Category Archives: Professional News

Prevention Forum – Canberra

Prevention 1st is launching a report by health economist, Professor Alan Shiell, on how much Australia spends on health prevention and whether it is enough. Prevention 1st is a campaign that is calling on all Australian governments and political parties to commit to a strong preventive health agenda to tackle Australia’s greatest health challenge.
The report is being launched as part of a forum that will include leading public health experts talking about how they would spend prevention dollars if they had $100 million. It should be interesting!
You are invited to attend this forum. Details are:
When: Wednesday 14 June 2017
Where: Parliament House, Canberra
For more information, go to http://fare.org.au/events/

Reducing the Prison Population in NSW: Policy Paper

Just Reinvest NSW is today releasing the first of its policy papers on key proposals to reduce the rising prison population in NSW, with a particular view to addressing the level of Aboriginal overrepresentation, which has risen by 40% over the last decade.

This first paper focuses on the need for smarter sentencing and parole law reform, and in some key areas aligns with the NSW Criminal Justice Reform package announcement.

The paper was developed following a roundtable discussion in November 2016, with representatives from the Law Society of NSW, the NSW Bar Association, the Law Council of Australia, the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT, Legal Aid NSW, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the University of NSW, the University of Technology Sydney, the Public Defender’s office, and other prominent members of the NSW legal community. It will now be the subject of consultation with peak NSW Aboriginal organisations and other key organisations and agencies.

A Parliamentary Forum will be held in the coming months to formally launch the policy paper.

Full Media Release – http://justreinvest.org.au/policy-paper-key-proposals-1/

Policy Paper – http://justreinvest.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Just-Reinvest-NSW-Policy-Paper-Key-Proposals-1.pdf

ATCA Budget Response

The Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) joins other peak bodies and organisations in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) field calling on the Government to reconsider its decision regarding drug testing of welfare recipients, announced in this week’s budget.

Dr Lynne Magor-Blatch, Executive Officer of ATCA, said today, “The, “Don’t do drugs” response from the Prime Minister on Radio National on Wednesday, completely overlooks a number of vital issues.  Many people who have become caught up in substance use are working hard to change their lives, and many are in this position because of a whole range of issues, some of which have been out of their control.”

Dr Magor-Blatch stated that, “Approximately 200,000 people receive AOD treatment annually in Australia, however it is estimated that as many as 200,000 – 500,000 more are seeking treatment and are unable to access it. [1]

The Minister for Social Services Hon Christian Porter, when questioned recently on the ABC RN Drive show, agreed that this decision would affect approximately 11,000 people annually – and that people would be expected to “take all reasonable steps” to address their drug problem.  While he drew attention to the funds distributed through the Ice Taskforce and Primary Health Networks, he agreed that there may be a continuing shortage of residential rehabilitation beds.  The scheme will therefore rely on counselling – suited for people who are at the less complex end of the spectrum, and services already in operation.  There will be no new funding for AOD services – and particularly those that work with complex clients.”

Members of ATCA provide quality evidence-based treatment programs through residential therapeutic communities, day programs, detoxification services and outclient services.  However, while all ATCA members have received a guarantee of funding through to 2018, none have received indexation since 2013.  This means, in real terms, that services have been reduced and services are at a point where they can no longer meet existing demand.  This will be further impacted by drug testing welfare recipients who are unable to find a place in a treatment service.

Studies have clearly shown that for every $1 invested in AOD treatment, society gains $7 through reduced healthcare and legal costs – in fact ATCA has found that their services alone provide a savings to Governments of more than $146,000 per person per annum.

“However, despite this evidence, this week’s budget represents the “big stick” approach without the “carrot” which would help people to get the help they need”, Dr Magor-Blatch stated.

While the drug testing measure announced in the Budget   is purported to be accompanied by a suite of additional welfare reform measures aimed at coercing engagement with AOD treatment, including the “removal of exemptions due to drugs or alcohol abuse” and removal of eligibility for the Disability Support Pension, there is no increased  funding in the budget for drug treatment.

“ATCA is working with families and individuals, and we see first-hand the stress these families are under, and the complete sense of helplessness often experienced when a family member cannot access the treatment they need.  There is little point in identifying an AOD problem if there is no capacity to treat it.  Drug testing welfare recipients will prove to be a costly but pointless exercise in this context if there is nowhere for people to go for treatment.

Instead of drug testing, this funding would have achieved a far better outcome for individuals and families if it had been put into treatment services”.

