Last updated: 21 May, 2018

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.


UPAC (University 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), 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.


Rethink the drink – Victorian AIDS Council

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

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

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 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 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.

Find out more

Speaking Through, Not To – Hello Sunday Morning

Peers of middle-aged 5+ single occasion 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.

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 includes a workplace peer-support program at three manufacturing sites in Wodonga. The program hinges on men’s values and is 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.

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 seeks to influence norms around parental supply of alcohol to teenagers. The project includes a parent engagement program  ‘Its OK to say No’ which includes 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 binge drinking deterrent 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 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.

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 includes a suite of small-scale targeted interventions including, leadership training, key message campaign, alcohol free events, ‘Chef de Mission’ and Friday morning fitness activities. The project is supported by a whole of Deakin staff and student survey.

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.

Find out more about at the VicHealth Alcohol Culture Change Blog.

For further information and enquiries please email