International experts gather for Global Alcohol Policy Forum

The importance of effective alcohol policy to community safety, health and wellbeing was reinforced by international experts in front of a full house at a public forum in Perth recently. The forum was held ahead of the 2024 Kettil Bruun Society symposium which brought leading alcohol researchers from around the world to Fremantle to exchange ideas about their research.

Hosted by Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) and Western Australia’s Mental Health Commission, the 'International Alcohol Policy Forum: Global Perspectives on Reducing Harm' featured presentations outlining the latest research evidence on effectiveness of policy measures to reduce alcohol-related harm.  Officiated by NDRI Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, presenters included:

  • Professor Tim Stockwell, from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, summarising the impacts and implications of the Minimum Unit Price in Canada and Scotland.
  • University of Sheffield Professor John Holmes, exploring the public health impact of a new generation of alcohol-free and low-alcohol drinks.
  • Professor Niamh Fitzgerald, from the University of Stirling’s Institute for Social Marketing & Health, discussing framing communications to build public support for effective policies.
  • Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare Professor Pia Mäkelä examining the effects of expanding alcohol availability into supermarkets in Finland.
  • Professor Sally Casswell, from the SHORE & Whariki Research Centre at Massey University, outlining international evidence highlighting the impacts of exposure to alcohol marketing on alcohol use.

The experts were then joined by Alcohol and Drug Foundation CEO Dr Erin Lalor and NDRI Research Fellow Dr Annalee Stearne for an insightful panel and audience engagement, facilitated by NDRI Professor Steve Allsop.

Feedback indicates the event, which attracted almost 100 attendees from government, non- government and community sectors, was very well received. Presenter's expertise and knowledge were commonly rated highly, with all respondents believing the forum was worthwhile, including 90 per cent who rated it 5 out of 5.

Find more information on NDRI's Alcohol Policy research here, and click here for more on the work of the Mental Health Commission.

Posted on: 4 Jun 2024

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