Five young people joined leading Western Australian drug and alcohol researchers at a forum held on Friday 23 September 2011 to talk about the harmful impact of alcohol on children and young people.
Madison, Amber, Travis, Lawrence & Rickelle presented the findings of a report by the Commissioner based on a consultation she commissioned with almost 300 young people aged 14 to 17 years about what influences their decisions about drinking, the harms of alcohol and the strategies that may be effective in protecting children and young people.
Their presentations included young people’s views on the ingrained culture of alcohol and excessive drinking in the community, strategies such as education and more alcohol-free events and the importance of young people’s ongoing involvement in the development, implementation and review of strategies to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
Around 100 policy makers from government, non-government agencies and the private sector attended the Commissioner’s forum which was supported by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth (MCAAY), the National Drug Research Institute and the Drug and Alcohol Office.
The Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Helen Morton MLC, opened the forum. MCAAY Board member Mrs Tonya McCusker, MCAAY director Professor Mike Daube and National Drug Research Institute director Professor Steve Allsop also addressed the forum.
Discussion at the forum reinforced that the harm caused by alcohol is a multi-faceted problem and requires a comprehensive strategy sustained over the long term. Some parallels were made with other public health campaigns and issues such as tobacco, seatbelts and car child restraints, indicating that cultural change is possible.
Speaking Out About Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm on Children and Young People
- Minister Morton: Opening remarks
- Commissioner’s speech
- Young people’s presentation
- Professor Steve Allsop: What the research tells us
- Professor Mike Daube: Progressing change