Rotary Action Group Taps Drug Free Australia to Represent Oceania on a Global Stage

Seaford, Australia–(ACN Newswire – December 23, 2023) – Drug Free Australia has been selected by the Rotary Action Group for Addiction Prevention (RAG AP) to represent the Oceania region. This move underscores its significant contributions to drug education and community outreach.

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As a leader in drug prevention, Drug Free Australia will collaborate with international organizations to address pressing drug-related challenges in Oceania. This pivotal role acknowledges its successful strategies and extensive community engagement efforts across Australia.

Josephine Baxter, Executive Officer at Drug Free Australia, remarked, “This opportunity allows us to extend our reach and share our expertise on a larger platform. Our representation of Oceania in this global initiative highlights the critical nature of our mission and the considerable impact of our work.”

Recent data indicate that Australia grapples with significant drug use challenges, particularly among the youth. Drug Free Australia’s approach, pivotal in mitigating these issues, centers around educational programs and robust community outreach.

Baxter added, “Our approach, grounded in evidence-based research, has gained international recognition. We are eager to apply this knowledge throughout the Oceania region in partnership with RAG AP.”

This collaboration between Drug Free Australia and RAG AP is poised to address drug use concerns in Oceania significantly. It aims to scale up the effectiveness of drug prevention initiatives by uniting the expertise and resources of both organizations. The partnership will develop comprehensive strategies encompassing educational programs, policy advocacy, and community involvement, creating a sustainable impact on drug prevention and health promotion.

In Australia, this alliance represents a forward-thinking move to reinforce the nation’s health care and drug prevention strategies. It will enable the exchange of best practices and innovative methods in drug education, aligning with Australia’s health objectives.

Additionally, this collaboration presents Australia an opportunity to lead in the Oceania region by demonstrating effective, community-based drug prevention models. It also lays the groundwork for enhanced support from government and non-governmental entities, fostering a cooperative environment crucial for successfully combating drug-related issues.

Furthermore, Drug Free Australia will leverage its resources and networks to bolster drug prevention efforts across Oceania. The initiative aims to increase awareness and implement effective strategies at local and regional levels. One significant initiative in 2024 will be to identify and support young people as “youth influencers” who will be trained to develop their approaches to drug use prevention and early intervention.

For participation and more information, individuals and organizations can visit Drug Free Australia’s website at or engage directly with their community programs.

About Drug Free Australia:

Drug Free Australia is a health charity promoting drug-free lifestyles through education and community engagement. Renowned for volunteer-driven initiatives, the organization raises awareness and provides resources to combat drug use in Australia.

Contact Information:

Contact Person’s Name: Josephine Baxter
Company/Organization Name: Drug Free Australia
Company website:
Contact Email Address:
Phone Number: (+61) 0403 334 002

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IWD: taking action to embrace equity


As an international business with global brands, we realise our vital role in supporting women and creating an equal playing field for all.

This years International Womens Day theme is promoting and embracing equity. From grassroots initiatives to industry collaborations, heres how were supporting women in our workplaces, communities and across the world to move towards equality.

Build workplaces where women thrive

We aim to create equitable, supportive, and inclusive workplaces, which we build through policies, education and support networks.

Our womens network, made up of passionate women and allies from across the business, helps raise awareness and take action around women-centric issues. Our wellbeing hub offers information and advice on menopause, endometriosis and ovarian cancer.

We offer an enhanced shared parental and neonatal leave and paid time off for women to attend IVF appointments.

We are also proud to support those going through menopause. We host interactive talks with menopause experts and provide education and training for employees, whether theyre supporting family, friends and colleagues or experiencing the menopause themselves.

Supporting women in our communities

Education is a pathway for gender equality, yet more than 129 million girls worldwide* are not in school. Were proud to partner with charities that offer financial and social assistance to women and girls around the world.

Our charity partnership with Room to Read supports 6,400 secondary school girls in our sourcing market of Cambodia to develop literacy and holistic life skills, so they can stay in school and reach their full potential. Our support includes backing for Room To Reads pilot scheme that works with 400 teenage boys to foster gender equality. Through meaningful conversations, the pilot hopes to challenge gender norms and create genuine change.

We also support Lend With Care to finance female entrepreneurs in low-income countries with micro loans to jump-start their businesses; assist Making the Leap increase opportunities for young women starting careers, and in 2022, supported 970 women and girls through Oxfam.

