Welcome to the Alcohol Action Station e-newsletter edition #4.
Issue no. 4
In this Issue
  • welcome to the alcohol action station
  • Impacts of Alcohol: brain development and fasd
  • new alcohol consumption statistics
  • cancer council position statement
  • action station: using local media
  • invitation to drug action week youth forum
  • commissioner for a day challenge
  • invitation to 'the gathering' screening
  • alcohol in the media
  • the facts

Welcome to the Alcohol Action Station

Welcome to edition 4 of Alcohol Action Station. We apologise for the short break in delivering Alcohol Action Station to your inbox – we are back in full force and bring you a jam-packed edition.
Drug Action Week 2011 is right around the corner, 19 - 25 June 2011. Drug Action Week is an initiative of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia and provides communities with the opportunity to promote awareness of alcohol and other drugs. The theme for 2011 is “Looking after YOUR mind”. Events are being held all around Australia – what will you be doing? You can find a calendar of events and ideas on how to participate at Keep reading and you’ll find an invite to a youth forum being held in Perth...
Over the last weeks and months, alcohol has continued to feature prominently in the media. While some media reports showed encouraging movement toward action – such as the announcement of the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition (pdf 112KB) and letters to the editor highlighting community concern – too many reports gave us further reminders as to why swift and meaningful action on alcohol is needed. Young lives forever changed or tragically cut short as a result of alcohol-fuelled violence or drink-driving. Each of these events puts faces and names to the statistics of alcohol-caused harm we read about.
Every one of us can play a meaningful role in bringing closer real action on alcohol which will reduce harm among young people. Through Alcohol Action Station, we aim to provide West Australians with tools and information to support us all to have our voices heard. By sharing Alcohol Action Station with others, you will be encouraging more and more people to be part of the action. Together, we can show how strong the community support is for real action on alcohol!

Until next time,

Julia Stafford, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth
Mary Ashe, Injury Control Council of WA

Forward to a Friend

Impacts of Alcohol: Brain Development and FASD

During 2011, the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research will be hosting a series of ‘Impacts of Alcohol’ forums.

The first forum in the series - held on Friday 27 May - highlighted the impact of alcohol on brain development and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The expert speakers’ forum presentations are available to download from the ‘Taking Action’ page of
Key points made at the forum include:

  • Parts of the brain continue to develop until early 20s.
  • The young brain is more sensitive to the effect of alcohol on brain structural and functional development and adaptation as the prefrontal cortex is still developing.
  • The young brain is less sensitive to cues that serve to moderate alcohol intake.
The presentations discuss a range of topics including risk and protective factors relating to young people and alcohol, the role of the family, environmental influences on young people’s drinking and levels of FASD awareness in Aboriginal communities.

Future forums in the series will be advertised through Alcohol Action Station E-news.

New Alcohol Consumption Statistics

On 3 June 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released estimates of apparent consumption of alcohol based on the availability of alcoholic beverages in Australia.

Estimates of 'apparent consumption' are obtained from information related to supply (for example, excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, and data on imports) and do not represent actual consumption. Key points include:

  • Apparent consumption of Ready to Drink (pre-mixed) beverages decreased 1.9% in 2009-10, following a fall of 30% in the previous year.
  • Apparent consumption of spirits increased slightly (up 0.7% in 2009-10), following an increase of 13% in the previous year.
  • Apparent consumption of wine continued to increase, accounting for 37% of all pure alcohol available for consumption in 2009-10.
  • There was little change in apparent consumption of beer, which accounted for 44% of all pure alcohol available for consumption.
  • There were 10.4 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption per person aged 15 years and over in 2009–10, the same as in 2008-09.
For more information, access the full report Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2009-10.

Cancer Council Position Statement

In early May, Cancer Council Australia released their updated position statement on alcohol and cancer risk. Key messages include:
  • Alcohol use is a cause of cancer. Any level of alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related cancer; the level of risk increases in line with the level of consumption.
  • It is estimated that 5,070 cases of cancer (or 5% of all cancers) are attributable to long-term, chronic use of alcohol each year in Australia.
  • Cancer Council recommends that to reduce their risk of cancer, people limit their consumption of alcohol, or better still avoid alcohol altogether.

Download the full position statement at the Cancer Council Australia website.

