Australia21 has a variety of projects bubbling away, in concept, development or implementation stages. Our latest projects to reach the implementation stage are: Drug law reform, Algal farming, Trauma related stress, Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack, Smarter About Drugs education pilot, Mindful Futures Network.
The March 2017 launch of the report from our third illicit drugs Roundtable received widespread public and media coverage, prompting an important conversation about the need for drug law reform. Roundtable convenor, former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer, launched the report with former NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr and former Victorian Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett.
In November 2016 we ran a roundtable on the potential for algal farming to contribute to solutions for a range of problems we face. The project team, including Julian Cribb, Ian Falconer, Graeme Pearman and Australia21’s Bob Douglas and Paul Barratt, produced a report from the roundtable, launched by Greens Senator Janet Rice in 2017. The report finds that Australian regional economies and the environment would be the winners from converting nutrient pollution into valuable algae biomass.
In September 2016, Dame Marie Bashir launched the Australia21/FearLess essay volume on trauma-related stress in Australia. The essays set the scene for a national roundtable discussion on PTSD among first responders in 2017 and a national push towards improved approaches to the issue in 2018.
YoungA21, working with Australia21 and collaborating with the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation (ALDAF), has developed a drug education resource for schools and community groups that aims to encourage students to talk openly about drug and alcohol issues, and to consider the impact of policy in this area. Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack builds upon the successful 2014 Australia 21 Smarter About Drugs forum, which included a workshop and panel discussion held in Adelaide.
The team of teachers at Cowandilla Primary School in South Australia piloted a drug education program, inspired by our 2014 Smarter About Drugs forum and supported by Australia21’s illicit drug law reform champion and President of the Drug Law Reform Foundation, Dr Alex Wodak, and Australia21 Director, Deb Lavis.
The empathy project, under the leadership of Australia21 Director Dr Lynne Reeder, is branching off into exciting new areas with the establishment of the Mindful Futures Network. The network is connecting the dots in mindfulness, empathy and compassion innovations and mapping their impact on the performance of public and private organisations in Australia.
In 2017 we piloted our Making Our Future Work workshop, designed in consultation with an expert reference group and facilitated by YoungA21 members. This youth-led initiative seeks to gain an empathic understanding of young people’s experiences and feelings about the world of work, their future, and the challenges and opportunities they face. We’re looking for funding so we can roll out the project across Australia.