Uniting won a prestigious Media Award at the 2019 National Alcohol and Other Drugs Excellence and Innovation in Melbourne for their drug law reform advocacy through their Fair Treatment Campaign.
Hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the award night took place on Monday 24 June and recognised people and organisations for their exceptional work in alcohol and drug harm prevention and reduction in Australia.
Uniting was one of two New South Wales entries to receive awards on the night, including Preventure Australia, who received the Primary Prevention Award.
Uniting’s Head of Advocacy, Emma Maiden, said Uniting was honoured receive such an award.
“It is an honour to be involved in this campaign, which we acknowledge has been the life’s work of many for years before we got involved,” said Maiden.
The Fair Treatment Campaign led by Uniting with the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and the ACT, was launched in October 2018.
The campaign advocates for the decriminalisation of the possession of small amounts of drugs and the increase of treatment services in rural and regional areas.
The documentary Half A Million Steps produced as part of the campaign follows 100 supporters who walked from Dubbo to Sydney to highlight the lack of drug rehabilitation treatment services in rural and regional areas.
“Our campaign attempts to work with the affected community and their stories are the real strength behind the campaign,” said Maiden.
The walkers who took part in Half A Million Steps included people affected by drug and alcohol addiction, members of the Church, Uniting staff and medical, legal and treatment experts.
Alcohol and Drug Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr Erin Lalor, said the awards capture the important work that goes into the prevention and reduction of alcohol and other drug induced harm.
“There are tireless efforts being made right across the country to prevent and minimize harms from alcohol and other drugs,”
“It’s important that we recognise the significant contribution that programs, campaigns, organisation and individuals, make in building a heathier Australia,” said Dr Lalor.
Half A Million Steps is currently screening at select Dendy Theatres in NSW and the ACT. Find a session here.
Learn more about the Fair Treatment Campaign here.
Image: Executive Director of Uniting, Tracey Burton, addresses the crowd at the Fair Treatment launch in October 2018.