State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the Rudd Government’s National Binge Drinking Campaign came to Yarrabah today as part of a series of community events focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Representing Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery the Honourable Warren Snowdon MP, Mr Pitt said the campaign, titled Your Life, Your Culture, YOU CHOOSE! will help get Indigenous youth, together with the general community and local health professionals, talking about alternatives to the binge drinking lifestyle at an event to be held in partnership with Gindaja Treatment and Healing Centre.
“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,” Mr Pitt said.
“We want our 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.
Yarrabah is one of just seven towns around Australia chosen to participate in the campaign and the event coincides with Yarrabah Foundation Day.
Information kits that include posters, fact sheets and case studies, will be distributed at the event, which will be backed by radio and print advertising.
“The 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.”
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.
Mr Pitt said communities needed to work together to address binge drinking, and the federal and state governments are supporting communities in those efforts.
More information on the campaign can be found at www.drinkingnightmare.gov.au/yc or by contacting the Department of Health and Ageing on (02) 6289 7400.