Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — On 18 May the 2016 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards recognised 16 individuals and teams who generously devote their time and talents in a variety of health and community sectors. One such recipient was DanceWize.
DanceWize is a program of Harm Reduction Victoria. It uses peer education to reduce drug and alcohol-related harm at Victorian dance parties, festivals and nightclubs. Its Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer: Supporting Diversity award recognises the incredible hard work this organisation does in the community health sector. Its provision of chill-out rooms and its non-judgemental approach to helping recreational drug users are vital tools in keeping our young people safe.
While governments lag behind on harm reduction, we owe a debt of gratitude to these hard-working volunteers who are combating harm through evidence-based best practice approaches. A lot of them are choosing to do a shift with DanceWize rather than going out and partying themselves, and I think they really should be congratulated for this and recognised. I congratulate DanceWize and all the other winners of this year’s awards.