A diverse range of experts is meeting in Geelong over the next three days to participate in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s biennial Gambling Harm Conference, which this year focuses on the theme of Taking action for change.
At the official opening today, Foundation CEO Louise Glanville said that themes to be explored during the conference included gambling in Aboriginal communities; lived experience; public health and gambling; research and practice; and regional, rural and diverse communities.
“The Gambling Harm Conference is the only one of its kind in Australia, bringing together prominent and distinguished local, national and international professionals with an interest in tackling the complex issue of gambling harm.
“We look forward to a sharing of knowledge, experiences, challenges and insights into a range of inter-related themes and issues from the perspectives of professionals engaged in researching, preventing, reducing and providing services to people affected by gambling harm,” Ms Glanville said.
During the conference opening, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz announced $200,000 over three years for research in Aboriginal communities.
Guided by the Foundation’s Aboriginal Gambling Harm Reference Group, which is led by the Board’s Deputy Chair, Belinda Duarte, the Foundation and the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) will collaborate on a project to explore the factors that may have contributed to the recovery of VAHS clients who have experienced gambling harm.
Ms Glanville said she hoped the outcomes of the new collaboration between VAHS and the Foundation would be mutually beneficial.
“VAHS is one of the oldest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. It has operated for more than 40 years and is known for developing culturally safe and appropriate financial management and counselling services, as well as literacy training.
“This project will aim to help us understand and build on VAHS’s own successes in supporting Aboriginal communities affected by gambling harm, and offer the Foundation insights into how we can better support other communities facing similar challenges,” she said.
In addition, the Foundation launched its strategic priorities for the next three years, which seek to further its public health approach to gambling harm, work in partnership with others who share its goals, and build expertise across Victoria.
“This includes establishing a formal and regular process for engaging with people who have lived experience of gambling harm to advise the Foundation on all facets of our work, including to reduce stigma and increase the update of support services,” Ms Glanville said.
For more information about the Gambling Harm Conference 2018: Taking action for change, visit gamblingharmconference.com.au