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Challenging Stigma and Discrimination

Posted on 20th November 2019

South Western Sydney Drug and Alcohol Professional Development & Partnership Celebration 2019

Society is a complex network of cultures, beliefs and ways of doing things: some ingrained and others more recent, some established and others still finding their way.

That complexity was laid bare and discussed at the South Western Sydney Drug & Alcohol Steering Committee & Interagency Partnership Celebration and Sector Professional Development Day, held on Friday, November 1 at Campbelltown Catholic Club. The theme of this year’s celebration was “Challenging Stigma & Discrimination”.

Approximately 100 people attended, representing a range of community organisations including Youth Solutions, and were treated to an impressive line-up of speakers.

Professor Suzanne Fraser and Dr Renae Fomiatti, both from La Trobe University, spoke about the “Lives of Substance” and “Overdose Lifesavers” websites.

Professor Fraser, who is also a visiting professorial fellow at the Centre for Social Research in Health at UNSW, focuses on research into the social dynamics of drug use and blood-borne virus prevention, with a special interest in gender issues and stigma.

Dr Fomiatti’s work looks at the sociology of alcohol and other drugs use and recovery.

Dr Belinda Green and Vi Nguyen (DAMEC) co-presented the topic: “Supporting CALD communities to challenge stigma”.

PeerLink Officer Andy Helsop (NUAA) presented a personal story while Annie Bleeker, who has worked in the alcohol and drugs field since 1990, workshopped individual action plans.

Stephanie Hocking, the General Manager of Drug Health Services in the South Western Sydney Local Health District, presented networking awards on behalf of the SWS D&A Partnership.

A big congratulations to the following award recipients:

  • Outstanding Collaboration in Partnership – Miller Youth Space
  • Frontline Worker of the Year – Jordan Sharp (Core Community Services)
  • Newcomers of the Year – Kara Markovics (Ted Noffs Foundation) and Kyle Kalkowski (Mission Australia Triple Care Farm)
  • Outstanding Contribution to the SWS Drug & Alcohol Partnership – Karen Yuen (Youth Solutions)

Picture: Youth Solutions Youth & Community Development Coordinator, Karen Yuen with Stephanie Hocking, the General Manager of Drug Health Services.

Piece written by Youth Solutions. Youth Solutions was part of the organising committee for the 2019 South Western Sydney Drug and Alcohol Professional Development & Partnership Celebration.

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