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2018 CDAT Conference

Representatives from over 60 Community Drug Action Teams (CDAT) in New South Wales attended the 2018 CDAT Conference in Newcastle held on Monday 12 March.

The purpose for the conference was to celebrate the CDATs efforts in preventing alcohol and other drug-related harms, set goals for the future, share some of the latest research in the alcohol and other drug sector and enhance community engagement skills.

The conference opened with a Welcome to Country, led by Uncle Bill Smith, a Wirrigan Aboriginal Elder before being officially launched by Dr Jo Mitchell, Executive Director of the Centre for Population Health at the NSW Ministry of Health and Allan Murphy, Head of Program Delivery at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF).

The first half of the morning was packed with information from leaders within the alcohol and other drug sector who led very educational and useful plenary sessions.

Plenary 1

Working Collaboratively Towards Collective Impact was led by Liz Skelton, Director at Collaboration for Impact.

Plenary 2

Principles and Challenges of Evidence-Based Community Health Promotion was led by Associate Professor Luke Wolfenden from the School and Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle.

Plenary 3

High Society: What can our social history of drug use tell us about current trends? This session was hosted by Annie Bleeker, AOD Consultant Trainer and Facilitator.

Plenary 4

Policy Directions and Public Health was led by Geoff Munro, National Policy Manager at the ADF.

After the plenaries, attendees were invited to attend a variety of concurrent sessions that covered a range of different topics.

Concurrent Session 1 Concurrent Session 2 Concurrent Session 3
Topic Working Effectively with Aboriginal Communities Volunteerism – Recruiting, Retaining, Rewarding Planning and Evaluation through Speed Dating
Speaker/s Rob Monaghan, Aboriginal Consultant Fiona Morrison, EO, Volunteering Central Coast Tony Ross, CEO, Hunter Volunteer Centre Peter Whitecross, Amy Ehsman, Denni Scott-Davis, Senior Community
Topic Save-a-Mate Project – An Overview Developing your Collaboration for Impact
Speaker/s Sharyn Marshall, Community Health and Wellbeing Project Officer, Australian Red Cross Liz Skelton, Director, Collaboration for Impact
Topic Alcohol and Other Drugs – What we need to know Introducing Hello Sunday Morning – A better drinking culture Working Effectively in Multicultural Contexts
Speaker/s Annie Bleeker, AOD Consultant Trainer and Facilitator Chris Raine, CEO Jamie Moore, General Manager, Hello Sunday Morning Alison Jaworski, Senior Project Officer Abeny Mayol, Project Officer, Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre

These topics and speakers were carefully selected by the ADF because of their expertise and ability to enhance the work of CDATs within their local communities through the sharing of invaluable knowledge.

After the concurrent sessions and a quick break for lunch, attendees were reunited for a lively panel discussion about liquor licensing and what role can local CDATs play.

The session started with a presentation by Damian Dabrowski, who introduced the CDAT attendees to the Liquor Licensing Toolkit and walked through the work and collaboration that had gone into creating the toolkit, how it will help CDATs respond to liquor licensing issues in their local areas and more. Afterwards, there was a Q&A panel on the topic of liquor licensing which consisted of Damian Dabrowski, NSW/ACT Program Implementation Coordinator from the ADF, Nicola Lewis, Director at the Drug and Alcohol Population and Community Programs with the NSW Ministry of Health, Tony Brown, from the Hunter Multicultural CDAT and Peter Whitecross, Senior Community Development Officer for the Inner & Western and Nepean Blue Mountains regions at the ADF.

Audience members were invited to ask questions throughout plenaries, concurrent sessions and workshops using Sli.do and over 60 questions were asked. Many of these were answered on the day, but others have been collated and a response to each question will be posted on this page in the coming weeks.

The final few hours of the day were dedicated to celebrating CDATs and their individual and collective successes within the prevention space.

The CDAT Showcase provided CDATs with an opportunity to present highlights from their successful projects as part of an information sharing initiative, as well as talking about any challenges they faced, their key learnings and their key takeaways.

The 2018 CDAT Awards Presentation was a high point for the day, and four outstanding CDATS and one incredible attendee were awarded and celebrated for their incredible work within their local communities.