Partners in prevention

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Cooranbong, New South Wales

Avondale College of Higher Education has become the first higher education provider in Australia to partner with alcohol and drug education coalition Dalgarno Institute.

Avondale is now a virtual campus of Dalgarno, which brings people together to move attitudes about alcohol and other drugs away from the cultural expectation of participation to consider the option of “not having to”.

Avondale is now a virtual campus of Dalgarno, which brings people together to move attitudes about alcohol and other drugs away from the cultural expectation of participation to consider the option of “not having to”.

“We’re perfect partners,” said Dr Wayne Miller, a senior lecturer in health and outdoor education in the School of Education at Avondale.

He’s reflecting on Avondale’s commitment to values such as balance, nurture and spirituality and on the temperance work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, of which Avondale is an entity.

“I haven’t heard the prevention message, as opposed to the harm minimisation message, for a long time,” Dr Miller said. “And that’s not a good thing because I feel young adults are more inclined to be sympathetic to the idea that alcohol in moderation is OK.”
 

Dalgarno executive director Shane Varcoe.

The partnership will see Dalgarno’s executive director, Shane Varcoe, guest lecturing and speaking on campus—he did both this past year. Avondale will most likely assist with research.

“Young adults need options about drug use and alcohol consumption,” Mr Varcoe said, “but they don’t have many at the moment. The culture in Australia is one-dimensional. Yes, young adults are making choices—they still have the power to choose—but the options are narrowing. We need to give them other options and empower them to make better choices.”