[1] New Horizons: The review of alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/FD5975AFBFDC7013CA258082000F5DAB/$File/The-Review-of-alcohol-and-other-drug-treatment-services-in-Australia.pdf

Safer Injecting Workshop

Sydney MSIC Safer Injecting Workshop

If you’re currently working or volunteering to support people who inject drugs, and have some level of training and/or experience, this workshop is for you. This workshop is a full day course which aims to expand your skills in providing safer injecting advice, and build your understanding of:

  • Safer injecting practices including high risk injecting and related problems
  • Performance and image-enhancing drugs (steroids)
  • Drug filtration (particularly opioid tablets) for injection with a practical demonstration using wheel filters
  • An introduction to opioid overdose identification and management.

You will receive interactive and specialised training from our team of clinical experts, providing you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to enhance your work. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask, in a safe environment.

We’ve also added a new component on the administration of Narcan (Naloxone) in a community setting, and we’ll give you your own take-home kit containing two doses of Narcan. You will be able to recognise and effectively intervene in an opioid overdose – and maybe save a life.

Dates (each workshop is stand-alone):

  • Monday 1 May 2017 (applications close Monday 17 April)
  • Monday 9 October 2017 (applications close Monday 25 September)

Time: 9.00am-4.30pm

Cost: $200 (includes cost of take-home Narcan kit)

Lunch and light refreshments provided

You’re very welcome to attend an early morning tour of the service at 8.30am before the training starts – just let us know when you book.

For a booking form, please go to: https://uniting.org/our-services/for-adults/sydney-medically-supervised-injecting-centre/jobs-and-training-at-uniting-sydney-msic/safer-injecting-workshop

National Family Drug Support Day 2017

An update from the folks at Family Drug Support:

Family Drug Support (FDS) is pleased to announce that details on the 2017 National FDS Day are now available at:

National FDS Day Website

The 1st National Family Drug Support Day was held on the 24th February 2016 – the anniversary of the passing of my son Damien Trimingham from a drug related overdose – and has now become an annual event to highlight the need for families to not only be recognised and heard but to be supported and encouraged to speak about their concerns and their needs.

In 2016 the focus of the National FDS Day was on how alcohol and other drug issues can affect any family.

2017 will be the 20th anniversary of FDS and the focus for the National Day will be on the need to focus on the person and not the drug. Too often the media and others focus so much on the drug, as we see with ‘ice’, and forget that drug use is actually about people, not a chemical concoction.

Accordingly, the three objectives of the National Family Drug Support Day remain:

  • Reducing stigma and discrimination for families and drug users
  • Promoting family drug support services for families and friends
  • Promoting harm reduction strategies for families and friends

 

PhD Scholarships 2017

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

The National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified candidates for two PhD scholarships related to new ARC-funded sociological research projects in the area of alcohol and other drug use.

The research projects are qualitative in method, and address the following issues:

  1. Performance and image-enhancing drug (PIED) use:interview-based, observational and cognate methods will investigate how men who inject PIEDs give meaning to their use and how they understand the health aspects of PIED use. [One scholarship]
  2. Uptake of naloxone, the lifesaving medication for reversing opioid overdose:interview-based, observational and cognate methods will investigate experiences of naloxone administration and the reasons for Australia’s relative lack of progress in expanding use of this important medication. [One scholarship]

The projects are based in the Social Studies of Addiction Concepts (SSAC) Program, NDRI Melbourne. This program draws on cutting edge social theory including new materialism, science and technology studies and governmentality theory to generate original socially grounded perspectives on drug use and related issues. In doing so it uses a range of methods including policy analysis, interviews, field observation and cultural studies analysis.

Project collaborators include Monash University, Burnet Institute and King’s College, London.

The Scholarships

The two scholarships will each support the overall aims of the respective projects. Successful applicants will collaborate with the chief investigators to identify thesis projects able to contribute directly to the aims of the larger projects while also reflecting the interests and aspirations of the students.

Each scholarship carries an annual tax-free stipend of approximately $26,288 (quoted here at 2016 rate) per year for three years. Both scholarships start in early 2017 (exact timing negotiable), and are based at NDRI’s Melbourne offices, located on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. PhD candidates may also have access to additional paid work.

The Institute

NDRI is a centre for excellence in alcohol and other drug research and receives core funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. It is one of the largest centres of alcohol and other drug research expertise in Australia, employing about 30 research staff in Perth and Melbourne across a range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, epidemiology, psychology and public health. It has a strong national and international profile, and is involved in collaborative research in Australia and overseas.