Action Station: Using Local Media

Media coverage of alcohol issues is a good way to get the exposure necessary to increase public awareness and get alcohol on the public agenda. Forms of local media include newspapers, radio stations and online news sites that are interested specifically in what’s happening in the local area.  Journalists need to get lots of new stories each week - you might have an idea that interests them!
So why might you want to go to the local media? It may be to...
  • Highlight local examples of alcohol-related harm and ways it could be prevented
  • Raise awareness of a community initiative to reduce harms from alcohol
  • Show community concern about something (e.g. a billboard advertising alcohol outside a school)
  • Draw attention to young people who are doing good things in the community (a good news story)
Before approaching journalists from local media, you’ll give your issue a better chance of being covered if you have considered these points:
  • Is the issue/event about the local area? Emphasise the local angle.
  • How does it affect the local community? Outline how local residents are involved.
  • Is there a picture opportunity? Suggest one or send in your own quality photo.
  • Are you clear on the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’?
  • Is there a local community member available to comment on the issue? Provide their details and make sure they are prepared and on standby.
  • Make sure there’s a sense of urgency to the issue – give them a reason to cover it now.
Thank you to the regional WA journalists who attended the Public Health Advocacy Institute advocacy workshops in 2010 for their valuable tips.
If you are approaching the media on behalf of a community organisation, preparing a media release can be an effective way of getting across the information. For a beginners guide to writing media releases and more media tips, download the Advocacy in Action toolkit created by the Public Health Advocacy Institute (its free!).
What to expect:
Journalists work to tight deadlines and often don’t have direct control over what stories they cover (that’s the editors job). Whether your story gets run will depend on what else is happening at the time – timing is important but you can’t always foresee major events which will compete for the media’s attention. Building rapport with local journalists and being prepared will give you the best chance of success.

Invitation to Drug Action Week Youth Forum

Are you aged 18 – 30 years?
Have you got something to say about alcohol and drinking?

Then we want to hear from you!
The WA Network of Alcohol & other Drug Agencies (WANADA) invites you to join an audience of young people and special guests to talk about alcohol, the culture of drinking and what it all means to you as a young person these days.
When: Tuesday 21 June 2011, 11.30am – 1.30pm
Where: Challenge Stadium Lecture Theatre, 100 Stephenson Ave, Mt Claremont.
Free parking, lunch and refreshments provided.
For more information and RSVP details, see the event flyer (pdf 326KB).

Commissioner for a Day Challenge

A shout out to all Western Australians aged 12-17 years old:

If you were the Commissioner for Children and Young People, what would you do to keep kids and young people safe from the harm caused by alcohol?
Send your ideas and you could WIN an iPad2 and be Commissioner for a Day.
Entries close 15 July 2011.
Visit to enter or see the flyer (pdf 1.6Mb) for more details.

Invitation to 'The Gathering' Screening

The City of Rockingham are hosting a screening of ‘The Gathering’ - the City of Melville’s 27 minute professionally produced drama about a group of adolescents coming face to face with the devastating effects of binge drinking. Professor Mike Daube, MCAAY Director, will be speaking at the event.
When: Wednesday, 22 June 2011, 4.00pm to 5.00pm
Where: Ace Cinema, Rockingham
For more information and RSVP details, see the event flyer (pdf 1.3Mb).

Alcohol in the Media

Don’t forget - if you see a relevant article in your local newspaper, please send it our way.

New group takes stand against alcohol scourge (pdf 112KB)

The West Australian, 9 May 2011
Fears about rising levels of alcohol abuse among young people have prompted 63 WA organisations to form a new coalition, urging all levels of government to act on the tide of community concern. The WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition is the brainchild of Fiona Stanley, founding director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and Mike Daube, director of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.


Top cop takes shot at nightclub booze prices (pdf 75kb)

Perth Now, 1 June 2011
WA Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has called on the liquor industry to better regulate alcohol prices and remove the cost disparity between take-away liquor and alcohol sold at pubs and clubs.


Governments have failed to fix aboriginal ills, admits grylls (pdf 142 KB)

The West Australian, 6 June 2011
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls conceded yesterday that successive governments had failed to solve alcohol and abuse problems in indigenous communities and a new approach was needed.


Stark message for boozy drivers in memories of colourful life (pdf 260 KB)

The West Australian, 6 June 2011
About 500 people released balloons to begin an anti-drink-driving campaign at a service for teen Luke Beyer.


sports and alcohol should not team up (pdf 79KB)

Canning Times/Melville Times/Joondalup Times/Cockburn Gazette/Stirling Times/North Coast Times, 7 June 2011
It is time the Government moved to stop the level of exposure to marketing by alcohol companies during sports broadcasts and prime-time television viewing.


Tough rules for bottle shop near school (pdf 45Kb)

The WestAustralian, 10 June 2011
A bottle shop to be built next to Leeming High School will be banned from selling alcohol to the school’s adult students and must hide its pre-mixed drinks from sight after the school’s principal complained.

Key Facts

  1. Nearly half of 16 -17 year old WA school students report ‘One of the main reasons I drink is to get drunk’.
  2. 80% of alcohol consumed by people aged 14-24 years is consumed in ways that put the drinker’s (and others’) health at risk of short term harm (e.g. falls, assault injuries, road crashes, burns).
  3. On average, 5 Australians under 25 die from injury and disease caused by hazardous drinking in a week.
Alcohol Action Station aims to provide the WA community with the tools to take action to reduce harms from alcohol among young people. It is provided by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth in association with the Injury Control Council of WA. You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to receive Alcohol Action Station fortnightly e‐newsletters and urgent bulletins.

Copyright © 2011 Alcohol Action Station, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp