows that services are in high demand with an increase of almost 5000 treatment episodes from 2009-10 to 2010-11 (Alcohol and other Drug Treatment Services in Australia 2010-11: Report on the National Minimum Data Set collection).
Building on the significant commitment and work achieved to date by the drug and alcohol sector, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing is now seeking tenders from capable and experienced organisations and consortia to undertake the development of an innovative, implementable quality framework for Australian Government funded drug and alcohol treatment services.
Applications close: 3 April 2013
For more information: Tender documentation can be accessed by registering on the AusTender's website, email or call (02) 6289 3945

FARE’s Promoting Good Practice Grants
The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)
FARE is pleased to invite community sector organizations to apply for grants of up to $20,000 to develop solutions to alcohol-related harms. The funds are being provided to develop resources, skills and knowledge to address alcohol issues at a local level. They are looking for proposals that promote good practice, share knowledge, and which can be adopted by other Alcohol Sector organisations.
Applications close: 15 April 2013
For more information: Visit the FARE's website or contact Rosemary White, Senior Projects Officer, by phone (02) 6122 8600 or email

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Women now abusing alcohol at similar levels to men
Canberra Times, 7 February 2013
Research recently released shows young women are now abusing alcohol at levels similar to men.
For more information: See the article
Drink or two in the evening sets scene for nightmare sleep
Canberra Times, 7 February 2013
While it’s true that alcohol acts as a sedative, it also disrupts dreams and shakes up the sleep cycle. Prolonged use of alcohol can cause insomnia, sleep apnoea and snoring.
For more information: See the article
Speed, alcohol charges after Hume crash
Canberra Times, 8 February 2013
A P-plater who had allegedly been speeding while drunk on the Hume Highway north of Goulburn has been charged after a crash which closed the highway and left one woman trapped in her car. The man had his license suspended and was charged with mid range PCQ, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and P1 exceed speed over 20km/h. He is due to appear before Goulburn Local Court next month.
For more information: See the article
Jim Beam brand driven home to children

Canberra Times, 11 February 2013
Jim Beam-branded clothing is being sold to children as young as four, in what public health experts have said is one of the most shocking examples of alcohol advertising they have seen.
For more information: See the article
Fall in teenage binge drinking
Canberra Times, 11 February 2013
Australia’s brewers, ramping up their campaign against government-mandated warnings on alcohol products, have seized on the nation’s latest and largest survey on teenagers’ drinking habits to declare that it “dispels the myth that there is an alcohol crisis in Australia”
For more information: See the article
Punch Drunk

ABC News, 26 February 2013
Australians love a drink, and some see no problem at all with drinking to excess. But now doctors, police and paramedics have called “time”, warning that alcohol-fuelled violence has reached crisis levels.
For more information: See the article
Alarm at smoking rates in health and community sector

The Canberra Times, 5 March 2013
Their jobs often include helping clients to quit smoking but up to half of Canberra’s non-government health and community workers are tobacco users. The ACT government has been urged to use this year’s budget to fund new projects to help health and community workers quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke in the workplace.
For more information: See the article
Expert wary of e-cigarettes as test run looms
The Canberra Times, 4 March 2013
The first Australian clinical trial of e-cigarettes as quit-smoking tools will kick off this year with support for the devices building, but the government and some public health experts remain wary.
For more information: See the article

Senator fires up on smokes shares
Canberra Times, 13 February 2013
The Future Fund has bought shares in a tobacco company that commissioned a report on the economic benefits of people dying prematurely from smoking-related illnesses.
For more information: See the article
Teens entrap tobacco retailers
ABC News, 20 February 2013
Almost half of the Canberra businesses inspected have been caught selling cigarettes to children.
For more information: See the article
Smoking ban causing patients to check out
ABC News, 22 February 2013
ACT Health says some patients have chosen to leave the Canberra Hospital’s new psychiatric facility because of a smoking ban.
For more information: See the article or to get more details about the underlying reasons for this decision listen to this ABC radio clip
Smoking ban causes issues
ABC News, 26 February 2013
Mental health advocates fear a ban on smoking at the Canberra Hospital’s new psychiatric unit is discouraging patients from getting help.
For more information: See the article
New bill would bolster anti-doping
Canberra Times, 7 February 2013
Witnesses who fail to co-operate with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority will face civil penalties under a new bill set to have a profound impact on Australian sport.
For more information: See the article
The economics of drug consumption
Canberra Times, 11 February 2013
From an economic point of view, the decision to use illicit drugs is a rational choice and, as such, is no different from all the other economic choices we make. Our unlimited wants combined with the limited resources we have implies that we cannot have everything and so, therefore we make choices. That includes to take or not to take illicit drugs.            
For more information: See the article
$5 Million for Mental Health Research
Department of Health and Ageing, Latest News, February 2013
Suicide prevention, substance abuse and better mental health planning will be the focus of research efforts at two new Centres of Research Excellence based at the University of NSW.
For more information: See the article
No hard sell needed to rehabilitate, not lock up, indigenous offender
Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 2013
Piece of opinion about indigenous incarceration and the report released by the Australian National Council on Drugs’ indigenous committee
For more information: See the article
Indigenous people a step closer to the constitution
Canberra Times, 13 February 2013
There will be echoes of the 1967 in Parliament House on Wednesday when both sides of politics pass legislation that will give momentum to the push to recognise the first Australians in the nation’s founding document.              
For more information: See the article
ACT has ‘most violent, expensive and least secure prison’: report
ABC News, 31 January 2013
The opposition has labelled the ACT’s jail “the most expensive, most violent and least secure prison” in the country, based on a newly released report.
For more information: See the article
Rehab, not jail, can reap rewards
The Age, 4 February 2013
A former Howard government minister says the ACT could lead Australia in criminal justice reform and save money by sending non-violent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders to drug rehabilitation instead of jail.
For more information: See the article
Prisoner labels AMC ‘most boring jail’
ABC News, 21 February 2013
A prisoner at Canberra’s jail has used his court appearance to complain that it is the most boring jail he has ever spent time in.
For more information: See the article
Affordable housing for Canberra women
ABC News, 21 February 2013
The YMCA in Canberra has opened a new affordable housing project for women.
For more information: See the article
Smile all round as ACT signs up for public dental funds
ACT Government, 4 February 2013
Residents in the Australian Capital Territory will benefit from better access to dental care following a new agreement between the Commonwealth and ACT Governments announced today by Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, and ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher.
 For more information: See the media release

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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.