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ACT ATOD Sector eBulletin - May 2012
ATODA eBulletin -

News from the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT
5th Annual ACT ATOD Sector Conference: 19 June 2012
ATODA in association with the ACT Drug Action Week Planning Group
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Integration and Implementation: ATOD Research, Policy and Practice’.  Speakers include:
        • Mrs Agnes Shea OAM, Ngunnawal Elder
        • Professor Rachel Davey, University of Canberra
        • Dr Alex Wodak, Alcohol and Drug Service, St. Vincent’s Hospital
        • Mr Siosiua Lafitani Tofua’ipangai, Pacific Islander Community Leader
        • Dr Caitlin Hughes, University of New South Wales
        • Associate Professor John Fitzgerald, University of Melbourne
        • Professor Robin Room, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre
        • Dr Phyll Dance, Australian National University
        • Dr Michael Tedeschi, Alcohol and Drug Services, ACT Government Health Directorate
        • Ms Jude Byrne, Australian Illicit and Injecting Drug Users League
        • Associate Professor Lynne Magor-Blatch University of Canberra
Date: Tuesday 19 June 2012
Time: 9am – 5pm
Location: National Portrait Gallery
Cost: ATODA members $87, Non-government, not-for profit $98, Government/Business $109, Student/Concession $55
Registration: Click here to download the registration form, please note numbers are limited to 100 participants.
The conference is targeted at consumers, families and carers, workers, policy makers, and researchers. It is expected that 100 people from both non-government and government services will participate.  For further information visit: or email

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 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

Minimum Qualification Strategy (MQS)
The ACT is currently in the process of implementing the ACT ATOD MQS. There are two groups of students participating in the 4 Core Competencies from the Certificate IV and AOD Work.  The remaining class dates for Semester 1 include:
Group 1 Class Dates and Times:
  • 4 – 6 June (9am – 4.30pm)
 Group 2 Class Dates and Times:
  • 12 – 14 June (9am – 4.30pm)
Other ATODA news and activities are included throughout the eBulletin. 

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Department of Health and Ageing – ACT Funding Cut
ATODA estimates that $1.4 million of Commonwealth funding that has been cut for drug treatment and support services in the ACT.  ATODA understands that:
  • Some ACT organisations operating drug treatment and support programs were advised by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing on 1 May 2012 that funding for some of their programs will cease on 30 June 2012 or 31 July 2012. 
  • The Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing have advised that whilst the overall amount of funding for two programs, the Non-Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program and the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund, have remained the same across Australia, the proportion of these funds allocated to the ACT has been reduced. 
  • It is estimated that the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing has reduced the overall funding to ACT drug treatment and support programs by approximately:
                o   36% for the Non-Government Treatment Grants Program. This equates to a loss of funding of approximately $1 million dollars.
                o   57% to better manage co-occurring mental health and substance use problems through the Substance Misuse Service Delivery Grants Fund (formerly the Improved Services Initiative). This equates to a loss of funding of approximately $400,000.
  • It is estimated that these funding cuts could result in an 8% reduction to the ACT ATOD workforce.
  • The impacts of these cuts are significant across the sector and the Canberra community resulting in reduction of and closure of services, including rendering the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy now an organisation that is not financially viable meaning the ACT would be without a consumer representative organisation.
  • A number of ACT organisations have been advised that their funding applications have been shortlisted by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing for further consideration. However until these further negotiations are complete, it is not clear what programs and level of funding will be received.
  • The ACT Government Health Directorate spends over $15,000,000 annually on alcohol, tobacco and other drug treatment and support services. Of this, approximately $7,000,000.00 goes to Alcohol and Drug Services – Health Directorate and the remainder to non-government treatment and support services.
  • The Health Directorate has advised that it will work with services to be as flexible as possible to re-prioritise programs to be delivered within their core funding from the Health Directorate.
 ATODA is engaging in ACT and national work regarding these issues  For further information about the ACT context or support please contact Carrie Fowlie, Executive Officer, ATODA on (02) 6255 4070 or

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Federal Budget
The 2012/13 Commonwealth Budget was delivered on 8 May 2012.  For information about the budget visit: Several national organisations have conducted an analysis of the budget for the ATOD and community sectors, including:
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
ACOSS has welcomed the overall approach in the Federal Budget, which makes the tax system fairer and will improve the lives of people on low incomes - except for 100,000 of our poorest families.
"This Budget reduces supports and tax breaks for those that need them least, and strengthens them for those that need them the most, except for the poorest sole parents, who are left up to $60 a week worse off," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
On the positive side the Government has made a strong commitment to the NDIS, and for the first time in twenty years increased the unemployment allowance (but by only $4 a week, not the $50 we were looking for). They have also picked up a range of savings by curbing tax-breaks and hand-outs to those on higher incomes. On the negative – the impact of the public service jobs cuts will be felt in Canberra and without the systemic reform of unemployment allowances and the jobs support network we will be experiencing an increase in demand for community support. Also missing was any mention regarding affordable housing initiatives. And the ongoing attack on single parents is disappointing to say the least.
See: or their media releases from 8 May 2012 or 10 May 2012
Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)
PHAAhas welcomed key initiatives in the areas of dental health, rural health and aged care in the 2012-13 Health Budget. Other highlights include additional expenditure on bowel cancer screening and measures to Close the Gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians.
More information: here
Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)
ADCA understands that no additional funding has been allocated to the ATOD sector.
Leaders unite for budget appeal
Canberra Times
7 May 2012
In a rare show of political unity, the ACT's three political leaders have pleaded with Treasurer Wayne Swan to spare the territory further public service job cuts as the federal government tries to deliver a surplus in its budget tomorrow.
Budget 2012: Winners and Losers
Canberra Times
May 8, 2012
Families and Australia's ageing population are the big winners in Treasurer Wayne Swan's fifth budget, which has delivered a razor thin surplus of just $1.5 billion.
Last year's budget was $44 billion in deficit and the Labor government has found $33.6 billion of savings to meet the promised, and much spruiked, surplus.
Budget hits Canberra hard as 4000 jobs axed
Canberra Times
8 May 2012.
The ACT receives slim pickings in new Commonwealth budget spending this year and instead will be hit by thousands of public service job losses and tens of millions of dollars in cuts to operating budgets across major cultural institutions and government agencies.
Charities say PS job losses will hurt many
Canberra Times
10 May 2012.
Charities and other community sector organisations are bracing for more requests for help as public sector job losses begin to bite in the ACT.
Double budget blow for ACT
May 10, 2012
The federal budget has delivered a double hit to the ACT with thousands of jobs to go in the public service and a cut to GST revenue.
Barr to fight back against cuts
Canberra Times
10 May 2012
The ACT government will try save the local economy from a plunge into recession by running budget deficits for the next three years as a response to Tuesday's federal budget.

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Drug Action Week 2012
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
ACT Calendar
An ACT calendar of events has been created identifying activitiesbeing held by services and stakeholders around Canberra during Drug Action Week.  These events are listed on the drug action week website at
ACT Launch of Drug Action Week: 15 June 2012
The Launch of Drug Action Week in the ACT is being conducted by Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA, Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Lisa Pryor, a journalist from NSW and author of the book ‘ A Small Book About Drugs’ will be a guest speaker.  ACT alcohol and drug services will also be holding information stands at the launch.
Date: 15 June 2012
Time: 10:30am – 12pm
Location: Reception Room, ACT Legislative Assembly, London Circuit, Canberra City
Cost: Free
RSVP: Essential to or call 6255 4070
If you would like to host a stand, please contact Kathryn Sequoia at ATODA on (02) 6255 4070 COB: Thursday 7 June 2012.
For more information about Drug Action Week activities please see or contact Kathryn Sequoia, Project Officer, ATODA on or (02) 6255 4070.
Drug Action Week Planning Group
The last meeting for the ACT Drug Action Week Planning Group was held on 3 May 2012.  This group was facilitated by ATODA and brought key stakeholders and interested individuals together to generate ideas and provide input into the development of activities and key events (such as the ACT launch and the annual conference) and was involved in promoting and planning activities for Drug Action Week events in the ACT.

