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New campaign to address risky drinking behaviours amongst LBQ women in regional Victoria as part of VicHealth initiative

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Through VicHealth’s Alcohol Culture Change Initiative, the Victorian AIDS
Council (VAC) will be leading a two-year project to address potentially risky drinking
behaviours amongst lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women living in regional Victoria.
Aimed to increase social support for low-risk drinking and reduce the impact of alcohol, the
project will receive over $200,000 to develop and implement a health promotion campaign
aimed at creating a culture of support and encouragement to reduce risky drinking in four
regional areas of Victoria including Bendigo, Ballarat, Morwell, and Geelong.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said, “We know that one-size doesn’t fit all – Victoria is a diverse
state with many drinking cultures. These new projects will target groups of people most
likely to drink at risky levels.”

VAC CEO Simon Ruth said, “We know that drinking behaviours amongst same sex attracted
women pose considerable risks to their ongoing health and wellbeing. This funding will
allow us to expand upon our existing services to reach those women in regional centres, and
challenge some assumed social norms and attitudes around drinking by encouraging positive
behaviour change and peer support.”

The project aims to establish focus groups from its four key regional centres to consult in
the development of a social marketing campaign. Furthermore, the project will work closely
with LBQ women’s community networks and health service providers in regional settings
and raise awareness of risky behaviours and support pathways.

“As a community-led organisation, lesbian, bisexual, and queer women have played an
important role in VAC’s work since it’s very founding. That tradition will carry on as this
project aims to understand and influence the values, attitudes and beliefs of LBQ women
and their support networks of friends, family, and co-workers,” said Ruth.

Rechter added, “This initiative is about people socially supporting one another to reduce
high risk drinking, resulting in reduced harm for themselves, their family and friends, those
in the vicinity and the broader community.”

For more information on VicHealth’s Alcohol Change Initiative, go to: www.vichealth.vic.gov.


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