Local Prevention Grants Program 2020
In February 2020, the Office of Responsible Gambling offered councils, not-for-profits, and other community organisations the opportunity to apply for funding to reduce or prevent gambling harm through the Local Prevention Grants Program.
The program supports local strategies to support people to make informed decisions about gambling, break down the stigma around gambling, and encourage people to seek advice and support.
About the successful projects
Over $1.5 million was awarded to projects targeting communities at risk of experiencing gambling harm. Five projects focus on Aboriginal communities and four on culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Four are for young people, and six are based in regional NSW.
To see the kinds of projects we were looking for you can look at the program guidelines.
Are we achieving our aims?
To measure the success of the program, we are working with an independent evaluator. Their Midpoint Evaluation Report focuses on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the application process, program delivery, and outcomes of the program to March 2021.
The evaluators have based their findings on interviews with the grant recipients and assessors, reviews of successful applications and project plans, and project reports and data collected by the grant recipients.
Overall, the results are positive. The 2020 round is on track to achieve its aims. The evaluator found that the application process was well coordinated, communication and promotion were effective, and expectations were generally clear. There were five recommendations made which we are taking on board. We look forward to sharing the final evaluation report in mid-2022.
2020 grant recipients
CatholicCare Social Services for the Blue Mountains
Off-Screen & Smart Play
CatholicCare Social Services for the Blue Mountains provides services in low-income and vulnerable communities. The “Off-Screen & Smart Play” project targets parents and school-aged children from these communities to increase awareness of how to deal with screen time and cyber safety, and to provide strategies for families. It aims to highlight risks associated with gambling harm in these communities and educate families about the risks of online gambling for young people.
Working with local schools and other community organisations, “Off-Screen & Smart Play” is run as workshops.
Grant amount: $20,376
Fairfield City Council
Responsible Gambling Community of Practice Facilitation
Fairfield local government area (LGA) is one of the most diverse communities in NSW, with 54% of its population born overseas. It also has one of NSW’s highest rates of gambling.
Fairfield City Council wanted to build the capacity of local organisations and community workers through establishing a Responsible Gambling Community of Practice focused on education, innovation, and collaboration. The project aims to educate, facilitate, promote, train, and build the capacity of local community organisations, community workers, and practitioners to deliver best-practice prevention and gambling harm reduction programs in the Fairfield LGA. After the project has finished there will be culturally and locally appropriate training and community awareness resources that will continue to be used to promote gambling harm awareness in the local area.
Grant amount: $191,000
Granville Multicultural Community Centre
My Money, My Way
In the Cumberland local government area, Granville Multicultural Community Centre’s “My Money, My Way” project aims to raise awareness of gambling harm and to build capacity for the community to address gambling harm. It was designed to empower young people to make informed choices and better understand the potential impact of gambling on them and their future.
Participants are attending workshops covering topics such as gambling advertising, the risks associated with certain types of gambling, cyber safety, self-regulation, and strategies to minimise gambling risk.
Through creating personal plans, participants set goals for themselves, create links for referral to support pathways, and monitor their progress. They also have the opportunity to design a peer-focused support program orientated to their specific needs.
Grant amount: $98,952
Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast
Broken Hill Gambling Harm Awareness Program
The Broken Hill Gambling Harm Awareness Program aims to prevent and reduce gambling harm in the isolated community of Broken Hill in Far West NSW. It is designed to support the community to make informed decisions about gambling, reduce stigma, encourage help-seeking, and connect people who need help with support services.
A major part of the program is a targeted local awareness campaign, including radio and TV advertising, seminars, and special educational events with guest speakers. Another is the development of creative and informative resources for ongoing distribution throughout Broken Hill’s and surrounds pubs and clubs.
Grant amount: $194,000
Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury
Financial Life Skills – Don’t get ripped off
The project developed a financial literacy workshop for young people aged 16 to 24 in the Northern Sydney area. The workshop, called Financial Life Skills for Young People, was designed to address the fundamentals of how young people can manage their finances to reach their financial goals, and focused on the risks and potential harms of gambling. The workshop is being presented by Lifeline’s financial counsellors.
Grant amount: $10,575
Lifeline North Coast (NSW)
Reduce the Stigma radio campaign
“Reduce the Stigma” was a focused six-month radio campaign designed to reduce stigma and address the major barriers to help-seeking by providing clear and simple messaging and avenues for help. Many people within the community listen to popular radio programs during work and study, and by providing key messages and creating awareness of gambling problems, this project aimed to educate and strengthen the motivation to seek help.
You can listen to the four radio ads, aired on local radio on the NSW mid-north coast.
Grant amount: $25,000
Macedonian Australian Welfare Association NSW
Preventing Gambling Harm in Multicultural Communities
This targeted gambling harm prevention project adopts a whole-of-community education approach involving community members at risk of gambling harm and their families. Collaboration with local ethnic businesses and cultural and religious groups, local council, police, NSW Health, and local clubs has been a crucial component.