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ACT Infringements System Reform – Important Step Forward
Laws have been passed through the ACT legislative assembly which reform the Territory’s system of traffic fine administration and give people on low incomes a fair go. This legislation establishes:
·       Options to pay fines through installments;
·       A system of community work and social development programs, which people on low income or with special circumstances can undertake in lieu of payments;
·       Options to waive fines in special circumstances;
·       ·Opportunities to provisionally reinstate a person’s license when they are participating in a payment plan (only for licenses suspended for late fines)
Prior to these changes, it had been identified that the ACT’s system required significant reform to mitigate disproportionate impacts on disadvantaged people, including those with ATOD related problems, and be an effective system for collecting revenue.
More information
ATODA welcomes these developments as an important step forward towards reforming the entire infringement system in the ACT. For further details on how ATOD relates to infringements see ATODA’s paper here:

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Health Reform and Primary Health Update
Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People through Closing the Gap Initiatives
ACT Medicare Local
The Closing the Gap team at the ACT Medicare Local can assist people that identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island descent and are managing complex chronic conditions. For general practices and other health services (including ATOD services), Closing the Gap can assist you to support the local community, ensuring that your contribution to closing the gap between mortality and chronic conditions of Indigenous people counts. At the ACT Medicare Local, the Closing the Gap Program includes a Care Coordination and Supplementary Services stream which can help in the following ways;
  • Provide care coordination to Indigenous people who have a chronic condition (this is a broad category of illness, which either looks like it will last 6 months or more or has lasted 6 months or more). Some examples are; cardiac conditions, respiratory conditions, sexually transmitted infection, mental health issues, arthritis, et al;
  • Provide financial service to community members to access timely and affordable specialist services and allied health professionals;
  • Provide assistance to people with matters regarding employment, housing etc;
  • Provide limited transport to clients of the service; and,
  • Provide cultural awareness training and education to GP’s, community organisations and the broader community; and
  • Provide resources to hospitals, GP’s and community organizations
For more information: and download the Frequently Asked Questions document.

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News from the ACT ATOD Workers Group

The ACT ATOD Workers Group met on 3 May 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:
  • Establishing linkages with the Closing the Gap Initiative at the ACT Medicare Local;
  • Contributing to the Core Skills: Screening and Brief Intervention project; and,
  • Finalising contributions to the ACT ATOD Services Directory: Version 9.
For more information:

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News from the ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group

The ACT ATOD Executive Directors Group met in May to progress a range of sector-wide activities including:
  • Establishment of the Reconciliation Working Group
  • Progress of the ATOD Residential Services Review
  • Progress of the ACT Drug Diversion Review
  • Governance Relating to Delivery of Specialist ATOD Treatment and Support Services in the AMC
  • Department of Health and Ageing funding.
For further information please contact Vera Van De Velde, Chair on

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Sector Development, Activities and Events

New WorkSafe ACT Healthier Work service
The WorkSafe ACT Healthier Work service will provide a one-stop shop for workplaces wanting advice on developing and implementing health and wellbeing programs was launched on 7 May by the ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA.
Healthier Work supports and resources include:
  • A workplace health and wellbeing website;
  • A guide to Promoting Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace;
  • Resources to support the implementation of healthy lifestyle programs and policies in the workplace;
  • Free tools, including an online employee health survey and an organisational audit tool;
  • Links to workplace health and wellbeing Service providers; and
  • Training and support mechanisms for employees.
Find out more at the website:
Reduce Your Use: How to Break the Cannabis Habit – Free online program
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)
Reduce Your Use is an evidence-based program aimed at assisting cannabis users quit or lower their use of the drug. It is a fully self-guided online treatment for cannabis use to be tested and supported in a randomized controlled trial.  The program is largely based on a face-to-face brief treatment previously found to be effective for problematic cannabis use.
The therapy is highly personalized, containing several different additional treatment options and individualized documentation for users of the website.  Personalized feedback is also provided throughout the program. 
 Those providing treatment to individuals who are experiencing problems with cannabis use might find it helpful to refer their clients to the online program as an adjunct to treatment. 
The program can be accessed at   

