Launch - Party Safe Program, Directions ACT (CLI Recipient), 28 April 2009, Edison Park, Woden, ACT
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28 April 2009
I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and pay my respects to the Elders both past and present.
Good morning to you all.
Thank you for inviting me to the launch today of the Directions ACT Party Safe Program.
It’s pleasing to see young faces in this audience, as today’s launch is about you and your friends and it will highlight some positive thoughts about partying.
The program we’re here to launch today is about positive things you can do to cut down on the risks. The program will give young people new skills so they can promote the positives of partying – putting people more in control when they’re having fun.
The new Party Safe Program will give many young people in Canberra and their friends some good tools to handle, or even prevent, the risks that can flow from binge drinking – ranging from unsafe sex or violence to car accidents.
The Party Safe Program will also train Canberra party-goers in how to handle first aid emergencies – and this is a very important point that I’d like to get back to.
Through Directions ACT, the tools and resources that the Party Safe Program in this city will be able to provide young people will include: some useful tips on how to be party-safe and about making wise decisions when drinking.
There will also be: safe sex packs; bottled water; and information on how people can get counselling and youth-friendly services to help them with any drink and drug problems.
As well, there will be a Party Safe van. This will put an alcohol, or other drug, worker on the ground in places where young people gather, such as in universities, colleges, events, or outside clubs.
I’d like, in particular, to congratulate DIRECTIONS ACT for setting up a partnership with St John Ambulance ACT that will be subsidised by the Government through the Party Safe Program.
This will help 160 young people in Canberra to get their Senior First Aid Certificates.
Their first aid course will include a special party safe module – covering the issues that young people can come across while they’re out.
It will certainly raise awareness for people’s safety in parties and will create new skills, with the potential to save lives.
This is most important, as it’s a chilling fact that four Australians under 25 will die due to alcohol-related injuries in an average week. Think about it – alcohol will kill four young people between now and next Tuesday.
In an average week, 70 young people under 25 will receive alcohol-related injuries that will take them to hospital.
In fact, on average, one in four hospitalisations of people aged between 15 and 24 happen due to alcohol.
And one out of every two Australians aged 15 to 17 who get drunk will do something they later regret.
The Government finds this alarming.
NATIONAL BINGE DRINKING STRATEGY
So, we’ve set out to do lot of things to reduce these unnecessary deaths and hospitalisations – by helping younger people to help themselves
You may recall that, just four months into our Government’s term, the Prime Minister announced a $53.5 million national strategy to address binge drinking among young people. This is a carefully structured plan that includes advertising, but also involves action by community organisations and young people themselves.
Under the Strategy, the Government is spending $14.4 million to help local community groups to start up locally-tailored initiatives to combat binge drinking.
Among these initiatives is the Party Safe Program in the ACT, which we’re launching here today.
DIRECTIONS ACT (Assisting Drug Dependants Inc.) is one of 19 organisations that will be funded through the first round of community based grants under the Community Level Initiatives – and each will help change the culture of youth drinking.
I’m pleased to say that DIRECTIONS ACT's Party Safe Program will receive $243,300 over 20 months for its work - which will specifically target 15- to 24-year-olds.
… And I’d like to now wish you well with your launch of Party Safe in the ACT.
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