The aim was to improve community health and safety related to gambling in culturally and linguistically diverse communities in South Eastern and South Western Sydney – particularly the Macedonian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian communities.
An education campaign delivered in Macedonian and other former Yugoslav languages to raise awareness of gambling and gambling harm is underway. The project also includes two large educational events and forums, and a monthly outreach group of education workshops, where culturally appropriate marketing about gambling harm are shared.
Grant amount: $58,125
Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation
Women’s Gambling Awareness Rugby League Knockout
Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation provides gambling awareness in an innovative way to Aboriginal communities, in particular to Aboriginal women in high-risk communities in Northern NSW. It has encouraged communities to enter teams in the Women’s Rugby League Knockout. As part of the project, the teams will attend a presentation on gambling risks and a wellbeing camp and have safe gambling messaging on their playing gear.
Team members will also be filmed at the knockout to create gambling harm awareness films. This will be used on social media to create awareness in the broader community.
Grant amount: $100,000
Northern United Rugby League Club
Dirrawong Responsible Gambling Program
Northern United Rugby League Club wanted to conduct a multi-level gambling prevention program targeting the Aboriginal community in Lismore and its surrounds.
The Dirrawong Responsible Gambling Program is an education program involving partnerships with The Buttery, Gamblers Anonymous, Aboriginal Medical Services, and Beyond Empathy (an Aboriginal-focused organisation that delivers innovative programs to help reduce mental health problems).
A series of education programs will be held at weekly community training nights that regularly attract over 120 Aboriginal people of all ages. Program signage and information stalls will be in place at all home games. The program will finish with gambling harm messages at the NSW Koori Knockout in 2022.
Grant amount: $30,000
Uniting (Victoria and Tasmania) – project in Southern NSW
Recoded: changing the way we game
The “Recoded” prevention program aims to provide education and capacity building on gaming and gambling for young people and their support networks, including teachers, wellbeing staff, youth workers, and sporting clubs.
Uniting employed a project officer and youth worker in Southern NSW to co-design a framework that could be delivered across a range of services and spaces accessed by young people to reduce the potential harms of excessive gaming and gambling. The framework included a train-the-trainer module for key services to ensure the work is embedded in the local community.
“Recoded” brings together best practice and emerging evidence within the gaming and gambling space to design a responsive and adaptable program that improves community awareness and can identify risk factors for young people developing unhealthy behaviours. Providing this education to children and young people helps create healthy and pro-social behaviours around gaming, and reduces the risk of it becoming addictive and escalating to unhealthy outcomes.
Grant amount: $200,000
University of Sydney
Bridging the gap through Aboriginal peer support
The University of Sydney Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic (GTRC) is implementing a harm prevention program in Aboriginal communities in Western and South-Western Sydney. It’s designed to increase awareness of problem gambling and enhance referral pathways through collaboration with community Elders to co-design and co-deliver public awareness programs.
The program builds on existing relationships with Aboriginal services to engage Elders as peer-support workers to provide ongoing support throughout the referral and treatment process. It will increase the number of peer-support workers who can provide community education, enhance referrals and attend therapy groups to offer support. Educational initiatives include workshops and resource sharing at community events, and local media aimed at increasing awareness and promoting gambling support services.
Grant amount: $198,978
University of Technology Sydney
Aboriginal Animation Training & Resource Program
The Aboriginal Animation Training & Promotion Program at UTS’s Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research partnered with young filmmakers from the Aboriginal community to produce four innovative 30-second animations.
The animations are being shown on social media and broadcast on networks such as NITV and SBS, to raise awareness of gambling harm in the NSW Aboriginal community.
Grant amount: $117,800
Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service
Walgett Community Garden: Yarning About Gambling
This project recognises that gambling is a public health issue affecting the social determinants of health for individuals and the community. Its outcomes include targeted connections to information and support for individuals, families, and the community.
Part of the project was to reinvigorate the Walgett Community Garden to provide a space unrelated to alcohol or gambling. The garden is a source of information, pathways to support, development of pride and contribution to the community, and yarning is recognised as an appropriate strategy to engage about the impacts of gambling. The garden provides safe spaces, family-friendly activities and a source of fresh produce.
The project also had a capacity-building focus, which includes training Aboriginal Health Workers in Walgett and Brewarrina to equip them to respond to gambling harm and provide the community with soft entry points, awareness, and support regarding gambling and its impacts.
Grant amount: $94,000
Wesley Community Services
Gambling awareness and money management program
Wesley Community Services’ financial counsellors are working with 10 alcohol and other drug centres, two community housing support organisations, and two multicultural community centres in Penrith and Sydney city that provide access and ongoing support to vulnerable clients.
Wesley is delivering 50 three-hour “In Charge of My Money: Gambling Awareness” workshops for 750 people who are at risk or impacted by gambling harm. The program provides a soft entry to access further targeted support. Wesley engages clients in an existing program with its current partners and they receive wraparound ongoing support in a therapeutic environment. Program content addresses pathways into gambling and identifies risks and outcomes.
Grant amount: $194,000