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Awards recognise positive action on alcohol

Media release

Western Australia’s first Action on Alcohol Awards, organised by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth (MCAAY), were presented at Curtin University on Thursday – recognising work done across the state to reduce alcohol harm in young people.

The awards were presented by, among others, His Excellency Malcolm McCusker AC, CVO, QC and Mrs Tonya McCusker.

MCAAY Centre Director and Curtin University Professor Mike Daube praised the winners and finalists in the six categories.

“There is some remarkable work being done across the state to reduce alcohol harm in young people,” Professor Daube said.

“While there is rightly concern about drinking among young people, many organisations and individuals are working hard and selflessly on this massive community problem.”

“We congratulate all the winners, who have made outstanding contributions during the year and give us real grounds for hope.”

Award winners were Thomas Davies (Young People in Action), Dr Tina Lam and Samantha Menezes (joint winners, Community in Action – Individual), Local Drug Action Groups Inc (Community in Action – Organisation), Maureen Carter (Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services, Fitzroy Crossing – Regional Communities in Action), Karl O’Callaghan (Government in Action), Angela Pownall and Beatrice Thomas (joint winners, Media in Action)

Photos from the event are available to media. Please call or email the media contact at the bottom of this release if you would like to obtain them.

2013 Action on Alcohol Awards results:

Young People in Action

Winner:

Thomas Davies

Thomas established the grassroots organisation Enough is Enough WA in memory of his friend Luke Beyer who was killed after a drunk driver hit his vehicle.

Finalist:

Brix Ottaway

Brix is an active member of the Rockingham Youth Advisory Council who was the first youth member of the Kwinana/Rockingham Local Drug Action Group.

Community in Action – Individual

Joint winners:

Dr Tina Lam

Dr Lam is a researcher at the National Drug Research Institute who has carried out ground-breaking research on alcohol and other drug use at “Leavers” in WA, coordinates the Young Australians Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS) and has made other important research contributions.

Samantha Menezes

Samantha is an active community member and a mother-of-four who has campaigned through a range of innovative approaches for secondary supply laws in WA to prevent the supply of alcohol to minors without parental permission.

Finalists:

Lisa Baker MLA

As Member for Maylands, Lisa led a major and successful community campaign against the development of a liquor superstore, with strong community support.

Shelley McGrath

Shelley is a concerned parent who has worked actively in the local community to raise awareness of the risks of underage drinking in her children’s school community and beyond.

Community in Action – Organisation

Winner:

Local Drug Action Groups Inc

The Local Drug Action Groups organisation has a 16-year history of working with WA communities to reduce the harms associated with alcohol and other drugs. There are more than 60 LDAG branches in communities all around WA.

Finalists:

The Brief Alcohol Intervention Training (BAIT) program at UWA

BAIT is a joint venture between the School of Psychology and the Health Promotion Unit, run for students and by students to deliver brief alcohol interventions to their peers.

YMCQ HQ

This is an initiative of the YMCA Perth Youth and Community Services, offering completely smoke, drug and alcohol-free environments to young people in Leederville.

Perth Wildcats

The Perth Wildcats, in partnership with Healthway, promote the “Alcohol. Think Again” message and are strong role models in the WA community.

Netball WA

The West Coast Fever, through partnerships with Healthway, the Australian National Preventive Health Agency and the David Wirrpanda Foundation are strong advocates for a healthy and active lifestyle, promoting the “Alcohol. Think Again” message since 2009.

Regional Communities in Action

Winner:

Maureen Carter, CEO of Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services

Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services is an Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation in the Fitzroy Valley. Nindilingarri has played a crucial role in work on Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), particularly through the Lililwan Project which is critical to health service delivery as well as providing a model for planning of prevention of FASD in the Fitzroy Valley and across Australia.

Finalists:

Investing in Our Youth

Investing in Our Youth is a community organisation promoting healthy development of children and young people in the South-West, particularly through the “Be Alcohol Aware” project for young people.

Midwest Party Safe Alliance

The Alliance is a coalition of agencies providing best practice education and prevention strategies to reduce harm from alcohol in the Midwest – Gascoyne region.

Esperance Local Drug Action Group

Among their activities, the Esperance LDAG was the first to facilitate a “Flash Mob” to promote awareness of FASD by pausing for 90 seconds on the ninth day of the ninth month to represent the nine months of pregnancy and raise awareness of guidelines on alcohol during pregnancy.

Government in Action

Winner:

Karl O’Callaghan, Commissioner of Police

Karl O’Callaghan has been at the forefront of activity drawing attention to the need for action on alcohol, particularly in relation to alcohol advertising and through broader national and local leadership.

Finalists:

Commissioner for Children and Young People – Michelle Scott

The Commissioner has used her position as an independent advocate for children and young people’s wellbeing to advocate strongly for action to protect WA’s young citizens from alcohol-related harm, including substantial consultation with young Western Australians.

City of Melville

The City of Melville has identified alcohol use among young people as a priority issue, and developed “The Gathering” DVD resource to engage young people in discussions about alcohol and related harms together with a teacher resource.

Public Health Liquor Licensing Team

The team, from the Drug and Alcohol Office and Department of Health, monitor, investigate and assess liquor licence applications in WA regarding risks of alcohol-related harm or ill health, and provide support for local stakeholders and community groups.

Media in Action

Joint Winners:

Angela Pownall

A journalist at The West Australian newspaper who has reported extensively on alcohol issues, including alcohol and violence – highlighting concerns of health, law enforcement, education and youth representatives.

Beatrice Thomas

Another journalist at The West Australian newspaper who has played an important role in communicating concerns about alcohol and young people to the public, with special emphasis on the efforts of parents such as Samantha Menezes and Shelley McGrath to prevent alcohol harm.

Finalist:

Weekend-Kwinana Courier

A community newspaper that has regularly addressed local alcohol issues, highlighting community concerns through sustained coverage of alcohol-related issues including local incidents and policies.

Media contacts

Susanna Wolz, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: (08) 9266 9085, Mobile: 0401 103 877; Email: susanna.wolz@curtin.edu.au
Web: http://curtin.edu.au; Twitter: @CurtinPR

Simon White, Media Consultant, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 1931; Mobile: 0401 103 683; Email: simon.white@curtin.edu.au
Web: http://curtin.edu.au; Twitter: @CurtinPR