Newspaper Icon9 Jan 2020 - FANNZ Update

 FANNZ Update 9.1.20

The number 2020 is synonymous with Great Vision. As we usher in a new decade, let’s ensure it begins with a visionary year for FASD prevention and intervention. Collectively we have been making progress in multiple ways and critical opportunities to reduce harm remain to be realised. It is definitely the time to capitalise on and strengthen efforts to ensure our response is well directed and proportionate to the significant and preventable harm affecting so many lives. 

The start of this summer has seen our hearts and minds turn toward our neighbours in Australia battling seemingly endless catastrophic bush fires. In the midst of this it is heartening to receive news that demonstrates the Aussie spirit and leadership remains alive and well despite it all.   Congratulations to those whose vision has resulted in a significant $25 million Australian Government investment into the prevention of harm from prenatal alcohol exposure.  It is also great to see the timely strengthening and clarification of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) advice on drinking during pregnancy: To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol.  For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.” - in line with New Zealand’s official advice.

Kia kaha Australia, stand strong!

Action in Australia

Subject: National Australian awareness campaign on alcohol and pregnancy

FARE is extremely pleased and welcomes the announcement in the MYEFO 2019-20  [Government budget] of $25 million dollars for a national campaign to raise awareness of the potential risks and harm caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy and while breastfeeding in Australia.

The announcement coincides with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) strengthening the guideline on drinking and pregnancy which states, “To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol”.

FARE Director of Policy and Research Trish Hepworth says the $25 million will enable FARE to improve awareness across the whole population that there is no safe drinking level.

“Minister Hunt is to be congratulated for tackling this essential preventive health challenge,” Ms Hepworth said.

“People often underestimate the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause a range of adverse effects, including miscarriage, stillbirth and life-long disabilities such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD),” she said.

A new national campaign highlighting the risks of alcohol use and pregnancy will have strong synergies with the current Senate Inquiry into FASD initiated by the Centre Alliance Senator Stirling Griff.

“We also acknowledge and thank Senator Griff for his tireless advocacy on FASD and for his commitment bringing this hidden issue into the light,” Ms Hepworth said.

Australia has one of the highest rates of alcohol use during pregnancy in the world, while FASD is estimated to affect up to five per cent of the Australian population, with a potential range between two to nine per cent of babies born with FASD each year.

“Extraordinary work has been done by dedicated and passionate individuals and organisations at the forefront of awareness, diagnosis and support for those with FASD. We acknowledge and thank them for this solid foundational work to respond to this complex, preventable disability,” Ms Hepworth said.

“Until now there had never been sufficient funds to match this exceptional effort in protecting women and unborn children and achieving the objective of no new FASD cases in Australia,” she said. 

Sarah Ward 
Principal Policy Officer

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education
PO Box 19, Deakin West, ACT 2600
02 6122 8600

Action in USA

FASD Senate Bill 2019

The Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act, S.2879, authorizes comprehensive FASD support services, public health prevention, and research programs across agencies within the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Justice. It was introduced in the U.S. Senate on November 18, 2019.

View the NOFAS Action Alert, the bill text, and other materials below, and follow the guidance in the alert to contribute your voice to support the cause!

Call to Action!

Senate Bill S. 2879


Invitation to be a SYHPANZ speaker for youth


SYHPANZ, the Society Youth Health Professionals, are looking for presenters to join them and make INVOLVE 2020 amazing! If you are doing great work that supports young people in Aotearoa they want to hear from you. They welcome applications from all parts of the youth sector, from both individuals and groups, young people and “youth adjacent”.  

To find out more, go to!

Applications close Friday 21 February 2020 
SYHPANZ Executive Committee
Society Youth Health Professionals
Aotearoa NZ 

FASD Events for your 2020 diaries

9th International Research Conference on Adolescents and Adults with FASD

April 22-25, 2020. Vancouver, BC, Canada

Save the Date!! 3rd Biannual Australasian FASD Conference Sydney 11-12 November 2020.  Hosted by the FASD Research Australia Centre of Research Excellence. Details and Call for Abstracts to follow soon. 


Ngā mihi nui 
Christine Rogan
Health Promotion Advisor and FASD Project Coordinator
Level 1, 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket, Auckland
P.O. Box 99407, Newmarket, Auckland 1149
(09) 520 7037 I

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