22 November 2016
Former international rugby league players will add their support to an Indigenous community drug and alcohol forum hosted at the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Fraser Coast campus.
The forum on Thursday 24 November from 9am-3pm will investigate alcohol abuse, intergenerational substance use and the devastating impact of the methamphetamine Ice and other drugs on families and the community.
USC and the Wide Bay Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs Service are presenting the forum in partnership with the Wide Bay Primary Health Network, Uniting Care and the Wide Bay Women’s Health Centre.
Indigenous Services Community Engagement Officer at USC Fraser Coast Les Raveneau said former football greats including Petero Civoniceva, Nathan Blacklock, John Hopoate, David Peachy and Colin Scott would present an “Inspirational Stories” session at the forum.
“Many have grown up in communities with drugs and alcohol so they will share their experiences and talk about how they have come so far in their careers,” Mr Raveneau said.
“They are great ambassadors and role models and their personal stories will provide positive messages around educational aspiration and drug and alcohol awareness.”
Coordinator Tina Bond from the Wide Bay Mental Health and Other Drugs Service said the forum would allow Indigenous service providers and community members to discuss and develop strategies to deal with the impact of drug and alcohol use in the community.
“Topics include the link between intergenerational trauma and substance abuse, preventing alcohol-related harm, and the behaviours of Ice and methamphetamine addiction,” Ms Bond said.
The former rugby league internationals are visiting the Fraser Coast to play in a Legends of League match at Hervey Bay on Saturday 26 November.
The USC Australian All Stars side will compete against a team of Fraser Coast past players, with the game to be refereed by Mr Raveneau, one of the region’s highest ranked referees.
— Clare McKay