Developing an Inhalant Misuse Community Strategy
Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA)
ADCA’s National Inhalants Information Service (NIIS) has released the second edition of the popular publication, Developing an inhalant misuse community strategy.  Written by Dr Sarah MacLean of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, the updated booklet details strategies in addressing the issue of inhalant misuse at the community level.  It also provides examples of past successful campaigns undertaken by five communities from around Australia.  The booklet is available to download at or order a print version  at no cost from

AIVL Research & Policy Update (Issue 11)
Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League
The articles within this issue cover; spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C, factors associated with uptake of treatment, hepatitis C vaccine preparedness, insight into hepatitis C vaccine development, and future hepatitis C treatments: interferon-sparing combinations.
The update can be found
New website for service assistance programs
ACT Government
The ACT Government has launched a new website to make it easier to find out about assistance programs from the ACT Government, Federal Government and community organisations. An example of some of the assistance programs are housing, food, health and dental, legal adviceore information visit:
New secondary NSP in the Inner North
ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre
The ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre now offers a secondary NSP at 36 David St, Turner (opposite the O’Connor Shops) during office hours. They provide an internal disposal bin, condoms and the usual four and eight pack of injecting equipment. Clients can also access a range of hepatitis information resources, prevention education, treatment support, advocacy and referral.  
For more information, please call 6230 6344 or email
Canberra and District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Sector Worker of the Year - 2012 NAIDOC Awards
ACT Council of Social Service
NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in the first full week in July (Sunday to Sunday) to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2012 NAIDOC Week will be celebrated from Sunday 1 July to Sunday 8 July. This is the time to recognise the many heroes who are providing links between their organisations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, or who have supported Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through their work in the community sector. The Community Sector worker of the Year award recognises the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers at the forefront of this vital work.
Nominations close Monday 18 June 2012.
Download the nomination form here: or email either email OR

NIDAC Strategic Plan 2012-2014
National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC)
NIDAC is the leading voice in Indigenous alcohol and drug policy in Australia. The new NIDAC Strategic Plan 2012-2014 is now available on the NIDAC website.
Along with the new plan are also the Terms of Reference and the Background and Further Information web pages, which can be accessed via the NIDAC website:
Vietnamese language factsheets now available
National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC)
NCPIC has translated 5 of their cannabis factsheets into Vietnamese in an effort to extend the range of ATOD information available to culturally and linguistically diverse communities. These factsheets are available here:
Working with Vulnerable People – External Implementation Advisory Group
ACT Government
The External Implementation Advisory Group aims to provide advice on the progress of the implementation of the scheme, including the development of guidance material about how the scheme will work, represent the expectations of peak bodies, stakeholders and the broader community throughout the implementation of the scheme; promote the scheme to the broader community and provide support to organisations and individuals to become compliant prior to the commencement of the Working with Vulnerable People scheme.
More information can be found at the group's webpage.
Patient pathways study
OfSubstance eBulletin
12 April 2012
In late 2011, the Department of Health and Ageing informed the drug and alcohol sector about a study into patient pathways through the drug and alcohol treatment sector (called Patient Pathways). This study is now well underway and consultations have occurred with several jurisdictions to understand the existing treatment systems in Australia and the study is currently recruiting clients in selected agencies throughout Victoria and Western Australia.
View the full article at

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Training and Professional Development

