Our ability to unite, collaborate and participate on matters relating to where we live is vital in enabling strong communities and healthy people. Communities experience a range of impacts resulting from alcohol misuse such as public violence and property damage. In addition, the impact on individuals and families can be severe with the risk of many major health concerns and other alcohol related harms such as personal injury and increased risk of domestic violence.
This week we look at two community driven campaigns that aim to reduce alcohol use among young people.
Cringe the Binge is a grass roots initiative that aims to reverse youth binge drinking by supporting individual and community action. Based in Byron Bay, the Cringe the Binge group are celebrating a recent victory when members of the community turned out in force at the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (ILGA NSW) Community Conference to object to the transfer of a packaged liquor license that would allow Dan Murphy’s to open a superstore in the main street of Byron Bay. This is an excellent outcome and demonstrates how community action can make positive change for everyone.
Another enterprise of the Cringe the Binge group is a weekend of ACTION to reverse youth binge drinking. On the 9, 10 and 11 November 2012, Australians are asked to pause and reflect on their drinking habits and donate what they would normally spend on alcohol to the Cringe the Binge campaign via their website.
Listen to what Di Mahoney, Director of Byron Youth Services, has to say about Cringe the Binge.
The Jewish Community Council of Victoria Inc. aims to tackle the issue of underage drinking by utilising a collaborative approach involving schools, community organisations, synagogues and health services. They recently held a very successful community forum where parents, young people and a guest panel of experts were invited to ‘have their say’. The audience were directed through a series of scenarios based on the fictitious Cohen family and asked to develop practical strategies they could employ to appropriately manage the alcohol use of their three teenage children. Jacquie Lerner (one of the organisers) said “that it was really special and encouraging to see community groups working together and pooling resources for a unified vision and goal—the health, safety and wellbeing of our community”.
GrogWatch applauds the action these community groups are undertaking and their commitment to changing Australia’s alcohol culture. Well done!