In your GLASS this week… Edition 4

Welcome to the fourth edition of In your GLASS this week, all the latest from GLASS: Clear about wine.

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An interruption to our normal program this week to update you on a topic that’s a little more sobering.

While working as a high school teacher on the Gold Coast five years ago, I (Tyson) came to know the stories of under-age alcohol abuse and I became deeply concerned for our young people. Kids as young as eleven were deceiving their parents and taking bottles of spirits to large binge drinking parties in public places. Fifteen year olds drank themselves to the point of passing out and ended up in hospital. A seventeen-year-old’s heart stopped in an ambulance, but the very next night she went straight back to alcohol and drugs. Another teenager wasn’t so lucky. A life ended by alcohol and drugs at just seventeen.

Every week in Australia, one teenager between the ages of 14 and 17 dies as a result of alcohol abuse. Rates of drinking at harmful levels among 12-17 year olds have doubled in the past two decades. According to the latest research, one in twenty 12-15 year olds engages in regular binge drinking, one in four 16-17 year olds and almost one in two 18-19 year olds. One in two Australian teenagers who get drunk do something they regret.

It’s time that more was done to save our young people. Any suggestion that the solution to Australia’s under-age alcohol abuse problem is increased alcohol prices through inflated taxation is grossly misinformed. Just six percent of under-age drinkers purchase alcohol themselves. The other ninety-four percent would perhaps not even notice a price rise. Nor is the solution as simple as scare-tactic advertising campaigns.

I am convinced that the solution begins at home, in creating a positive culture of respectful use of alcohol at the right time, in the right place and at the right age. It is a sad and distressing truth that more Australian 12-17 year olds obtain alcohol from a relative than any other source. Many Australian families are looking for basic strategies and principles to help them in encouraging a responsible attitude toward alcohol among their teens. Some good resources are available online, but more printed educational materials are required.

After many years of consultation with parents and students, I have developed a resource to help parents to tackle the challenges of teen alcohol and parties. The goal is to make this available to 200 000 families nationwide, by distributing it through schools.

How can you help?

I am seeking the support of Australian wine companies to partner me in providing financial support to make this eight page booklet available to parents across Australia. While wine is not a significant contributor to the problem (accounting for less than ten percent of under-age drinking in Australia), this is an opportunity for the wine industry to be seen to be a significant contributor to the solution. The cost of the booklet is just 20c per family. This is a very small price to pay to make a positive difference for our young people.

If you’re not a wine company, perhaps you know someone in a school who might like to consider being the contact person to assist with distributing the brochure among the families of the school?

For full details, please visit A Parents’ Guide to Teen Alcohol and Parties.

World Wine Discovery…

Support has been so strong for our four week World Wine Discovery in July/August that we had to print another 250 flyers today! In addition to the six retail partners who got on board last week, Purple Palate stores have joined us this week. There are only sixteen places available in our first course, and a lot have filled already, so get in fast.

Easy to follow…

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Enjoy something new in your GLASS this weekend!


Tyson & Mark.