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Fadi

...
Professor Gordian Fulde wins Senior Australian of the Year 2016. Here's what he had to say this morning on the subject of Australia and drug taking.

507316-dr-gordian-fulde[1].jpg

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: This year's Senior Australian of the year is Professor Gordian Fulde, the long serving head of the Emergency Department at Sydney's St Vincent's hospital.

Professor Fulde has described his department in the past as a warzone - St Vincent's sits next to Kings Cross in the heart of Sydney's party zone.

He was central to the implementation of the lockout laws that restricted licensing hours - laws that have lead to a dramatic decrease in alcohol fuelled violence.

Professor Fulde joined me earlier in our Parliament House studio.

Gordian Fulde, congratulations and welcome to the program.

It's a great acknowledgement for you and for your work, but what do you hope this does in the broader sense this year?

GORDIAN FULDE: Well, with the help of the media and everyone I think the job that we've got is to get the community, individuals, people, to say enough's enough.

We need mothers, girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever, to point out that somebody's got a problem with alcohol, they can be acute binge drinking or chronic, just drinking every night, and say, look, there's help and we don't need to drink so much to survive, let alone enjoy this beautiful country of Australia.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: How much is being Australian tied up with abusing alcohol, because we do have a very close relationship with alcohol, don't we?

GORDIAN FULDE: Unfortunately I don't know the answer, but Australia is podium finishers on taking of drugs and the legal drug of alcohol. We're up there and I don't know why.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: So we're different from other countries, are we? We abuse it more?

GORDIAN FULDE: We are the worst, well, we're the worst at it of most countries, and you put it together, we're the world's worst - I mean we're first in the world for the amount of amphetamines and ecstasy across the whole world. We are third in the world for crystal meth, fourth for cocaine.

And this is all countries, you know? It's just unbelievable.

And then the amount of alcohol, which fortunately is decreasing, but these are just numbers - the number of litres divided by the population is still very, very - of alcohol - is very impressive.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And of course as you say it's not just alcohol, there's drugs as well. And St Vincent's is in the centre of Sydney's sort of party zone. You see the consequences of this all the time.

GORDIAN FULDE: We have within the kilometre of St Vincent's every sort of failing of human nature you can buy.

But then again we have the extremely privileged Eastern suburbs where people are so rich, and they get in trouble with the Moet or Veuve and things.

So really, these problems go across the whole social spectrum. And one of the saddest things we see is the young children who fall into trouble, depression, start taking drugs, all this sort of thing, you know, they go into this terrible downward spiral.

And I don't think anybody's immune from it and there is no real, well if you would've done this, this wouldn't have happened.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: What can we do about it? Because one of the big successes I guess was your championing of the lockout laws, the so-called lockout laws which have restricted licensing hours in Kings Cross.

Would you like to see that spread? Is that going to be effective everywhere?

GORDIAN FULDE: The simple answer is more than anything that's what I'll use this year for: I think people should consider it.

Obviously these things came from Newcastle which had a problem. Newcastle didn't like it. Newcastle started solving its own problem. That's with the publicans and everybody else - Hunter Street and everything.

Now we've done it in the CBD, Kings Cross. And like people on Australia Day, there's now alcohol-free zones where you can enjoy what's on offer.

You don't have people who are totally, you know - and just think of Bondi Beach.

Not that long ago if I was working today you'd have totally out of it tourists and everything else.

It'd be dangerous to walk around there. Wouldn't know if you're going to hit, vomited on or whatever, while the rest of the people are trying to take their kids and have a swim.

Enough's enough. It's not where we want to be. And I think this is what really has to, society has to see that we want a change.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: You've famously likened your department at St Vincent's to an urban war zone. What sort of toll has all of this taken on you, because you've been there now, what, nearly 30 years.

GORDIAN FULDE: Yes and I'm still at it. And I think it's the ability being that really, really lucky position to be able to help a fellow human being, and that's what it's all about.

I mean if I think I'm having a bad day, you know, even when I start work at, you know, 7.30, eight o'clock in the morning, thank heavens, people just don't know - the misery, the unhappiness - and everything that you have, and hopefully you do something and make it better for those people.

The fact that some minor misadventure, the car didn't start or, you know, whatever, all that sort of stuff, it is totally insignificant.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Gordian Fulde, congratulations, more strength to you and I hope it's a great year.

GORDIAN FULDE: Thank you very much. Thank you for the support of the media and the public.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Senior Australian of the Year Professor Gordian Fulde.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4394497.htm
 

C_T

Kunce of the Year 2015
complete LIES!

atleast from the security staff at my hospital and the rates of admissions.

nice political try tho, but not true.

ive been going out in a known hotspot and never have i even seen a fight... yeah. im talking over 10yrs.

i smell bullshit.
 
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Fadi

...
complete LIES!

atleast from the security staff at my hospital and the rates of admissions.

nice political try tho, but not true.

ive been going out in a known hotspot and never have i even seen a fight... yeah. im talking over 10yrs.

i smell bullshit.
What would be his motive to lie do you think C_T?
 

C_T

Kunce of the Year 2015
media coverage. makes him seem special.

of course theres are those that get too drunk aussie day, but wow. try a statistic like christmas day with police... or boxing day, or new years eve.
 

onslaught

Active member
Might be a flawed sample here except for a notable few, but does anyone not think society in general has a substance abuse problem?
 

Fadi

...
I second that. I thought Israel had an issue with substance abuse with its younger generation. Now the Professor is placing Australia right up there with the rest of the world. You can tell he's frustrated and is really hoping for a change in our attitude towards drugs in general.
 
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Jungnaut

YOLO Kunce
Not unless we can move away from this nanny state iron grip sticky fingers getting into all the pie holes, its proven to be as effective as training calves with shaka weights!
 

Fadi

...
Not unless we can move away from this nanny state iron grip sticky fingers getting into all the pie holes, its proven to be as effective as training calves with shaka weights!
I agree. It has to come from within for it to work, as no one likes to be told "hey, you can't do that!"
 

bozodos

Member
Typical of someone representing the Australian Medical Association tbh. I have noticed that they are at the forefront of nanny statism.
 

C_T

Kunce of the Year 2015
weed will be legal soon, in not sure if its a good or a bad thing.

on one hand, if people drink less alcohol, then it'll be good. but if everyone uses it as an excuse (because its been prohibited for so long), then iono how those will react.

but in saying that, even a major reduction on alcohol violence and it'd be a huge plus to society as a whole.

people need to realise, even cave man was getting intoxicated one way or another. thats why theres so many plants and mushrooms that interact withour brain chemistry.
 

Kyle Aaron

Active member
Young kids do dumb shit. It's part of being a young kid. How smart were any of us at 19?

Good parenting improves the chances the dumb shit won't be too dumb. Might still happen, all you can do is change the odds. I think it actually helps if the parent themselves did dumb shit, they know what to look out for.
 
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