Last updated: 08 Dec, 2020

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

The Alcohol Culture Change initiative 2016-2019 is an evidence-based approach to change risky drinking cultures in Victoria.

Nine projects were funded by VicHealth under this Initiative to trial targeted and tailored efforts 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.

Projects funded under this Initiative are outlined below.


Engendering Positive Student Alcohol Cultures in University Residential Colleges – Victoria University, Talking Health Works and Burnet Institute

First year university students.

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

Find out more (PDF, 5 MB)


Rethink the drink – Victorian AIDS Council

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

This project was a regional campaign titled, Couldn’t Have Done That with a Hangover. Informed by formative research the campaign drew upon the values and beliefs of LBQ women. The campaign was delivered across traditional and digital communication platforms to inspire a empowering culture of peer-support. 

Find out more about the process that was undertaken to develop this campaign:


Count Me In – Better Life Group

Middle-aged male construction industry employees.

This project was led by industry and includes a range of strategies commencing with formative research to inform tailored and targeted campaign messaging. Strategies included face-to-face presentations with senior managers and tool box talks with workers, an RDO (Rostered Drink Off) Campaign, print and online materials and regular radio segments and podcasts. The approach used humour, worker values, beliefs and workplace jargon and explored roll modelling senior staff as ambassadors to promote the project and drive positive change.

Read an interview with Gavin Crosisca (a Count Me In ambassador)

Find out more


Speaking Through, Not To – Hello Sunday Morning

Peers of middle-aged 5+ single occasion drinkers across western Victoria.

This campaign took a peer-support angle whereby friends, families and peers of middle-aged heavy drinkers in regional and rural western Victoria were  encouraged to look out for their peers by starting a conversation when they were 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 involved collecting a large number of personal stories from young people in Melbourne’s night-time entertainment precincts. Using existing infrastructure, the project promoted stories across a range of channels to drive positive change in the local community, such as social media, the arts, advertising and local venues.

Case study:

Find out more


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

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

This project included a workplace peer-support program at three manufacturing sites in Wodonga. The program hinged on men’s values and was supported by a localised social marketing campaign, community events and a short film featuring a local man and his journey to better his relationship with alcohol.

Case study:

Find out more


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 aimed to influence norms around parental supply of alcohol to teenagers. The project included a parent engagement program  ‘Its OK to say No’ which included Year 10 students writing and delivering a play about alcohol culture in their community , a parent support network, a community awareness social marketing campaign and a range of alcohol free activities for teenagers (community engagement).

Find out more


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 included setting up a ‘social lab’ to facilitate an environment in which young people were able to explore their understandings of alcohol culture. It involved recruiting local young people and partner organisations for a co-design team to implement a series of project activity. To tackle risky drinking practices, the social lab participants developed a range of creative responses such as, animations and imagery, messaging and a narrative strategy for a social media campaign on SnapChat, and a short documentary about the impacts of big liquor outlets.

Case study:

Find out more


Alcohol Culture Change in the University Setting – Deakin University

Students at Deakin clubs and societies, Uni Nationals and students living on campus.

This project included a suite of small-scale targeted interventions including, sports team manager leadership training, targeted messages campaign, mocktail alcohol free events, and a ‘Chef de Mission’ to mentor Uni Nationals athletes. The project was supported by a whole of Deakin staff and student survey.

In 2018, the project team won the UniSport ‘Community Leadership Award’ and in 2019 it won the ‘Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Wellbeing and Safety’.

Case study:


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 were appointed to design and deliver the overarching initiative evaluation.

The objectives of this evaluation were 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 supported all funded projects under the Alcohol Culture Change Initiative by providing expert evaluation advice to project leads.


For further information and enquiries please email [email protected]