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Burnet shares harm reduction expertise with PNG locals

Burnet Institute

25 August, 2011

The Australian Leadership Award Fellowship participants with Burnet Institute staff. Photo by Lucina Schmich

The course was funded under AusAID’s Australian Leadership Award Fellowships program, which aims to bring leaders in a particular field to Australia for training with the idea they will take the knowledge back and apply it in their home countries.

Four years ago, Burnet Institute did research looking at the effects of alcohol use and other drugs in PNG and found there were high levels of alcohol and marijuana use in some communities.

Burnet’s PNG Program Director, Andrea Fischer said our research showed that communities were concerned that these levels of consumption were causing significant social and health-related problems.

“We also found institutions in PNG wanted to address these issues, however lacked access to the latest knowledge, practices and skills,” Andrea said.

“So we worked with three key agencies, the National Department of Health, the National Research Institute and the University of PNG to select participants to come to Burnet to learn about the implementation of effective drug policy.”

The participants ranged from researchers, a psychiatrist, social workers and students and all had some existing knowledge and experience, but came to broaden this knowledge and enhance their skills.

As well as classroom learning, they also headed into the field with Burnet’s Centre for Populations Health research team to Footscray, and to Melbourne-based alcohol and drug service providers such as Moreland Hall, Pine Lodge Clinic and the Youth Support Advisory Service.

Andrea said one of the successes of the course was allowing time for the participants to explore their own ideas and come up with their own proposals.

“The Institute will be working with them over the next 12 months to progress some of those ideas.”

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Burnet Institute

communications@burnet.edu.au

Telephone

+61392822111

Email

communications@burnet.edu.au

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