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Partner News - November 2023


In this edition

Gambling Harm Awareness Week community events wrap-up

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Each year, our partners host a range of innovative and engaging community events during Gambling Harm Awareness Week to help start conversations that destigmatise gambling harm and encourage those affected to seek help. This year was no exception, with events and activities focused on how to have a conversation with someone who is at risk of, or already experiencing, gambling harm.

Read about community events held across metropolitan and regional Victoria during the week of 16–22 October that brought people together to Talk. Share. Support.


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Community engagement news

Gaming venues get spooky to celebrate YourPlay Day

YourPlay Day 2023

YourPlay Day fell on 31 October this year, so pokies venues across Victoria leaned into the Halloween theme with spook-tacular pop-up stalls to promote the program. YourPlay gives patrons the ability to set limits on the time and money they will spend gambling on pokies and sends them notifications to track how they’re going against these limits.

Supported by Department of Justice and Community Safety, all Victorian pokies venues were provided key messages, posters, flyers, branded jellybeans, lollipops and pens to hand out to patrons and encourage them to talk about the advantages and ease of signing up to YourPlay.

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Financial counselling news

In conversation with Sabiha Nazli

Sabiha Nazli chatted to Partner News about her role as a financial counsellor with the Gambler's Help program at Latrobe Community Health Service and her passion for studying the underlying causes of addiction.

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  • Tell us about your role

    As a financial counsellor with the Gambler's Help program at Latrobe Community Health Service, I cover the entire Gippsland area. I offer support to clients who are grappling with their own or other people’s financial issues relating to gambling.

  • How long have you worked in financial counselling?

    I transitioned into the financial counselling role in May 2023, after dedicating seven years of my career to the mental health sector and an additional year-and-a-half in the alcohol and other drugs sector. I attribute much of my success in this new role to the valuable experience gained from my previous positions, which allowed me to develop a deep understanding of human behaviours and the underlying causes of addictions.

  • What’s the role like and what are some of the highlights for you?

    I was initially overwhelmed by the requirements of the new role, but with the support provided by Financial Counselling Victoria, and the guidance from my agency and supervision, I successfully found my footing in the field of financial counselling. Now, I am confident in my abilities to make a meaningful impact and provide support to our vulnerable clients. It's truly remarkable to see how our advocacy efforts can instil hope and trust in the system for our clients.

  • Congratulations on receiving a Department of Health Vic Scholarship. How did this come about?

    Over the past two years, I've gained a profound understanding of the way we typically address addiction – often just scratching the surface without delving into the underlying causes that drive these behaviours. This realisation ignited my curiosity to explore addictive behaviours more deeply and to comprehend their impact on an individual's wellbeing. Fortuitously, an excellent learning opportunity presented itself at just the right time. I applied for a scholarship and was fortunate to receive an offer to pursue a Graduate Certificate of Addictive Behaviours at Monash University.

  • How do you see your studies integrating with your Gambler’s Help role?

    As a financial counsellor, I view myself as a community worker with the ability to advocate for our clients and plant seeds of hope in their lives. My role extends beyond financial guidance. It's about having a positive impact on our clients and inspiring them to believe in a brighter future.

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Foundation news

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Foundation's Annual Report 2022-23

The Foundation's 2022–23 Annual Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on Thursday 16 November 2023.

Key activities covered in the report include:

  • the Gambler’s Help service system review and recommendations for improvement
  • development of an evidence-based prevention programming framework
  • revision and implementation of the sector development strategy, which focuses on mobilisation of research, knowledge and lived experience
  • completion of a baseline report against the Reducing gambling harm in Victoria: Outcomes framework 2022.

In addition, the annual report includes an update on the Foundation’s progress towards acquitting actions taken in response to the recommendations of the Victorian Auditor-General's Office in its 2021 report, Reducing the Harm Caused by Gambling.

In the context of the July 2023 announcement that the Foundation’s functions are to be transferred to other parts of government from 1 July 2024, reference is also made to our achievements during our 11-year history.

Read more

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Baseline for measuring progress to address gambling harm

The Foundation’s Reducing gambling harm in Victoria: Outcomes framework baseline report 2022 is now available on our website.

It is the first report against the Foundation’s Reducing gambling harm in Victoria: Outcomes framework 2022. As such, its purpose is to provide a baseline against which future reports will measure the impact of the actions of the Foundation and others on addressing gambling harm in Victoria.

Read more

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Training and professional development

Gambling harm experiences by children of gamblers: the hidden voices

Thursday, 23 November 2023, 12:30–1:30 pm

A growing body of literature points to dysfunction in family environments affected by gambling issues, but little research has addressed the specific impacts of parental gambling on children.

Dr Aino Suomi will present the findings of Gambling harm experienced by children of parents who gamble, Foundation-funded research she led in 2021 while at the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University. The study examined the specific effects of parental gambling on children and sought to better understand how the harms they experienced were directly attributable to their parents’ gambling.

Dr Suomi’s presentation will highlight key findings from the study, including the areas of child wellbeing that are affected by parental problem gambling, the extent to which the severity of parental gambling harm predicts the degree of gambling harm experienced by children, and how exposure to gambling harm in childhood relates to health and wellbeing outcomes later in life.


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If you have missed any of our training or professional development webinars, recorded sessions are available on our Training resources web page.

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