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Community Breaks the Ice

5 August 2015

Circular Head Council, Rural Heath and Tasmania Police are working together to develop a whole-of-community resilience to the issue of drug use.

Circular Head has been the centre of attention since an ice forum was held in October last year.

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said Council wanted to focus on the positive things that have happened since the forum.

“There is no denying that crystal methamphetamine, or ice, is being used in Circular Head, and the community has rallied to try and do something about it,” Mayor Quilliam said.

“Ranging from education, early intervention and other additional programs, we are taking a whole-of-community approach to this issue.”

Rural Heath CEO Robert Waterman agreed and said Circular Head should be commended for taking positive steps to respond to the issue of drugs in the community. 

“Through various programs and initiatives Circular Head has taken a proactive approach to ensuring that from a very young age to adults that we are educating people about the problem and addressing the underlying issues behind why people turn to substance abuse,” Mr Waterman said.

“It is through these partnerships, programs and a commitment from the community that we will be able to reduce the use of ice in Circular Head.”

Mayor Quilliam and Mr Waterman said programs that had been delivered or in progress included:

  • Undertaking initiatives from the Learn for Life Circular Head Literacy Plan 2014-2019
  • Workshops with Andrew Fuller (partnership Rural Health TAS, Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation (CHAC)), Gary Fettke (partnership Rural Health, CHAC)
  • Documentary on drug issues (partnership Rural Health, CHAC)
  • Seven Up Youth Centre (in partnership with Rural Health TAS, CHAC, SCF)
  • Y Plan Youth Forum and Developing the Youth Plan 2015
  • Supporting Steve Biddulph Raising boys and girls sessions (August)
  • Supporting the inaugural TRY-athlon event to educate and increase women’s physical health (November)
  • Supporting Rotary Club of Smithton project to study the link between intergenerational occurrences, addictions and mental health
  • Developing Health and Wellbeing Community Plan - to improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the community (expected to commence in 2016).
  • Rural Health Early intervention/prevention program that identifies and addresses early indicators of substance abuse, mental illness and family violence before it becomes an issue.
  • Rural Health Drug and Alcohol Forum later in the year to teach parents all about signs symptoms and how to identify it early and deal with substance abuse from a parents perspective and where to go and how to access help and support. Mayor Quilliam said there would be more to come through the creation of the Circular Head Council Strategic Plan and Sustainable Murchison Plan.
  • Rural Health Partnership with Save The Children, formerly known as Good Beginnings, to provide a new evidence based parenting support program to Circular Head and king Island.
  • Rural Health’s dedicated early intervention prevention program that builds resilience and protective factors in children so they can navigate the issue of drugs and peer pressure more affectively.
  • Rural Health drug and alcohol and youth workers working together with the schools who are actively engaged in building a better understanding of risks and harms associated with the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
  • Kommunity Kids runs every Tuesday and Thursday after school from 3 – 4pm at the Wedge St Community House providing pro social activities for age 5 an older children, parents are encouraged to come along and we offer a free sausage sizzle. This is run in collaboration with City Mission
  • Rural Health also provides a number of youth mental health and preventative health programs and youth and adult counselling and mental health counselling in Circular Head. And also provide a drug and alcohol service to Circular Head community and referrals into other treatment and residential rehabilitation programs

“It is important that if we as a region can work together to tackle these issues, then we can build stronger and more cohesive communities,” Mayor Quilliam said.

“The more we combine our resources the better.”

Acting Commander Steve Burk of Western District welcomed the various initiatives.

“Tasmania Police is engaged in a range of initiatives within the Circular Head community involving local government, state government and non-government organisations together providing positive activities for young people and education on drug and alcohol related issues,” Acting Commander Burk said.

“Drug and alcohol abuse are issues facing all communities and through a collaborative approach as seen here in Smithton, positive results will be achieved.”