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 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, is now working on a report from the roundtable.
In September 2016, Dame Marie Bashir launched the Australia21/FearLess essay volume on trauma-related stress in Australia. Former AFP Commissioner and former Australia21 deputy chair, Mick Palmer, is working with Australia21 to plan a 2017 round table of first responders on the issue of trauma-related stress.
YoungA21, working with Australia21 and collaborating with the Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation (ALDAF), is developing 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 how to influence policy in this area. This builds upon the successful 2014 Australia 21 event Smarter About Drugs, which included a workshop and panel discussion held in Adelaide.
The team of teachers at Cowandilla Primary School in South Australia has been piloting 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 will connect the dots in the mindfulness, empathy and compassion innovations and map their impact on the performance of public and private organisations in Australia.
And projects or follow-up events that are under construction:
Our Honorary Youth Advisors, Rebecca Bunn and Luke Hutchins, along with the YA21 committee, YA21 co-chair and Australia21 Director Peter Yuile and Executive Officer Anne Quinn are developing a project to find out how young people are faring in the changing world of work. We’re looking for funding and planning to roll the project out in 2017.