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March 23, 2018
One of the ADF’s flagship alcohol and other drug primary prevention programs, the Community Engagement and Action Program (CEAP), is now well established with continued funding generously provided through NSW Health. Complementing and extending the ADF’s related alcohol and other drug (AOD) prevention work, 151 attendees from across NSW and the ACT came together earlier this month in Newcastle for the 2018 CDAT Conference.
The conference was an opportunity for attendees to share their experiences implementing the CEAP in their community. But also to gain the latest AOD harm-prevention insights through a range of speakers including Liz Skelton, Director at Collaboration for Impact and Associate Professor Luke Wolfenden from Hunter New England Population Health, among many others.
The record number of conference attendees included representatives from almost every one of the volunteer-led Community Drug Action Teams at the heart of the CEAP program.
“The Community Engagement Action Program in NSW is a unique evidence-informed approach to alcohol and other drug primary prevention in Australia. At the ADF, we are proud to be supporting a huge variety of communities across the state by helping them identify local issues. But then also to implement activities to reduce the associated AOD harms through the supply of up-to-date information, access to the latest research, as well as providing a range of ‘toolkits’ and other support.”
NSW-ACT Program Implementation Coordinator
The objectives for the 2018 CDAT Conference were to:
Tony Brown, Chair of the Hunter Multicultural Community Drug Action Team spoke about one of these projects; the CDAT Liquor Licensing Toolkit, and the strategies that communities can incorporate in their own work to reduce alcohol harms in their local area.
With this toolkit now available online, CDATs and other community groups can easily access information about license applications in their area and know how best to respond.
Other highlights from the conference included Dr Jo Mitchell’s opening speech recognising a number of great achievements of the program. This included an acknowledgement that Aboriginal participation among Community Drug Action Teams had doubled over the past four years. Dr Mitchell, Executive Director of the Centre for Population Health at the NSW Ministry of Health, also recognised the tremendous collaboration from across the AOD sector that led to the development of the new Liquor Licensing Toolkit.
Other speakers included Liz Skelton, who held both a plenary and workshop sessions around collaborative impact, Annie Bleeker who discussed the latest drug trends in Australia, and Luke Wolfenden, who spoke on the importance of evidence-based AOD practice. The ADF’s Geoff Munro highlighted the importance of policy and the finalisation of the National Alcohol Strategy (2018-26) with its possible impacts for CDATs and the general community.
We look forward to working closely with local teams through 2018. With many more exciting milestones taking-place this year including the:
To find out more about the Community Engagement and Action Program, or to see a full list of the plenary sessions and individual workshops that made up the 2018 CDAT Conference, please link through here.