Last updated: 11 Dec, 2017

VicHealth is investing more than $3 million to change cultures of risky drinking in Victoria.

The Alcohol Culture Change initiative is an evidence-based approach to change cultures of risky drinking within subpopulations in Victoria.

We know that one-size does not fit all, we are a diverse state consisting of many drinking cultures. Nine new projects will trial targeted and tailored efforts – over 24 months – that reach those most in need, where risky drinking and risk of alcohol-related harm is greatest.

Underpinning this Initiative is the Alcohol Cultures Framework which provides the evidence to guide our approach, including, project design, delivery and evaluation.

Current projects are listed below.


Positive Student Alcohol Cultures – Victoria University, Talking Health Works and Burnet Institute

First year university students.

This project is grounded by formative research to inform tailored messaging in a mobile phone intervention for drinking in young people (MIDY), social media campaign and co-review of alcohol policies for first year university students living on campus in selected Victorian student residences.

Reach Out, Reach Up – Victorian AIDS Council

Middle-aged lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women living in regional areas of Victoria.

This project is a regional campaign. Informed by formative research with the subpopulation, the campaign will draw upon the values and beliefs of LBQ women. The campaign will be delivered across traditional and digital communication platforms to inspire a culture of peer-support and encouragement to self-reflect and/or seek help.

Find out more

Count Me In – Better Life Group

Middle-aged male construction industry employees.

This project is led by industry and includes a range of strategies commencing with formative research to inform tailored and targeted campaign messaging. Strategies include face-to-face presentations, tool box talks, SMS/EDM campaigns, print and regular radio segments. The approach will use humour, worker values, beliefs and workplace jargon and explore roll modelling senior staff as ambassadors to promote the project and drive positive change.

Speaking Through, Not To – Hello Sunday Morning

Middle-aged heavy drinkers across western Victoria.

This campaign takes a peer-support angle whereby friends, families and peers of middle-aged heavy drinkers in regional and rural western Victoria will be encouraged to look out for their peers by starting a conversation when they are concerned about their peers' drinking, making it more acceptable to ask if they're okay, and to craft an ongoing conversation.

What’s Your Story? - City of Port Phillip, City of Melbourne, City of Stonnington and Turning Point

Young adults (aged 18-24 years) who frequent late night entertainment precincts in Chapel Street (Prahran), Melbourne CBD and Fitzroy Street (St Kilda).

This project involves collecting a large number of personal stories from young people in Melbourne’s night-time entertainment precincts. Using existing infrastructure, the project will promote stories across a range of channels to drive positive change in the local community, such as social media, the arts, advertising and local venues.

Who’s It Gonna Hurt? – City of Wodonga and Deakin University

Male blue collar workers (aged 35-55 years) in Wodonga.

Includes a workplace peer-support program at two manufacturing sites in Wodonga. The program hinges on men’s values and is supported by a localised social marketing campaign, a short film featuring a local man and his journey to better his relationship with alcohol, community events and incentives for venues to serve alcohol responsibly.

Youth C.A.N. (Changing Alcohol Norms) – Horsham Rural City Council and Federation University

Teenagers and their parents in the rural area of Horsham.

This project seeks to influence norms around parental supply of alcohol to teenagers. The project includes a parent education program using mediums of theatre, art and music, a parent support network, a community awareness campaign and a range of binge drinking deterrent activities for teenagers.

YAARD (Youth Action Against Risky Drinking) – City of Whittlesea and Turning Point

Young people (aged 14-17) who are, or at risk of being, disengaged from school, training and employment.

This project includes a social marketing campaign, the establishment of spaces where young people can feel free to express creativity, and ‘The Social Lab’ – recruiting local young people and partner organisations for a co-design team to implement a series of project activity to tackle risky drinking practices. Anticipated project activity includes engaging with local artists across various forms of art such as graffiti walls and rap music.

Alcohol Culture Change in the University Setting – Deakin University

Subpopulation to be determined.

This project commenced in early 2017 with qualitative and quantitative research to identify and explore cultures of risky drinking at Deakin University. The first phase of the project aims to conduct focus groups with various groups identified through the literature as consuming alcohol at high-risk levels, and using those findings, the second phase aims to then implement small-scale, university-wide interventions aimed to reduce alcohol consumption. The second phase of the project will begin in early 2018.

Evaluation of the Alcohol Culture Change Initiative – La Trobe University

La Trobe University’s Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing and Centre for Alcohol Policy Research have been appointed to design and deliver the overarching initiative evaluation.

The objectives of this evaluation are to:

  • Develop an overall Initiative evaluation plan, including the identification of relevant indicators to measure alcohol culture change 
  • Conduct overarching process, impact and outcome evaluation of projects funded under the Initiative
  • Provide information regarding the sustainability/scalability of funded projects.

La Trobe University will support all funded projects under the Alcohol Culture Change Initiative by providing expert evaluation advice to project leads.


For further information and enquiries please email