The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council Tasmania alongside the Drug Education Network are celebrating the announcement that their chief executive officers, Alison Lai and Shirleyann Varney have both been recognised as Tasmanian finalists in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards For Purpose and Social Enterprise category.
ATDC chief executive Alison Lai said that the announcement was a wonderful achievement and an acknowledgement of the hard work that has been happening to support and advance the Tasmanian alcohol, tobacco and other drugs sector.
“Over the past couple of years there has been a significant amount of work happening to expand and improve services across Tasmania, and to raise awareness of drug related issues,” Ms Lai said.
“While the ATDC’s advocacy for a trial of pill testing in Tasmania might be the most prominent activity visible to members of the public, this represents only a fraction of the work of our organisation.
“There is a large amount of work happening behind the scenes including advocacy for increased investment in services, coordinating training for front-line workers and working with government to implement whole-of-system improvements.
“There is no doubt that there is more interest in drug-use than ever before, and I’m very proud of the impact that my organisation, and I, have had in helping to drive this.”
DEN chief executive Shirleyann Varney agreed that having two finalists was testament to the excellent work undertaken in a critical health service that can often be overlooked.
“DEN’s purpose is to prevent and reduce harm from drugs through leadership and education,” Ms Varney said.
“We work with schools and local communities across Tasmania to create a space where individuals feel comfortable to have conversations about drugs and have access to the most current and up to date information.
“By providing community members with resources, information and connections to specific services, our goal is to meet people where they are, and encourage open dialogue that empowers the individual to restore the balance of their own physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
“We couldn’t do this without the wonderful partnerships DEN has made with many organisations, including the ATDC to build community and workforce capacity in relation to prevention and early intervention.”
Alison Lai, CEO – 0450 517 017
Shirleyann Varney, CEO – 0448 692 218
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