#053 NOFASD Australia: A Global Leader for FASD

fasd success show Feb 07, 2021

If you think not enough is happening in the FASD world, or wonder what exactly is happening, then you will want to tune into today’s podcast. The FASD Success Show is all about highlighting success stories and today we go to the top of the leading FASD organization in the world – NOFASD Australia. I think it is so important that we take time to see the bigger picture, because sometimes when we are focused on our own reality, it is easy to think nothing is changing. Maybe it isn’t fast enough, but things are changing. I believe this episode is the inspiration some will need right now. 

In this episode, I talk to Louise Gray, the Chief Executive Officer of NOFASD Australia. She is an experienced leader in the not-for-profit field. She holds a Master of Sociology degree from Murdoch University awarded for a research project centered on community knowledge and awareness of alcohol in pregnancy and has traveled to Canada to observe approaches to therapeutic prison environments, FASD awareness and education, and employment programs. She has been the EO for the last seven years, however, has been part of the FASD community for much longer. 

Too often FASD globally suffers from ‘Let’s do an FASD alcohol and awareness project, and let’s solve the problem in 10 months and let’s solve the problem short term.’ Short-termism is deadly for FASD.

Louise and I talk about what led to her involvement with NOFASD and how Australia came to surpass Canada as the global leader in FASD awareness and support. Including: 

  • The similarities and differences between Canada and Australia, the turning point that triggered change at their government level, and the need to break down silos in the FASD world. 
  • What NOFASD Australia is and is not, the programs and services they offer, partnerships they’ve created or nurtured, and the role of the C.E.O. 
  • Observations about facial features, the global alcohol industry, and an interesting take and comparison about awareness of COVID and FASD. 

The term FASD describes a very specific disability that has a very broad range of symptoms that cause a lot of impact on individual's lives.

We also talk about Louise’s thoughts on the global awareness campaign: Red Shoes Rock and why she feels that it is an excellent tool for awareness. And if you stay with us until the end, I ask and Louise answers: “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” I think as caregivers you will be interested in her first response. So have a listen. Let me know what you think and if you are inspired by what NOFASD Australia has achieved and some of the ideas presented.  

Show Notes:  

Website: NOFASD Australia - National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder 

Podcast: Pregnancy and Alcohol: The Surprising Reality: What is FASD? - NOFASD Australia  A five-part podcast series.

Report: The hidden harm: Alcohol's impact on children and families | FARE 

Support the Show: FASD Caregiver Success Facebook Group 


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