THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
3 June 2010
The first of a number of community events around the nation focusing on Indigenous youth will start today, as part of the Rudd Government’s National Binge Drinking Campaign.
The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said the campaign called Your Life, Your Culture, YOU CHOOSE! had been tailored to bring Indigenous youth together at events with their local communities and health professionals to put the focus on alternatives to binge drinking.
“Almost a quarter of Indigenous people aged 18–24 report binge drinking at least once a week. Simply telling them not to drink won’t work in the absence of anything else.
“We need to work together to address this and there needs to be options and activities for young people to engage in,” he said.
The first event is in Shepparton (VIC) today, followed by events in Western Sydney, Katherine, (NT), Yarrabah, (QLD), Perth (WA), Adelaide (SA) and Broome, (WA) throughout June (see attached table for details).
Information kits that include posters, fact sheets and case studies, will be distributed at the events, which will be backed by radio and print advertising.
“We want young people to think about things like sport and music – things that will fit in with their culture and strengthen their communities, their families and above all their health,” Mr Snowdon said.
“This campaign encourages young Indigenous people to talk about alcohol issues and how they can look after their family and friends when they find themselves in difficult situations.
“Communities need to work together to address binge drinking – but we need to support those communities,” Mr Snowdon said.
The Your Life, Your Culture, YOU CHOOSE! Campaign began in December with audio and print advertising and public relations activities to give Indigenous youth positive messages and images about strong culture, families and healthy choices.
The National Binge Drinking Campaign is just one element of the Rudd Government’s plan to tackle binge drinking. The Government is also investing:
- $14.4 million in community-level initiatives to confront the culture of binge drinking, in partnership with sporting and community organisations;
- $19.1 million to intervene earlier to assist young people and ensure that they assume personal responsibility;
- $20 million advertising campaign, Don’t Turn a Night Out into a Nightmare, confronting youth with consequences of binge drinking;
More information on the campaign can be found at www.drinkingnightmare.gov.au/yc or by contacting the Department of Health and Ageing (see below).
Alice Plate (Snowdon) 0400 045 999
Department on Health and Ageing (For event info) 02 6289 7400