The big conference wrap-up

Across two days in November 2016, representatives from over 70 CDATs came together to share ideas and insights, celebrate achievements and set goals for the future.


We’re stronger together: CDAT attendees were encouraged to collaborate with new people as they considered best practice strategies for harm prevention. The ability to draw on the diversity of voices, perspectives and experience at the event was an important aspect of the conference. Continuing to nurture these relationships and this collaborative approach is an important takeaway from the event. The ‘closed’ (which means private) Facebook page especially for CDATs helps you do just that.


Identifying needs: We also enjoyed learning from the experience and needs of the CDATs. This process was crucial to identifying the ways that we can support each other and have the greatest impact in our communities.

Some of the key road-blocks in creating change identified by the CDATs were:

  • The stigma associated with alcohol and other drug use
  • The lack of funding for treatment services
  • The need for leaders with lived experience
  • The ‘three trolls’ that stop collaboration: competition, control and commitment

We’re still compiling information from the surveys which we conducted at the conference. We’ll have this information to you soon.

Tim Costello’s keynote address: While all speakers were fantastic, the group was particularly impressed with Tim Costello, World Vision Australia Ambassador and former CEO.

In his address, Mr Costello covered pharmaceutical misuse and the regulation of the liquor and gambling industries. He offered wise words about the importance of community intervention in preventing harm: “finding your purpose is about where your bliss intersects with the world’s need. That purpose is about community.”

All of the presentations were recorded and we will let you know when these videos are available for download.


Conference resources

Presentation slides: You can access all of the presentation PowerPoints using the Slido event page. Simply head to this link, select the ‘Grand Ballroom’ and choose the ‘Slides’ tab.

Conference video: The conference was recorded for those who couldn’t make it. We’ll let you know once the presentation videos are available.

Conference pictures: You can access all of the conference photos at the ADF CDAT Closed Facebook page.

Conference Q&A: Those at the event had the opportunity to ask live questions during each presentation. Here are some of the responses.

  1. How can we simplify the funding application process?
    The ADF welcomes your suggestions and please provide feedback through your SCDO. This funding round we took on board feedback from previous rounds and increased the amount available through the partnership programs. We are looking into this.
  2. Does evidence of harm trump economic demand in a contest where businesses cry foul and that they are going broke?
    Well this is not necessarily a simple question to answer. We seem to be in a political environment that values business over the common good. However, look at the Baird government who has not over turned its decision on the Sydney liquor licensing restrictions.
  3. Lockouts are not the only reason alcohol-related crimes have reduced in Byron Bay. We have evidence that CDAT initiatives reduced the peak annual period crimes!
    We would love to see the evidence you have. I suppose the reason most people talk about Newcastle and Sydney is because the evidence has been peer reviewed.
  4. What does the logo for the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) represent?
    The new logo for the brand is literally a reconstruction of the component pieces of the past brand. That’s a metaphor for rebranding without throwing out all of the history and it also has a meaning related to communities – they’re made of many different pieces. The ADF if supported from many different corners, and it’s all those parts working together that makes us who we are. Check out this link for more information.
  5. Is Life Education a part of the ADF?
    No, Life Education is a separate organisation.
  6. The key issue that needs focus is kids as victims of Alcohol and other Drugs and Domestic Violence. Where do we start without specific funding? I see kids as young as 8 starting to drink.
    It is important for us to understand the risk factors that can lead to misuse, and it is important for funders to see families and critical areas to reduce these risk factors, by setting behavioural expectations and good role modelling around alcohol and drugs.
  7. Why can’t we get real support for people with the lived experience in rural areas, how do we get funding for detox/rehab centres which we know work?
    Please speak to your federal and state MPs plus your local your local primary health network to make them aware of the issue. More funding does need to be given to treatment but also standards and guidelines need to be given to private treatment facilities.
  8. We need creative community facilities/centres that are person centred and recovery focused, how can the ADF make this happen?
    Our role is supporting you in making this happen and advocating for government policies.
  9. Shouldn’t we be looking at why youngsters want to smash people? Isn’t anger, rage and mental health a part of it?
    It is important for us to understand the risk factors that can lead to misuse and it is important for funders to see families as important settings to assist in reducing these risk factors, by setting behavioural expectations and good role modelling around alcohol and drugs.
  10. Why do they always focus on Sydney and Newcastle regarding lockouts, yet Byron Bay was already doing this years before as an agreement by Liquor Accord members.
    We suppose the reason most people talk about Newcastle and Sydney is because the evidence has been peer reviewed.
  11. Communities are totally dis-empowered by the liquor licensing process. Could NSW fund a Community Defenders Office to empower and support communities?
    Great idea we will pass this on to the NSW State Government.
  12. Can the ADF please act as the backbone organisation for CDATs? Auspice organisations do not necessarily have the capacity to provide admin support nor other backbone organisational duties.
    We understand this issue and we are investigating this possibility in the future.