Core Skills Update: Free ATOD Screening and Brief Intervention Training
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) and ACT ATOD Services
The ACT ATOD sector is seeking to build capacity and consistency to undertake evidence informed ATOD specific brief intervention and validated screening. To support this, the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT, in partnership with ACT ATOD services, have engaged a consultant to develop and deliver training across services.
This training is based on the latest evidence and provides an opportunity for workers to update their core skills with modules on:
  • Drug knowledge (including new and emerging drugs) linked with the most recent harm reduction messages;
  • New forms of Australian validated screening for ATOD using the electronic ASSIST tool (adapted for the ACT context). Further information on the screen is available at;
  • ATOD brief intervention, matched to screening outcomes.
The training is provided by Annie Bleeker, educator and trainer formerly based at theNational Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, University of New South Wales.
Time: 9.30 – 4.30pm
Dates: 21 – 25 May 2012 (BOOKED OUT)
Venues: Various
Cost: Free
RSVP: Kathryn Sequioa on or (02) 6255 4070.
April - May 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
To include your training in the next calendar, email or call the Youth Coalition on (02) 6247 3540.
ACT Comorbidity Bus Tours
Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA), Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCCA) and the Youth Coalition of the ACT
The Comorbidity Bus Tour seeks to increase the capacity of frontline workers to support people experiencing co-occurring alcohol, tobacco and other drug and mental health issues (comorbidity). The Comorbidity Bus Tour visits a variety of services in the ACT from the alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD), mental health and youth sectors. There are currently 3 bus tours operating (Tour A, B & C) with each tour visiting different services.
Upcoming tour dates:
•       Tour C - Wednesday 23 May 
•       Tour A - Wednesday 6 June
•       Tour B - Wednesday 13 June 
Cost: Ranges from $50 - $70.
Registration: Contact Katrina on (02) 6247 3540 or
For more information: visit
Introducing ANPHA seminar
University of Canberra’s Centre for Research and Action in Public Health
Louise Sylvan is Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA). Formerly, she served as a Commissioner of the Australian Productivity Commission and Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Active in consumer and economic issues, nationally and internationally, for over 20 years, Louise is well known for her work in a range of areas such as health, food safety issues, financial services, as well as in competition and consumer policy. In this seminar she will be launching ANPHA, the Australian National Preventative Health Agency.
Date: Tuesday 12 June 2012
Time: 12-1pm
Cost: Free
Venue:Ann Harding Conference Centre, University of Canberra
Please see attached flyer or contact for more details
Working with Vulnerable People Checks Forum
Volunteering ACT
The May Quarterly Lunchtime Forum for Volunteer Managers will focus on the implementation of “Working with Vulnerable People Checks” and how this will impact volunteer involving organizations. The forum is an opportunity to meet likeminded colleagues in the volunteering sector to network, share information and highlight any contemporary issues. The format of the day will include the guest speaker, Keith Ward, Volunteering ACT update, information sharing and networking time including a light lunch.
Date: 28 May 2012
Time: 11:30am – 1:30pm
Venue: ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Centre, 245 Lady Denman Drive, Yarramundi Reach, ACT
RSVP: Romy at or on 62514060 by 23 May 2012.
Working with Vulnerable People Checks Seminar
ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS)
This seminar will provide information on the background to and implementation of working with vulnerable people checks scheme including: who is affected; regulated activities; when do I need to register and how; types of registrations; and information for employers.
The ACT Children and Young People Commissioner (CYPC) will provide a brief overview of the Child Safe/Child Friendly Pilot Training Program. The program runs parallel to the Working with Vulnerable People Background Checking Program, and trains community, private and government agencies in how to develop policies, procedures and systems which assist to ensure their agency is both 'child safe' and 'child friendly'.
Date: 13 June 2012
Time: 1:30pm – 4:00 pm
Venue: Griffith Neighbourhood Hall, Stuart Street, Griffith (left of Griffith Shops. Parking off Stuart Street, near the old O'Connell Centre).
Cost: ACTCOSS members $59, Non-members $68, Government/Corporate $80.
Curriculum for Addiction Professionals (CAP): Level 1
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Centre for Excellence
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Centre for Excellence, based in the USA, is offering a an online, knowledge-based course, which provides an overview of historical findings related to alcohol use by pregnant women, identification and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, prevention and treatment methods, and legal issues. The course of offered for free online and is intended for social workers, certified addiction counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others in the treatment and recovery field. Parents, caregivers, and other family members may also find it helpful. It can be accessed here: or contact
Self Harming Behaviours Workshop
OzHelp Community Services
This practical two day workshop will look at a method for helping clients to learn new skills for dealing with painful emotional situations so that they may be in a better position to decrease self harming behaviours.
Date: 26 & 27 July 2012
Time: 9:30am - 4:30pm both days
Venue: OzHelp Foundation: Unit 6, 41 - 45 Tennant Street, Fyshwick, ACT
Cost: $360 - $ 340
Register by clicking on the relevant course on the Calendar and registration page under the TRAINING tab of the website or phone (02) 6251 4166
Registration closes 9 July 2012
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Conferences and Symposiums

