The GISNSW Inc. started its existence in 2000, next year we will be 20 years old. In that 20 years we have made enormous strides in promoting and educating the harms caused by gambling in our society. From the establishment of a dedicated ‘Responsible Gambling’ awareness week to the inception of a consumer speaking program, Consumer Voices, and continuing.
This last year has been one of the busiest years in the history of the GIS. Having secured two grants from the Office of Responsible Gambling NSW. Our Consumer Voices program rolled out to the Hunter region and South West Sydney and a ‘Lived Experience’ program, based on the Consumer Voices program, rolled out to all of NSW. This program encompasses people who have experienced harms from online gambling products.
Our staff has doubled, and our management committee continues to hold its current strength. Making these projects occur and run smoothly is no small feat, I would like to acknowledge the sacrifice our volunteers make to continue our work and champion our staff for acquiring and progressing the projects that we currently have underway.
We continue to foster our relationship with the Office of Responsible Gambling NSW. We have assisted in providing opportunities to build on harm prevention strategies and awareness campaigns aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding gambling harm. We hope to build on these opportunities and further develop our products with a view to providing holistic approach to harm minimisation and harm prevention in NSW.
We also continue to serve on the board of the Alliance for Gambling Reform. The AGR has made great inroads in campaigning in NSW and we continue to assist in advising on NSW issues and the prospective of lived experience.
Educating the public, professionals and the government on the issue of gambling harm is one that receives very little by way of accolades and recognition. Yet has some of the most profound impacts on our society, particularly in NSW. Thank you for continuing to support this work, you are making a difference.
I would like to thank our Consumer Voices speakers for telling their powerful stories and contributing to changing how gambling harm is seen in NSW. I also thank our partner counsellors in Mission Australia, and our other counsellors and staff for supporting these people in telling their stories.