The BHP FASD Prevention team have had a very busy 2017 with health promotion, consultation and data collection activities throughout the year.
In March we had a visit to Hedland by international speakers, Dr Lorraine Greaves and Dr Nancy Poole. Community, health and education workforce attended a workshop delivered by Lorraine and Nancy highlighting the impact of trauma (historial, contemporary and transgenerational), gender and culture on alcohol drinking in pregnancy.
We have been having regular meetings with our international networks in Canada and Europe. In July, Senior Research Officer Rebecca Pedruzzi obtained a grant allowing her to work with our collaborators in the Netherlands. The project aims to understand what we know and what we don’t know about FASD prevention in Australia. As part of her grant award, Rebecca travelled to Maastricht to receive training in prevention methods. Rebecca will be drawing on the expertise of our Netherlands collaborators to ensure that as researchers we are working in the best ways we can to Make FASD History.
International FASD Awareness Day 2017 was held at the South Hedland Town Square on Friday September 8th. Co-hosted by Wirraka Maya Health Service and the Telethon Kids Institute. The day also featured stalls and activities by South Hedland Aboriginal Family Law Services, South Hedland Child and Parent Centre (CPC) and the KindiLink Program among others. The day was the perfect opportunity to unveil three new FASD Prevention videos, which featured local Pilbara people sharing their FASD experiences. Tracy Kynaston, a Hedland Community Reference Group member shared her personal experiences of living with FASD, and her decision not to drink while pregnant with her daughter, Amy. We applaud Tracy’s courage and her commitment to preventing FASD in her community.
The FASD prevention team spent the month of October conducting the annual community FASD survey, and were able to collect more than 400 responses across Hedland, Yandeyarra and Warralong communities. A huge effort, with very special mention to the many volunteers (Geoff Tucker, Helen Tucker, Brian McRae, Jesse Whife, Fatuma Hamid) and staff (Sangita Daniel, Zabia Chmielewski, Gayle Segar, Adrian Clinch, Sissy Ramirez, Tracy McRae) who worked tirelessly to achieve this.
FASD Prevention work was shared with international audiences at the 2017 Global Alcohol Policy Conference in Melbourne, where Research Officer David Tucker and Community Researcher Adrian Clinch gave two presentations on the Hedland work. Adrian was also awarded the GAPC2017 Ian Webster Conference Scholarship Program, funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by alcohol.
Further congratulations to Adrian for being awarded the 2017 Port Hedland NAIDOC Scholar of the Year! Adrian also began TAFE Business Studies earlier this year
The team is looking forward to further developing these national and international collaborations and sharing the collective knowledge of our community and research partners.
In partnership with the FASD Community Reference Group, and in consultation with local community members, the prevention project team have developed health promotion resources aimed at increasing community awareness of the effects of alcohol use in pregnancy. These resources have been distributed to over 400 community members, and have been made available at key local service provider locations. Click on the image to view the resource.