When I reflect back on the past 12 months, it certainly wasn’t the year that everyone was expecting.
It will be remembered as the year the COVID-19 pandemic bought the country to a halt but it should also be remembered as a time when the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector rallied together alongside the Tasmanian community sector, to ensure ongoing access to essential services and programs.
While COVID-19 will cast a large shadow, this annual report shines light on a number of achievements.
We end the year with an additional $1.1 million being committed / injected into the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector. This includes the funds provided in response to COVID-19, but also funding that has been secured for work to increase the voices of Tasmanians with lived experience of drug use and to address stigma and discrimination.
Engagement by the Tasmanian Parliament on drug reform issues was at its peak, with the successful Tasmanian Legislative Council motion calling on the government to consider evidence-based harm-reduction strategies at Tasmanian music festivals and events.
On average, there were at least two media pieces every week raising awareness on our sector initiatives, research and issues and we saw incredible engagement with the issue of drug overdose through the 1,000 cranes project. Who would have thought that folding origami cranes would capture the attention of the community on this issue.
The ATDC is only as strong as our sector, and I give sincere thanks to our members who continue to support Alison and the team with their expertise and insights. It has been through your contributions, and the leadership and hard work of Alison and her team, that the issues of our sector have been heard, and included in a range of government responses.
Chair, ATDC Board
Special thanks to The Honourable Jeremy Rockliff MP, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing for recording a special address to our members for our 2020 AGM, and for the support of the Minister and his office over the past year.