GHAW 2022 Logo white background2022 Gambling Harm Awareness Week

The Ballarat East Neighbourhood House was pleased to be working with local gambling harm minimisation advocates and organistions to support two free events in Gambling Harm Awareness Week 2022 held at Barkly Square, Ballarat East. These events were funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

About the week

During Gambling Harm Awareness Week, we encourage people to talk about the harms associated with gambling and the effects they can have on communities, families, friends, workplaces and individuals. Gambling harm can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life.

The week focuses on personal stories of recovery, which are powerful because they offer a sense of hope and optimism. They also encourage open community discussions that help to reduce stigma, which can be a barrier to help seeking.

Gambling Harm Awareness Week ran from 17 to 23 October 2022.

This year’s theme was Could gambling be affecting your wellbeing?

The question was posed to encourage people to reflect on the negative effects of gambling, such as feelings of stress or guilt, lack of concentration, or difficulty sleeping. While people may recognise these harms, they don’t always associate them with their own gambling.

To learn more about how gambling can affect a person's wellbeing, the signs of harm and where to get help, visit the Gambler's Help website for information about the effects of gambling.

These events were supported by Gambling Harm Prevention Ballarat.

A summary of the events was included on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website:

Storytelling, art workshops, food, fun and friendships: looking back on Gambling Harm Awareness Week 2022 community events

Child and Family Services: 'Gambling With Your Health' Event

20 October, Ballarat East Neighbourhood House

A Gambling Harm Awareness Week event, hosted by Lynda Genser (local Gambling Harm minimisation advocate).

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Cafs Cafs hosted the 'Gambling with your health?’ event in Ballarat during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.

Presented by Gambling Harm Awareness Ballarat with support from Ballarat East Neighbourhood House and Cafs, the event was hosted by Foundation Lived Experience Committee member Lynda Genser.

Community members enjoyed a free lunch and listened to a panel of local community leaders and professionals discuss gambling harm, harm prevention, reducing stigma, and the value of alternative activities to gambling. Guest speaker from ReSPIN and former members of the Foundation’s Lived Experience Advisory Committee Paul Fung then shared his personal story of gambling harm and recovery.

Pictured from L-R: Sarah Greenwood-Smith (Ballarat East Neighbourhood House), John Bradshaw (Cafs), Michaela Settle (State Labor Member for Buninyong), Lynda Genser (Foundation Lived Experience Committee member) and Dr Gabriele Byrne (Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation).

Paul FungPaul Fung

Paul started gambling as a child which followed through into his adult years and developed into an addiction. He has become a passionate advocate for raising awareness of gambling harm and uses his lived experience in many different ways. His work includes:

  • Chinese peer connection - telephone support worker and advisor
  • Three sides of the coin- using theatre to create change - performer, storyteller and mentor
  • Young leaders of the west - advisor and creator
  • ReSPIN - speakers bureau
  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Lived Experience Advisory Committee

Paul has shared his story of gambling harm on community, commercial, and ABC radio and has done several podcasts.

His television appearances include SBS’s insight, ABC’s You Can’t Ask That and recently on Channel 10’s The Project. His story is also part of the Rethink Addiction Campaign.

Feedback from attendees:

‘Thanks, wonderful speakers.’

‘Great event, thank you.’

‘Fantastic to learn that similar events in sporting and community groups are happening to minimise gambling harm.’

John Bradshaw – Gambler’s Help Community Engagement Officer, Cafs

John Bradshaw is the Gambler’s Help Community Engagement Officer at Child and Family Services (Cafs), Ballarat. He works with schools, community organisations and businesses across the Grampians region to promote a public health approach to gambling harm minimisation and advocate for Gambler’s Help services.

John enjoys promoting healthy alternatives to gambling in creative ways (often involving soccer!), and helping professionals and community to understand the range of help available.

Child and Family Services: 'Pictures of Hope' Watercolour Workshop

19 October, Ballarat East Neighbourhood House

Cafs watercolour.width 1280Pictured: Artwork created by participants of the 'Pictures of Hope' watercolour workshop, hosted by Cafs in Ballarat.

Child and Family Services Ballarat (Cafs) hosted a unique creative workshop, 'Pictures of Hope', at the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House during Gambling Harm Awareness Week. Bringing together their Gambler’s Help support services and the disability support services provided by local social enterprise, The Glow Project, the workshop involved therapeutic tools such as ambient music, gentle movement, mindfulness and visually enticing craft materials.

‘The participants openly explored difficult emotions, whilst focused on creating visual expressions that were beautiful, satisfying and wonderfully different from one another,’ said artist and tutor Linda Franklin.

‘Sincere thanks to Cafs, specifically John Bradshaw, for having the vision and know-how to bring together several services to support the young women cared for by The Glow Project Disability Support.’

2021 Talk Share Support

18 - 24 October 2021 was Gambling Harm Awareness Week with the theme: TALK.SHARE.SUPPORT.
The ‘Spend Your Time In New Ways’ campaign highlights alternative activities to gambling and shines a light on activities that are positive and productive for individuals and communities - such as connecting with the Ballarat East Neighbourhood House.
The campaign was developed through a partnership between Ballarat Community Health and the Central Highlands Association of Neighbourhood Houses.
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