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
For more information: or email

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
Registration: Available at or email

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: The Sebel and Citigate, Albert Park, Melbourne
For more information:, email or call 02 6283 3424

Pain Management and Harm Reduction Nursing Workshops
Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia
Pain Management Workshop: This collaborative workshop will aim to establish a basic understanding of the physiology of pain before undertaking a more in-depth exploration of complex issues such as opioids, pain and addiction, the psychology of pain and addiction, and safe pharmacological management of pain in clients with a concurrent history of addiction or abuse.
Harm Reduction Nursing Workshop: Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre will provide a practical workshop for nurses on the ethical framework for harm reduction nursing, common risks associated with injecting drug use, safer injecting practices, recognition and responses to accidental arterial injection, responding to the increase in pharmaceutical opioid tablet injection, tablet filtration techniques and opioid overdose management within the context of harm reduction.
Date: 13 June 2012
Time: 10am until 4pm 

Venue: The Sebel and Citigate, Albert Park, Melbourne

Cost: $155 DANA Member/Conference Delegate or $175 General public
For more information:, email or phone 02 6283 3424
Australia’s Health 2012 Conference
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
The conference will highlight the latest authoritative information on the health of Australians, and the Australian health system, in the context of health reforms.
This national conference is a fantastic opportunity to network with health colleagues and join in the discussion with Australia's leading decision-makers on critical health issues.
Date: 21 June 2012. Registration from 8:00am
Venue: National Convention Centre Constitution Avenue, Canberra ACT. 

For more information and to register visit their website or email

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.
Call for papers is now open at
Date: 6-8 August 2012
Venue: Outrigger Inn (formerly Holiday Inn), Gold Coast, Queensland
More information:, email or call (07) 5502 2068

Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs – Annual Conference and call for submissions
Australiasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
“Culture of Change” is the overriding title of the conference and our program includes keynote presentations on emerging issues and developments in the treatment of alcohol and other drug related problems. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and debate, with interactive symposia, dedicated poster sessions, and late breaking research presentations featuring alongside oral paper sessions. Presentations will address practice, policy and treatment areas, as well as population trends and co-morbidities.
Call for submissions closes 4 July
Date: 18-21 November
Venue: Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre
More information: or email

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Policy Activities

Australia’s first mental health report card – have your say:
Australian Government National Mental Health Commission
Australians are now able to have their say on the nation’s first Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, through a new online survey available at
The survey is available until the 31st of May
For more information:

Consumer Participation

Consumer Participation Project
ATODA is undertaking a consumer participation project, which includes a one day a week secondment of Geoff Ward from the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy into ATODA. Current project activities include:
  • Documenting case studies of consumer participation in the ACT;
  • Supporting the Service User Satisfaction Survey processes (see News from ATODA section); and,
  • Developing a poster for the ACT ATOD Sector Conference.
For more information, contact Geoff Ward, Project Officer, ATODA on or (02) 6255 4070.
Resource Profile: Getting Started: Involving Consumers on Committees
Health Issues Centre
Designed to help health professionals who are new to consumer participation and want to understand how to work effectively and meaningfully with consumers. Provides information and guidance about the first crucial steps involved in working with consumers. For more information download the Guide at
‘Discrimination: know your rights!’ Consumer Survey
Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)
As part of AIVLs ‘Discrimination: know your rights!’ online anti-discrimination campaign AIVL have released a short online survey for people experiencing discrimination, because of either; their drug using status, being on opioid replacement pharmacotherapies, and/or being Hepatitis C or HIV positive.  The survey can be directly accessed here:

