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FASD: From denial and invisibility to recognition

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia. Significant progress has been made in the last decade, although there remain significant gaps in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of FASD across Australia.

Executive Officer of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD) Australia Louise Gray says that families impacted by FASD continue to struggle to obtain reliable information and support.

“Efforts have often been met with scepticism and an unwillingness by health professionals and policy makers to accept FASD as a public health concern and provide support for individuals and families,” said Ms Gray.

In her presentation at the Global Alcohol Policy Conference (GAPC), From denial and invisibility to recognition: FASD in Australia, Ms Gray addressed the success and frustrations associated with improving information, understanding and awareness about FASD.

“The ebb and flow of success and frustration accompanies growing awareness and the need to continually work to improve understanding is a persistent thread,” said Ms Gray.

Her presentation acknowledged the role of the Australian Government in recognising FASD, but highlighted how societal attitudes towards alcohol still have a key role in addressing the issue of FASD in Australia.

In this short video, filmed at GAPC 2017 in Melbourne, Ms Gray shares further insights into NOFASD’s journey, and what FASD looks like in Australia today.

[vimeo id=”237355416″]


Drink Tank aims to generate meaningful commentary and debate about alcohol policy, and to provide a platform for all members of the Australian community to share their views and concerns.

Our goal is for the Drink Tank community to engage in robust discussion about alcohol, highlighting a broad spectrum of views and voices, and ultimately to raise the profile of alcohol as an issue of national importance.


  • This is a great awareness raising video Louise, community awareness is key. The recently published report by the Telethon Institute for Kids on the Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre in Perth WA, is a major step forward for public research.

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