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International FASD Awareness Month was acknowledged throughout Australia and around the world this September, with a focus on the 9th day of the 9th month as a time for communities to raise awareness about FASD and support alcohol free pregnancies. There were far too many events to describe them all, but here is a snapshot of the events which took place throughout the month:

Red Shoes Rock

In it’s 5th year, the Red Shoes Rock campaign is a huge international movement which is raising awareness about the needs of those with FASD and the importance of alcohol free pregnancies. In Australia and internationally, thousands of people stepped out to start conversations and social media was flooded with red shoe images as people got behind the movement to raise awareness of FASD. Here are a few #RedShoesRock moments from NOFASD Australia.

This year Red Shoes Rock celebrated FASD Pioneers – people who have made a long and lasting contribution to prevention and support for FASD. This list includes NOFASD’s founder Sue Miers, ambassador Liz Elliott, and former board member Neroli Endacott.

Australian Events

Gilbert + Tobin Policy Paper Launch in Melbourne
The pro bono team at Gilbert + Tobin law firm launched a paper calling on WA policymakers to engage experts to develop a definitive definition of “cognitive impairment” which includes FASD. The paper also calls for an investigation into the support available for people with FASD involved in the criminal justice system, and how the disability could be taken into account in the courts.

Students in Fitzroy Valley march to make FASD history
Fitzroy Valley school students and community members marched in support of FASD Awareness Day to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol and the importance of alcohol-free pregnancies.

FASD awareness morning at The Mezz shopping centre in WA
NOFASD volunteer Jess held an information stall at the Mezz in Perth, where she had conversations with local shoppers, provided FASD information sheets and FASD knots for people to wear to show support of FASD Awareness Day. There was a good atmosphere in the centre and Jess was approached by teachers, occupational therapists and mothers.

FASD conversations with doctors at the RANZCOG Annual Scientific Meeting
FARE Australia facilitated an opportunity for FASD specialists to talk to doctors about alcohol and pregnancy messaging at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) 2018 event.

Alice Springs FASD Awareness Day BBQ
An International FASD Awareness Day BBQ was hosted by the Alice Springs FASD Support Group at the Telegraph Station. The event focused on using alternative drinks while pregnant.

FASD information sessions and training
NOFASD Australia hosted a FASD information session in Shepparton for parents, carers and service providers. We also delivered two Train it Forward FASD Masterclasses for parents, carers and service providers, which provide the knowledge and tools for graduates to become FASD advocates in their workplace and community.

Sunshine Coast Local Drug Action Team launch
A group of local NGOs received a Federal Government grant to form a Local Drug Action Team to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking while pregnant and to support those living with FASD. The team hosted a community forum to gather ideas and input on what will work best in this community.

International Events

There were so many fantastic events worldwide that it is not possible to do them justice here. To read some highlights of International FASD Awareness Day events worldwide click here. FASD information was shared far and wide in many different languages. As the risks of alcohol during pregnancy become more widely understood we hope that rates of children born with FASD will reduce.

View more highlights from the 2018 International FASD Awareness Day and Month.

To read more blogs from NOFASD click here.

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