2017 AACUHO Conference

The ADES team recently travelled to Hobart to attend the 2017 Australasian Association of College and University Housing Officers (AACUHO) StarRez conference.

The conference brings together numerous staff from across Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the world to further enhance the university residential living experience of students.

ADES were honored to be named the 2017 AACUHO Business Partner of the Year. Our team continues to be inspired and motivated by the incredible staff and students throughout the university residential sector. Without your support and honest feedback this award would not have been possible. Thank you to everyone who has given ADES the opportunity to provide our services to your respective residential sites, we look forward to working collaboratively with you all for many more years to come.

During the week ADES promoted the #MyMorningsMatter program. #MyMorningsMatter is designed to increase well being of staff and residents by using our mornings more positively, which results in greater outcomes throughout the day.

More than 10% of the AACUHO delegates joined the ADES staff at 6:45am each morning for the #MyMorningsMatter program. Activities provided included a walk, run, gym session or yoga. Delegates attending the #MyMorningsMatter reported how the program increased their mood and had a positive flow on effect throughout the rest of their day.

On Thursday morning ADES presented to 40 delegates about mental well being and the different strategies and coping mechanisms for residents and staff. The session was inspiring, motivational and engaging. Mick, National Service Director ADES, discussed his own journey with mental illness, weight loss, diet, exercise and how to move forward to achieve goals.

ADES would like to thank the AACUHO committee for the opportunity to once again be part of the AACUHO conference. Furthermore we would like to personally thank everyone who attended this year’s AACUHO conference. We look forward to catching up with all of you throughout the rest of 2017.

Posted on May 23, 2017 .

Know Your Standards Week

Know Your Standards Week is a week of activities held in NSW public libraries to raise awareness about alcohol and standard drinks.

Know Your Standards Week will be held in public libraries from 22-28 June 2014.

Posted on June 6, 2014 .

AlcoCups Alcohol & Drug Statistics 2014

Prior and after specialised AlcoCups training and info sessions more than 6,000 surveys, regarding individuals pre and post knowledge to alcohol and drugs, have been compiled by AlcoCups. Click here to view the full findings.


Posted on April 4, 2014 .

How Can You Drink Responsibly If You Don’t Know What a Standard Drink Is?

by: Lisa Burnett

The role of alcohol in Australian culture is well known, but unfortunately, it appears that the size of the standard drink used in alcohol guidelines is not such common knowledge. Such widespread ignorance about what it means to drink responsibly has been causing serious problems around the world, but attempts are being made to counter this problem by educating people about alcohol. Services like AlcoCup’s information sessions have been helping to ensure that people have all the knowledge they require to follow the government’s guidelines on drinking, including the ability to recognise a standard drink.

The Problem of Ignorance

Ignorance is one of the most significant factors contributing to alcohol abuse in Australia, and in the rest of the world. Without an understanding of how much alcohol it is safe to drink, or of the risks of excessive drinking, it is too easy for people to reach the point at which their health has been harmed, without even realising that they have been drinking too much. Regularly drinking more than the two standard drinks a day guideline can leave people with chronic health conditions for which they did not even know they were at risk. In serious cases, people can find themselves experiencing the symptoms of conditions like alcohol induced liver disease, or even requiring treatment in an alcohol recovery program, before they realise that their drinking has become unhealthy. The problem is not that people are unwilling to try to drink responsibly, but rather that they often wrongly believe they are doing so, because they just don’t know what it actually means to drink at healthy levels.

Ignorance about what it means to drink responsibly is not the only form of ignorance that encourages unsafe attitudes to alcohol. Many people also hold false beliefs about how much other people are drinking, and how the people around them feel about alcohol. It is common for people to lie to themselves, and to others, about how much they drink, making it difficult for people to know how normal their alcohol consumption actually is. This type of social ignorance is particularly common among young people. Students often overestimate what responsible alcohol consumption is while on university campuses, leading them to believe that everyone is part of the heavy drinking culture, which impacts there ability to drink sensibly. The best remedy to these sorts of false beliefs was found to be education. Simply learning how others really felt about alcohol was enough to encourage young people to drink more responsibly.

Tackling Ignorance through Education

A better idea of the types of myths and misunderstandings surrounding alcohol was obtained from the surveys that AlcoCups conducted with almost 3000 people who attended information sessions in 2012 -13. Attendees were asked some basic questions about drug and alcohol awareness at the beginning of the session, and were then asked to answer the same questions at the end. The improvements in knowledge displayed in these responses was evidence of the success of the teaching methods, but the lack of understanding that participants displayed at the beginning of the sessions indicated that much more needs to be done to spread alcohol and drug awareness in Australia.

Although 72 percent of attendees were able to provide a correct definition of BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) before they began the session, demonstrating that some elements of the message about alcohol have pervaded the public consciousness, there were still some significant areas of confusion, particularly regarding just how much alcohol represented a standard drink. At the beginning of the session, 34 percent of participants falsely believed that the line on a wine glass was a marker for a standard sized drink, while just 13 percent of people were able to correctly state the number of standard drinks in a 700ml bottle of 12% wine. By the end of the session, more than 90 percent of the answers to each of these questions were correct. Although AlcoCups had managed to increase the understanding of these participants, their misconceptions at the beginning of the session reflect a serious problem in this country.

Improving Alcohol Awareness in Australia

The work done by AlcoCups demonstrates how easily education can improve people’s awareness of what it means to drink responsibly, but more needs to be done to tackle the problem of ignorance in Australian society. Ensuring that people understand how to drink responsibly, and use this knowledge to direct their behaviour, will have a significant impact on our health as a nation. The guidelines that are in place to help people drink responsibly will not be effective until people actually know what the standard drink on which they are based actually means.

Posted on August 29, 2013 .

Pilot Project to Educate Students and Parents Through Community Support

The AlcoCups will be included in a pilot project in the lower Hume region of Victoria which aims at improving student and parent education and awareness regarding alcohol.  The pilot project has been developed by Pathways Salvation Army, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Victoria (DEECD), and Victoria Police which will deliver specific alcohol training to teachers throughout 8 local secondary schools.  The training utilises the Creating Conversations program, developed by the DEECD, strengthening teachers ability to deliver alcohol and drug education throughout year levels 9-10.  Students will then plan and deliver an information evening for parents of their school, with teachers, students and parents all receiving the same message of alcohol.  Parents with students in year levels 9-12 will receive an information pack, either at the information evening or throughout the course of the year.  The information packs include the AlcoCups, resources from Beyond Blue, Australian Drug Foundation, Australian Government, Family Drug Helpline and information of local support services.  3000 packs will be sent out to parents throughout 2011,  with schools assisting in obtaining feedback and conducting surveys of the benefits of the contents used in the information packs.  For further information of this pilot project please contact Ashley Gurney of AlcoCups on 0430066531.

Posted on May 12, 2012 .