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Youth, Mental Health and Allied Sectors
The Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People, 2012, Canberra Seminar
Supported by HEADSPACE, The National Cannabis Information And Prevention Centre, ASG/ Marcom, ACER, The Australian Communication and Media Authority, Allanah & Madeline Foundation, Mind Matters, Kids Matters, NIIRA.
Leading experts deliver up to date, authoritative information which aims to develop a practically oriented, multi-disciplinary approach to common issues impacting the wellbeing of young people.
Date:Friday, 8 June 2012 

Time:9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Venue:The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra

For more information: or email    
Children and Young People’s Commissioner Announced
Australian Youth Advocacy Coalition
The Federal Government has announced that Australia will have a national Children and Young People’s commissioner, with the position to start by the end of 2012. The commissioner's role will be to oversee the protection and rights of young people and will be Australia's first dedicated advocate focused on the human rights of children and young people at the national level. $3.5 million over 4 years has been allocated from existing budgets to fund the role.
For more information, see the Australian Youth Advocacy Coalition press release:

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Employment Opportunities

Health Worker – Full time positions
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service is seeking a Full Time Social Health Worker and a female Child and Adolescent Mental Health Worker. Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service is a community controlled health service providing holisitic health care to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of the ACT and surrounding areas.
Applicants for the positions must obtain a copy of the selection criteria and address all criteria. For more information or for a copy of the position description and selection criteria please call Roseanne Longford, HR Manager, on 6284 6259 or email
Applications close 18 May

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
Sponsorships for the Population Health Congress 2012
Health Directorate ACT Government
Health Directorate ACT Governmentis offering six sponsorships for workers in the health promotion field to attend the Population Health Congress 2012 entitled ‘Population Health in a Changing World’ in Adelaide from 9 September – 12 September 2012.
Application forms and selection criteria can be found at
For further information please contact Lyndal Crane on 6205 0963 or
 Closing date: Monday 21 May 2012

Child Aware Approaches
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Child Aware Approachesis a one-off funding initiative to promote better understanding of the relationship between child abuse and neglect and:
  • Domestic/family violence
  • Mental illness and
  • Sexual abuse.
Information regarding the $5 million Child Aware Approaches grant program under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children can now be found at
Applications must be submitted by May 18th.
Guidelines, including contact information, are available here:

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New eHealth “learning centre” goes live
HON Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health
May 11 2012
 From 1 July 2012, interested Australians will be able to register to create a personal eHealth record. The website explains how eHealth will be further developed over time.
For more information:
Gambling. If you have to lie, we need to talk
Mission Australia
May 14 2012
Mission Australia has launched a new campaign in Canberra. The campaign’s confronting image – which shows a mouth with its lips stitched together – will be adorning the backs and inside panels of ACTION buses, as well as walls and toilet doors in ACT gaming venues. Team Leader of Mission Australia Gambling Counselling and Support Services in the ACT, Christina Sanchez, acknowledges the image is disturbing but says it's necessary to grab the attention of Canberrans, many of who are struggling with a hidden gambling addiction.
For more information:

Smoking in cars with Children banned
Katy Gallagher, MLA, Media Releases
1 May 2012
ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Health Katy Gallagher MLA welcomed on the 1st of May the start of the ban on smoking in cars with children under the age of 16.
A comprehensive education campaign has been conducted informing the Canberra community of the ban. This has included posters, bus and radio advertisements.
For more information:
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Contact ATODA:

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

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The Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT (ATODA) is the peak body representing the non-government and government alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) sector in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ATODA seeks to promote health through the prevention and reduction of the harms associated with ATOD. 

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

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Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT · 350 Antill Street Watson · Canberra, ACT 2602
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