Victoria has taken out one of Australia's top drug prevention awards for its new Drug Education in Schools curriculum for Year 8 and 9 students.
Education Minister Martin Dixon today congratulated the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, which was presented with one of nine National Drug and Alcohol excellence awards on Friday June 22.
The award-winning program, which is a partnership between the Department, Edith Cowan University and the Youth Research Centre, will be rolled out to all secondary schools across Victoria later this year after a successful trial of 21 schools, involving 1750 students.
The National Drug and Alcohol Awards is an annual event that encourages, recognises and celebrates achievements to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use and harm.
The Awards – a collaborative initiative of the Ted Noffs Foundation, the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia, the Australian Drug Foundation and the Australian National Council on Drugs, are open to all people and organisations that work in the alcohol, other drugs and related sectors.
The Department and its partners won the Excellence in Prevention and Community Education Award, which recognises a program, policy or resource that makes a significant contribution to the prevention of any type of drug use or drug-related harm.
"Victoria is leading the way when it comes to creating drug education programs that have a real and positive impact on students," Mr Dixon said.
"This National Drug and Alcohol Award is proof Victoria is doing all the right things when it comes to the important task of teaching teenagers about the risks that go hand-in-hand with drug and alcohol use."
As part of the program, students participate in 10 lessons on issues around the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs. They learn about a range of topics including the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, how to stay safe around alcohol and attitudes towards smoking.