NATIONAL AUDIENCE: IWC director Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian will make several presentations at the Brisbane conference.
NATIONAL AUDIENCE: IWC director Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian will make several presentations at the Brisbane conference. SImon Young

IWC taking Bundy's drug battle to national level

BUNDABERG'S battle to improve services and treatment for drug and alcohol misuse in our communities is heading for a national stage next week.

Health and wellbeing organisation IWC, which co-hosted the Bundaberg Region Community Ice Forum with the NewsMail in June last year, is taking the community voice around ice and other drugs to a national level by hosting a major conference in Brisbane from tomorrow until Wednesday.

The 2017 National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Misuse Conference will be opened by federal minister Ken Wyatt tomorrow.

The three-day event will feature a keynote speech, The Impact of Ice in our Communities - Strategies in Tackling Ice, to be presented by IWC alcohol and other drugs program manager Lee Hammond and IWC communications manager Janette Young, who co-facilitated the last year's forum attended by 46 organisations and groups.

"IWC believes in the strength of a community voice in achieving outcomes, and has taken a lead role in building the Bundaberg region voice around the issue of ice and other drugs in our communities,” said IWC general manager Wayne Mulvany.

The State Government says an Action on Ice Strategy plan will be released at the end of the year, with community feedback to be sought through "ice summits”.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the voice of Bundaberg on the issue would be heard.

Her office said a community information event would be held in Bundy after the summits.

"Feedback from community members and service providers (police; communities; health etc) will then be collated for inclusion in the final Action on Ice Strategy to be released at the end of the year.”

Other IWC presentations at the conference will include A Holistic Approach to Dealing with Alcohol and Drugs and Social and Emotional Wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples at Risk.

"This event shows IWC's commitment by IWC to take our community voice - which was strongly expressed at the 2016 Bundaberg Region Ice Forum - to a wider arena. Brisbane is perfect because it is the home of Queensland Government,” Mr Mulvany said.

"The voice of our community was loud at the Bundaberg Region Community Ice Forum, but we need to keep it front and centre if we are to see genuine progress in our region ... this conference will help to build our region's voice around one of the key issues facing us today.”

To find out more, go to www.indigenous