International FASD Day September 9th 2017

Don’t forget that this Saturday is International FASD Day. As nurses we have an important role to play in educating women about this condition.

Find resources at these links:

Australian and New Zealand FASD Collaboration

Fetal Alcohol Network New Zealand

Women Want to Know

International Overdose Awareness Day – Jamie’s Story

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury because of a drug overdose.
Overdose Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. Wear Silver to show your support.

DANA was approached by a young woman, Jodie Hobbs, who was prepared to share her family’s tragic story about the loss of a beloved brother, Jamie,  to an overdose. You can read Jodie’s and Jamie’s moving story by clicking here, Jamie’s story by Jodie

NZ Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action Plan

The New Zealand Ministry of Health has recently release its ‘Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action Plan 2017-2021’.  It contributes to achieving the overall vision of the New Zealand Health Strategy and specifically for mental health and addiction, this means enabling people to thrive and experience wellbeing wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.

‘This Action Plan recognises the importance of a combined effort to address the social determinants of health by working across health, justice and social sectors to ensure equitable positive outcomes for all New Zealanders.

It includes actions to develop a workforce with the right skills, knowledge, competencies and attitudes needed to design and deliver integrated and innovative responses.

The actions outlined in this action plan will support the development of the primary health care, community and specialist workforce to be well equipped, integrated, competent and capable to focus on improving health and wellbeing. It will guide decisions about investment and resourcing for the next five years and is relevant to all people working to improve outcomes for those with mental health and addiction issue’.

You can access a copy of the plan here, Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Plan 20017-2021    or  visit  the website of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Read the Update: DANA supports trial of MSIC in North Richmond (Vic)


An Open Letter to the Victorian Parliament, published in the Herald Sun today (see link below), contains 48 signatories from key sectors of the Victorian community for a trial of a Medically Supervised Injection Facility in North Richmond.

Signatories include the Salvation Army, Anglicare, Ambulance Employees Australia, Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, other medical experts, Victorian Trades Hall Council, Yarra City Council, nurses, youth and health services, and leading drug agencies.

This demonstrates there is wide support for a Medically Supervised Injection Facility*.

DANA said the Open Letter calls on the Parliament of Victoria to support the trial – or more lives will be lost.

Read the open letter,  Start Saving Lives.

* There are approximately 90 Supervised Injecting Facilities (SIF) globally and there is consensus among the experts on the marked achievements of SIF’s in reducing harms among highly vulnerable cohorts. In 2001, the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Sydney opened; evaluations of the Sydney MSIC have found that up to May 2015 it had:

  • Successfully managed more than 6,089 drug overdoses without a single fatality
  • Reduced the number of publicly discarded needles and syringes in the Kings Cross area by approximately half
  • Decreased the number of ambulance call outs to Kings Cross by 80%
  • Generated more than 12,000 referrals to health and social welfare services

Update: 22.2.2017

Additional support for the North Richmond MSIC has come from the Coroner, Jacqui Hawkins. You can read in full the reason for her support at these two links.

Coroner Supports Supervised Injection Centre

Coroner’s findings

However information has come to hand this morning suggesting that Martin Foley, Victorian Minister for Health has advised that the facility will not be approved. Read the story from The Guardian here.



ANMAC Review- EN Accreditation Standards

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is progressing to the second stage of the review of the Enrolled Nurse Accreditation Standards used to assess and accredit Diploma of Nursing Programs of study.

Your input into this review would be greatly appreciated. The second consultation paper and survey are available for your feedback on the ANMAC website. This period of consultation closes on Friday, 24 February 2017.

You, or your delegate, also have an opportunity to provide face-to-face feedback at forum hosted by ANMAC in Brisbane –  Tuesday, 7 March 2017.

You can register your interest in attending the consultation forum by sending an email to by Tuesday, 14 February 2017. Please include your:

  • Name or name of your delegate
  • Position and organisation
  • Referring organisation, where relevant
  • Contact phone and email details
  • Any dietary or other requirements

For any queries regarding the consultation process or attendance at the forum please email 


Contribute an article to the ANMJ

ANMJDear Colleague

The DEC 2016-JAN 2017 edition of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal will be featuring the topic DRUG & ALCOHOL in its focus section.

You are invited to contribute short articles (approx… 200-500 words). Photo stories are also welcome (specifications and instructions regarding permission to use photos are included in the writer’s guidelines).

The deadline for articles is FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER.

Go to this website for writers’ guidelines

Uniting calls for a re-think on drugs

unitingUniting, the services and advocacy arm of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, is calling for a re-think on illegal drug use.

