Media Release - 03/02/10
Promoting a safer drinking culture in Christchurch will be the focus of this morning’s (Wednesday 3 February) meeting between the Healthy Christchurch Champions* and visiting Australian Professor Rob Moodie.
“One of the Healthy Christchurch goals is to change Christchurch’s harmful drinking culture. Professor Moodie is one of Australasia’s leading lights in this field and we are expecting to learn a lot from his experiences and his work towards the Australian Government’s aim of making Australia the healthiest country in the world by 2020,” Healthy Christchurch Chair Evon Currie, said.
One of Professor Moodie’s recent positions has been chair of Australian Preventative Health Taskforce, established in 2008, to look at how to keep people healthy and out of hospital, improve and extend their lives and reduce the pressure on our hospital system.
Alcohol abuse was one of three health-related issues addressed by the taskforce, along with obesity and smoking.
Ideas from the Australian taskforce to reshape the country’s drinking culture and reduce the harm from alcohol were to:
Improve the safety of people who drink and those around them
Increase public awareness and reshape attitudes to promote a safer drinking culture in Australia
Regulate alcohol promotions
Reform alcohol taxation and pricing arrangements to discourage harmful drinking
Improve the health of Indigenous Australians
Strengthen skills and support primary healthcare to help people in making healthy choices
Build healthy children and families
Strengthen the evidence base
“A comprehensive approach such as this was essential to reducing the number of people misusing alcohol,” Evon Currie said.
“All of the people involved in Healthy Christchurch, from the medical profession to civic leaders, can take some of Australia’s ideas and adapt them to suit Christchurch’s efforts to reduce the number of people misusing alcohol,” she said.
“Alcohol misuse has a physical and emotional cost, not only for the person themselves, but for their whanau, their place of employment and wider society – and the financial cost to taxpayers is staggering.”
The Healthy Christchurch Champions believe that people should take a stand and send the message that drunk and disorderly behaviour is not accepted.
“Be a positive role model by consuming alcohol in moderate amounts, if at all. And educate children about the choices they face around alcohol and the very serious consequences of drinking too much.”
Along with chairing the taskforce, Professor Moodie is the inaugural Chair of Global Health at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne.
Healthy Christchurch is a network of almost 200 organisations which work together to promote, protect and improve the health and well-being of the people of Christchurch. The seven Healthy Christchurch Champions are: