RMIT will host a forum on Thursday discussing the culture of alcohol consumption and the implications for research in the area of culture, consumption and behavioural change.
Speakers at the “Open Bar” forum will be:
- Emma Saleeba, Alcohol and Tobacco Manager, VicHealth
- Dr Shauna Sherker, National Research Manager, Australian Drug Foundation
- Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Director of Social Marketing, Griffith University
Associate Professor Mike Reid, from RMIT’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, who has worked on projects with VicHealth, will chair the forum.
VicHealth research has shown drinking alcohol is seen as normal in most social situations, from funerals to children’s birthday parties, to the footy and everything in between.
In the face of an alcohol culture and the consequences of high levels of alcohol consumption communities are starting to question whether alcohol is really needed to enjoy our social lives.
The forum will discuss some of the issues surrounding alcohol consumption and cultural change in the light of the speakers’ research.
Reid said: “Today we are seeing the need to empower people towards more responsible behaviour around alcohol rather than placing blame on individuals.
“Questioning whether drinking is necessary and realising that people don’t need a reason not to drink is essential.”
Reid said RMIT and VicHealth collaboration was part of larger goal to improve the long-term health goals of Victorians.
“We need a multi-pronged approach to address the cultural and social role of alcohol. The challenge will be getting to people to pay attention to the message and to be motivated to change their behaviour.
“Research over the last few years has laid the foundation stone for the long road to changing attitudes towards harmful drinking and ultimately improving the health of all Victorians.”
The four specialists will be available for interview at the end of the forum.
Open Bar forum
Date: Thursday 20 October
Location: 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne. Building 80, Level 11, Room 10.
For interviews: Associate Professor Mike Reid, (03) 9925 1474 or 0412 631 947.
For general media enquiries: David Glanz, (03) 9925 2807 or 0438 547 723.