By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News

DrinkWise celebrated 11 years of sustained and targeted activity with a Showcase held at Parliament House on Monday.

The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP addresses the DrinkWise Showcase in Canberra

Over the past 11 years, DrinkWise has invested $30m into changing the face of Australia's drinking culture through key social and educational activities.

These activities include 'The Role of Parents' which focused on parents' roles as an influencer when it comes to alcohol consumption; 'How to Drink Properly' a social marketing campaign designed to influence young adults (18-24 years) to drink responsibly by moderating the intensity and frequency of binge drinking occasions; 'You Won't Miss a Moment if you DrinkWise', an industry first collaborative approach to conveying a unified moderation message, encouraging those attending or watching events (sports, music, festivals) to drink responsibly and ensure they don’t miss the most memorable moments; a labelling initiative, working with the industry where messages on alcohol products encourage consumers to ‘Get the Facts’ about alcohol consumption from the DrinkWise website; and 'Red Dust Role Models', an ongoing partnership between DrinkWise and Red Dust Role Models delivering programs to young indigenous men and women in the Northern Territory.

These activations were on display at the showcase on a number of digital screens to highlight the positive progress DrinkWise has made.

Neil Comrie, the Chair of the DrinkWise Board, said: “Over the past 11 years, DrinkWise has invested over $30m in campaigns and education activity to bring about a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia. It is pleasing to see, through Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, the positive shifts in drinking attitudes and behaviour. I’m proud to be a part of an organisation that has contributed to these improvements.

“We are grateful to Minister Ley for taking the time to address the attendees, and to our other ministerial guests for attending and hearing about the great work DrinkWise is currently undertaking.”

John Scott, DrinkWise CEO, said: “The Showcase provides the opportunity for DrinkWise to highlight the depth and breadth of our commitment to improving the drinking culture. Without industry funding, our award winning campaigns and educational activity would not have been possible. It has allowed the ability for sustained and targeted approaches to changing poor aspects of our drinking culture – and importantly provides a model for how industry, Government and the community can work together.”

DrinkWise was formed in 2005 and is funded through voluntary contributions across the alcohol sector. It has previously been in receipt of funding from both Coalition and Labor Goverments, and was awarded $5m by the Howard Government in 2006, when the Hon. Christopher Pyne was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing.

Speaking at the Showcase, DrinkWise Ambassador, Dr Andrew Rochford, said: “The DrinkWise Showcase has been 11 years in the making right back in 2005 when DrinkWise started. The concept around how you can approach the problem of drinking in this country, and how can you approach it in a way that is reasonable, that makes sense, that talks to the people in the middle that enjoy a drink.

“Over that 11 years there has been some amazing steps taken by DrinkWise. And the reason that I originally got involved was because of a campaign that I'm sure you will all remember, Kids Absorb Your Drinking, so that moment when you turn to your child and ask them to go get you another drink and you remember that ad in your head. It's one of the most clever pieces of advertising that I've ever seen or been involved in, it rang true with me and I still live by those ideals.

“It's been a very busy 11 years. There's been $30m in campaigns and education activity including Kids Absorb Your Drinking, You Won't Miss A Moment if you Drink Wise (which I also think is another great campaign) and How To Drink Properly, and if you haven't seen that campaign make sure you get onto YouTube because that's another one that talks to another generation that we're not all a part of and it's very, very clever.”

The Showcase was attended by the DrinkWise Board and Executives, senior industry executives, politicians and departmental staff, and speakers included the Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, Neil Comrie, DrinkWise Chair, and Dr Andrew Rochford, DrinkWise Ambassador.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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