The Application

The successful applicants will:

  •           be Australian or New Zealand citizens or Australian Permanent Residents;
  •           hold or expect to obtain First Class or Upper Second Honours or equivalent results and experience in sociology, gender studies, anthropology, or a related discipline (e.g. youth studies); and
  •           be able to undertake field research (interviews, observation) or other empirical research in diverse settings.

Experience of qualitative research in a relevant field will be highly regarded.

Expressions of interest containing a current CV, academic transcripts and statement of interest including brief description of: 1. research interests and relevant experience; 2. methods and approaches of interest (two pages maximum including references) should be emailed to Professor Suzanne Fraser at:

suzanne.fraser@curtin.edu.au

DUE DATE: Friday December 16, 2016.

Please consult Curtin University’s guidance on preparing PhD scholarship applications for information about structuring your CV and statement of interest.

For further information, contact Professor Suzanne Fraser at:

suzanne.fraser@curtin.edu.au

or go to addictionconcepts.com

Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference 2017

Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference

On 15 & 16 February 2017 the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research and the Griffith Criminology Institute will host the annual Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference in Sydney. The conference will showcase empirical, policy relevant research across all crime and justice domains.

Keynote speakers

Professor Stephen Raphael, Berkeley
on Sentencing and Public Safety

Elizabeth Drake, Washington State Institute of Public Policy
on Reducing Crime: ‘What works’ versus cost 

Professor Jerry Ratcliffe, Temple University
on The Future of Predictive Policing

Professors Rick Sarre, University of South Australia,
and Paul Mazzerole, Griffith University

on How to Improve Law, Order and Criminal Justice with $100 million.

Key information

When 15-16 February 2017
Where Darling Harbour, Sydney
Cost $720 each for individuals
$600 each for groups of 3 or more
Website http://bit.ly/25v3smZ

Yours sincerely,

Dr Don Weatherburn
Director
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Web : http://bit.ly/25v3smZ
Email bocsar-seminars@justice.nsw.gov.au
Phone 02 8346 1100

Upcoming Indigenous Health Conferences

Via Indigenous Conference Services:

Listed below are the conferences for 2016 and 2017.  calling for papers & are now open and sought for  Please submit your entry online.

Exciting upcoming 2016-2017 Conferences

  • National Indigenous Justice Conference
  • National Indigenous Board of Director’s Conference
  • Global Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference
  • International Indigenous Men’s Conference
  • International Indigenous Women’s Conference
  • International Indigenous Allied Health &  Chronic Diseases Conference
  • National Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Worker’s Conference
  • National Indigenous Aged Care Conference
  • National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Conference
  • National Indigenous Children’s Conference
  • National Stolen Generation Bringing Them Home Conference
  • National Mental Health Conference
  • Save Our Mob, Stop the Closure of Our Communities Conference
  • National Indigenous Justice Conference

MEDIA RELEASE: Indigenous Conference Services (ICS Australia) proudly unveils this year’s successful papers for its 2016 World Indigenous Women’s Conference scheduled for the 12th – 14th September this year at the Stamford Beach Hotel Glenelg Adelaide in South Australia. More than 50 percent of the submitted papers accepted were from grassroots community organizations which clearly indicates the strong interests and dedication of community organizations and service providers working together to improve Indigenous women’s wellbeing.

Among our international First Nations keynote speakers are Metis activists and human rights advocates, MURIEL STANLEY VENNE and daughter, RACHELLE VENNE who founded the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) in 1995 and has worked tirelessly to defend the interests and rights of Aboriginal women, children and family. Muriel is a member of the Order of Canada (2007), received various national awards and named one of the 50 most influential people in Alberta Venture magazine (2006.)

Similarly, DR. NINA SIVERTSEN is an international Indigenous Sea-Sámi Nurse from Northern Norway and works as a lecturer within the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Flinders University. Her work focuses on women’s empowerment and leadership. With her PhD about Indigenous identity and historical biography of a travelling midwife from the arctic wilderness, she aims to contribute to the growing literature of Indigenous research by Indigenous researchers in a global context.

HON. LINDA BURNEY is one of the national keynote speakers. Linda is of Wiradjuri descent, grew up in a small farming community near Leeton and is one of the ‘Stolen Generations’ of Aboriginal children. Since her election for Canterbury 2003, she has been a member of the Parliamentary Committee for Children and Young People 2003-04 and the Legislation Review Committee in 2004.

In addition to the featured speakers and after due deliberation, the following presenters and their respective papers had been accepted for presentation during the 2016 World Indigenous Women’s Conference:

REGINA RICHARDSON is a proud Yamatji woman of the Amangu group in the mid-west region of Western Australia. She is also an Amangu Native Title Working Group member. Regina currently works at the Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre as a mentor to a group of Aboriginal women.

SUSAN MOYLAN-COOMBS is the Founder & Director of Leader for Change and leads the projects undertaken by the Gaimaragal Group. A First Australian, Susan’s ancestry is Woolwonga and Gurindji from the Northern Territory. She will be co-presenting with ELIZA PROSS, Leader for Change Consultant and is a Gaimariagal resident, and Yuin/Palawa woman from Southern NSW and Tasmania. Eliza has an extensive work history in  community care, disability and mental health sectors and in international community development projects.

WENDY WATEGO is the Co-Founder and National Program Director of STARS Institute of Learning and Leadership. Wendy began her professional life as a pre-school educator, became the first Black woman  Principal of Bwgcolman School on Palm Island, a leadership coach, author and healer. Wendy’s mother’s mob are Goenpil, Nughie, Noonuccal people from Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island and her dad’s family are Aboriginal and proud South Sea Islanders from New Caledonia.

LUITA CASEY is currently working as an Aboriginal Women’s Health Nurse with the Women’s Health Network. She will be presenting a pilot program entitled, ‘Engaging Aboriginal Women to participate and tell their stories about what they feel cultural safety means to them”.

It is encouraging to see government, non-government organizations and grassroots communities join forces with us in choosing the agenda. This event is about sharing of information on successful Indigenous women programs being implemented in all corners of the world and offers interagency networking either at a local country, state, national and international levels. We encourage anyone interested in attending the conference to register early as numbers are filling fast! To register, please visit the event’s website: www.indigenousconferences.com or email us at adminics@iinet.net.au

Sydney MSIC Safer Injecting Workshop

Sydney MSIC Safer Injecting Workshop

Are you looking to enhance your skills in relation to working with people who inject drugs? Do you want to be able to offer the best Harm minimisation advice? Then book yourself onto the Safer Injecting Workshop run by the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC).

 

NEW COMPONENT ADDED FOR 2016: Administration of Narcan (Naloxone) in a community setting with your own take-home kit containing two doses of Narcan!

 

Monday 9 May 2016 (9am – 4.30pm)

Cost: $200 (includes cost for take-home Narcan kit)

Lunch and light refreshments provided

This workshop is aimed at workers or volunteers currently working with people who inject drugs and who have some level of training and/or experience.  The workshop provides a sound foundation to consolidate existing knowledge for those wishing to expand their skills in providing safer injecting advice.  This workshop is a full day course and aims to offer participants an understanding of:

  • Safer injecting practices including high risk injecting and related problems
  • Performance and image-enhancing drugs (steroids)
  • Drug filtration (particularly opioid tablets) for injection with a practical demonstration using wheel filters
  • An introduction to opioid overdose identification and management

Sydney MSIC trainers are in a unique position to offer you interactive and specialised training in the field of injecting drug use. Our training packages provide you with knowledge, skills and confidence to empower you to work effectively with people who use drugs. Training packages are interactive, engaging and give workers the chance to ask the questions they’ve always wanted to ask but were too afraid to…….

All participants can elect to attend an early morning tour of the service prior to the training start time. This tour commences at 8.30am. Please indicate if you wish to attend this at time of booking.

For a registration form to book a place on this course, please email:

rglasgow@uniting.org                                          NB: The closing date for applications is two weeks prior to the course date

Great AOD App for Android and iOS Users

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre today launched an Android version of their free mobile phone app called AODconnect, which will support efforts to reduce harmful substance use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The new Android app provides a national directory of alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and can be used by the AOD workforce, and the very wide range of health practitioners working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector.

The new Android version of the AODconnect app is the same as the iOS version launched in 2015, and now makes this valuable tool accessible to that large section of the workforce who use Android phones and tablets. The app is useful for those looking for a specific Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander AOD service by state, territory and/or region through an interactive map of Australia or by alphabetical listing. It has two filter options: focus (to identify the main focus of the service: Indigenous, mainstream with Indigenous focus or mainstream); or treatment categories (counselling and referral, harm reduction and support groups, outreach, mobile patrols and sobering up, residential rehab, withdrawal management, and young people).

AODconnect is available free for both Android and iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). Download it on the Knowledge Centre website, or Google Play and iTunes stores.

For more information: http://www.aodknowledgecentre.net.au/AODconnect

Please let us know if there is an AOD treatment service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that is not on the app and you think should be included.