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Getting our priorities right

Shane Lucas

While February might be a little late for happy new year wishes, I’m sure we all hope for a happier year ahead as Victoria and the world opens up again.

I am pleased to bring to your attention Our Strategic Priorities 20212024, which defines the Foundation’s purpose and role, describes the context in which we work, our approach and values, and the outcomes we seek.

The Foundation’s focus is on changing attitudes, delivering effective programs and strengthening the services we offer, as described by our strategic priorities, which are to:

  1. foster community understanding of gambling harm to lay the groundwork for the attitudinal changes required to prevent and reduce gambling harm
  2. inform and deliver prevention and intervention activities to reduce the harm in populations, communities and settings most affected by access and exposure to gambling products
  3. strengthen the funded services system to provide accessible, integrated, relevant and visible options for the delivery of effective treatment and support to people seeking help for gambling harm.

Our annual business plan reflects the issues we are addressing within the gambling environment, underpinned by our commitment to deliver outcomes that will have health and wellbeing benefits for all Victorians.

‘… outcomes that will have health and wellbeing benefits for all Victorians’

The Foundation’s strategic approach is rounded out by our new Reducing gambling harm in Victoria: Outcomes framework. Together these documents guide how we work as an organisation and with our many partners and stakeholders.

The outcomes framework describes our long-term aspirations for the Victorian community and sets the goals that guide our priorities. We understand our framework to be the first of its kind in the relatively young field of gambling harm, and it delivers on a key recommendation of the 2021 Victorian Auditor-General’s Office report, Reducing the harm caused by gambling.

The Foundation will be running briefing sessions on the outcomes framework for our partners and stakeholders. It’s important to us that you understand how our strategic decision making affects the programs and services we fund as part of a process of continuous improvement.

‘The outcomes framework describes our long-term aspirations …’

In this issue of Inside gambling, we showcase some exceptional, recently released gambling harm-related research. Foundation research adds to the knowledge base about gambling harm and informs and supports Gambler's Help services, prevention programs, social marketing campaigns and policy advice to government.

We are very proud of our research program, ably run by Rosa Billi, a very worthy recipient of the Public Service Medal in this year’s Australia Day Honours list for outstanding public service to community health in Victoria, particularly in the area of gambling harm. Our warmest congratulations to Rosa.

Not only do we award research grants and commission major research projects, but we host research webinars as well as broad training and professional development via our very dynamic Sector Development Hub.

The pandemic has given many of you the opportunity to tune into a range of these Foundation presentations remotely. I look forward to seeing you again both online and in person in 2022.

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