The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT, at its recent Synod meeting has given the go-ahead for its services and congregations to call for:

o   Increased investment in harm reduction and demand reduction strategies, and

o   Further measures to decriminalise individual possession of small amounts of illegal drugs (not to decriminalise the illegal supply of drugs).

A Uniting campaign will call on government leaders and policy makers to rethink their stance on illegal drugs – one based in compassion. Peter Worland, Executive Director of Uniting said, “There is a compelling case for us to take a new approach on drugs; a more compassionate response, a Christian response.”

Uniting will join with members of the legal and medical community to argue the case for decriminalisation, “People using illegal drugs in the community often resist help out of fear of being arrested. This fear prevents them from seeking help, and it ends up being either too little or too late. The consequences of drug use have touched almost every Australian family. We’re calling for some difficult conversations, but as a society, we can no longer ignore the evidence,” Mr Worland said.

The Medical Director of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, Dr Marianne Jauncey believes addressing the medical needs of people who use drugs is only half the challenge, “If our aim is to respect the inherent dignity of every person, we must re-frame the debate. I work with people every day who are trying to manage their dependence and get their lives back on track. Stigma and shame are big issues, and battling drug use convictions serves only to alienate people further. If we are a society which believes in giving people a fair go, if we believe in saving lives, we must do something differently.”

Uniting and Uniting Church congregations will join the growing community who have already put their name behind the medical and social evidence which proves a new approach is needed – including voices such as Sir Richard Branson, who recently visited the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre to learn more about its practices.

Rev Graham Long AM, CEO and Pastor at the Wayside Chapel said, “Experts the world over are beginning to agree that the “War on Drugs” is lost. We’ve witnessed an amazing investment of resources in a policy that generally makes life worse for everyone. I’m delighted that the Synod is open to considering evidence and looking for a new way forward. We’ll now have an army of voices championing the cause of the people we serve each day.”


o   The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT is the first major Christian denomination in Australia to endorse a policy position on the decriminalisation of the possession of use of small amounts of illicit drugs. Further information about the Synod’s decision can be found here:

o   Uniting, the advocacy and services arm the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT will lead the public conversation on these issues on behalf of the Uniting Church NSW & ACT Synod, building on the evidence and experience in working with people who inject drugs at the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.

o   Over 15 years ago, the Uniting Church opened the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. It was a first for Australia, and today it is still the only service of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The centre has saved countless lives and has helped many onto the path of recovery and rehabilitation.

o   Uniting joins with the following organisations calling for alternatives to drug prohibition:  National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW; Drug Policy Modelling Program, UNSW;  Harm Reduction Australia; Discipline of Addiction Medicine, University of Sydney; Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW; The Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and other Drugs; Headspace; Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Bar Association; Ted Noffs Foundation;  Family and Friends of Drug Law Reform; Family Drug Support;  NSW Users and AIDS Association.

Recognising and Celebrating Nurses in Primary Care

APNANurseAwardsLOGO_bannerWe talk about recognition; we talk about acknowledgment; we talk about celebrating our profession

  • Are you being recognised?
  • Is your colleague being acknowledged?
  • When are nurses in primary health care celebrated?

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association is pleased to present the APNA Nurse Awards.  Building on a nine year history of the Best Practice Awards in Nursing, the APNA Nurse of the Year and APNA Recently Graduated Nurse of the Year awards will recognise nurses working in primary health care who have excelled in their local communities. By simplifying the awards framework, these awards are a platform to showcase the work of outstanding primary health care nurses.

An estimated 80,000 nurses work in primary health care out of 360,000 nurses registered in Australia.  Recognition among your peers is the first step towards broader recognition, and the best way to build recognition is from within.  You are the primary health care nursing profession; you are the heart of primary health care and you are so important to the health of our country.

The APNA Nurse Awards will showcase the significance of primary health care nurses to the community, and these nurses will act as ambassadors for your profession.  For more information, click on this link.

3 month amnesty on fees for Credentialling applications

Don’t miss out! DANA is offering a 3 month amnesty of fees for Credentialling applications for DANA members and non-members between 11.01.16 -11.04.16.

Don’t miss out!  Make it your new year’s resolution to submit your credentialling application and take advantage of this fantastic offer!

Jan-Apr 2016 DANA CDAN Amnesty Advert AUS JPG


Amnesty on NZ Advanced Certification fees

Don’t miss out!  3 months amnesty on application fees for Advanced Certification applications between 11.01.16 – 11.04.16

Make it your new year’s resolution to apply!Jan-Apr 2016 DANA ACAN Amnesty Advert NZ JPG