The year 2021 is well and truly underway and I’ve been asked a few times since coming back from annual leave this week what we should expect in the months ahead.
With a smile I have been commenting that we need to ‘strap ourselves in and hold on’ because the year is going to be a big one.
With work set to commence on a number of major projects and reforms, 2021 is going to be a defining year for the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector for many reasons.
This year we will see work ramp up significantly to increase and embed the perspectives of Tasmanians with a lived experience of drug use into service delivery and design.
We will see the long-awaited collaborative ATOD data sharing project commence through a partnership between the ATDC, Primary Health Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.
The development of an ATOD Tasmanian communications charter will be completed this year and we will celebrate the incredible courage, impact and change occurring across our sector at the ATDC 2021 conference in June.
The Tasmanian Government will also commence the roll out the first of their funded AOD Reform Agenda initiatives, as well as seek to continue the finalisation of the Tasmanian Drug Strategy.
Across other areas of government, there are other reviews and activities underway that will impact how treatment, education and support is provided including a review of the Illicit Drug Diversion Initiative currently underway and the development of the Tasmanian Department of Health’s Our Healthcare Future Strategy.
Amongst all of this, the ATDC will also be continuing its active lobbying of the Tasmanian Government for increased investment into ATOD services and programs, particularly in the lead up to the 2021-22 State Budget.
This is just a high-level snapshot – and it’s indeed an exciting time.
However, with change comes increasing pressure on the leaders in our sector to stay connected and collaborate to inform this work.
I for one, look forward to this challenge and being part of this journey but I am anticipating an increase in the level of demand for the feedback from those working in our sector.
This will include an increase in the level of consultation that will need to occur, and a key focus for the ATDC will be ensuring that this happens smoothly, and adeptly.
While there is a lot happening, it’s imperative that it’s done well because to do otherwise would be a disservice to the thousands of Tasmanians who seek support from our sector every year and this will also be key focus for my team as we look to the year ahead.
Let’s get started.
Chief Executive Officer