Empowering womens choices in health

Were committed to helping create equal opportunities for women in sport. Our brands help drive gender equity through grassroots initiatives, long-term industry partnerships, and championing strong female ambassadors.

At all levels, our brands create opportunities for girls and women. Mitre supports the charity Girls United to create safe places for girls to play football, while Canterburys Future Fund funds rugby clubs, teams, coaches or individuals in womens rugby. In the cycling world, Enduras support of womens-only events, like the Limitlass Festival, helps to encourage more women to safely explore mountain biking.

Our brands female ambassadors help inspire women and girls worldwide. Speedo ambassadors Alice Tai, Freya Anderson, Anna Hopkin, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Marie Wattel and Erica Sullivan continue elevating womens swimming and spur on other swimmers to excel in the water. Canterbury ambassadors Ellie Kildunne and Eloise Blackwell motivate young women to take up rugby and Enduras ambassador Brooke Trine inspires other riders in the womens freeriding scene.

Across the board, were committed shaping more progressive and inclusive environments. Head to our careers page to find out more ways we advocate for women in our workplace and our positive business page to see how we support communities across the globe.


Canada – The CHRT and Class Action Parties welcome the Honourable Murray Sinclair to chair discussions to reach an agreement

Today, the Government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Chiefs of Ontario, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Moushoom/Trout counsel welcome the Honourable Murray Sinclair as the Chair of discussions aimed at reaching an agreement on compensation to First Nations children and on ending Canada’s discrimination, and preventing its recurrence, through long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle.

Ottawa, Ontario (November 10, 2021) – Today, the Government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Chiefs of Ontario, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Moushoom/Trout counsel welcome the Honourable Murray Sinclair as the Chair of discussions aimed at reaching an agreement on compensation to First Nations children and on ending Canada’s discrimination, and preventing its recurrence, through long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle.

Senator Sinclair played an instrumental role for many years advancing reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada. In 2009, Senator Sinclair became the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). He led hundreds of community hearings, sharing circles, and regional gatherings across Canada, in which thousands of residential school survivors shared their difficult and often traumatizing experiences. Senator Sinclair ensured that their stories – and the long-lasting impacts of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples – have been properly documented, so that it will never be forgotten.

Senator Sinclair was Manitoba’s first and Canada’s second Indigenous judge. In 2016 he was appointed to the Senate where he used his position to bring awareness to concerns of Indigenous Peoples until his retirement from the Senate in January 2021. Senator Sinclair continues to tirelessly advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the importance of keeping the Government of Canada accountable in the steps needed on the path of reconciliation.

The Parties sincerely thank Senator Sinclair for agreeing to play an important role in this critical process.


On October 29, 2021, the Parties announced that they had agreed to sit down immediately and work towards an agreement by December 2021 on outstanding issues. This will include:

Providing fair, equitable compensation to eligible victims impacted by Canada’s discriminatory conduct,
Ending the discrimination and preventing its recurrence by achieving long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle, and 
Funding for the purchase and/or construction of capital assets that support the delivery of child and family services on-reserve and under Jordan’s Principle.

Adrienne Vaupshas

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Indigenous Services

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Canada – Taking Action to Address Potential Barriers in Staffing:  Public Service Employment Act amendments receive Royal Assent

Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Too many Canadians continue to face bias, barriers, and discrimination based on their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or other factors.

The Government of Canada has amended the Public Service Employment Act to address systemic barriers for equity-seeking groups in public service staffing.

These amendments represent foundational work that will help departments take measures in their staffing actions to reduce barriers and encourage more inclusive recruitment practices. 

Over the past several months, the Treasury Board Secretariat worked with employee networks, bargaining agents and senior officials for Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to better understand the experiences of members of equity-seeking groups in public service staffing.

Amendments to the Public Service Employment Act reaffirm the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce and strengthen provisions to address potential bias and barriers in staffing processes.

With these changes:

All new or revised qualification standards must be evaluated for bias and barriers for members of equity-seeking groups. 

Permanent residents now have the same preference as Canadian Citizens when appointments are made through external advertised hiring processes.
The design and application of assessment methods must include an evaluation of bias and barriers, and reasonable efforts for mitigation.
The Public Service Commission now has explicit authority to audit for bias and barriers that disadvantage members of equity-seeking groups.
The Commission and deputy heads will have explicit authority to investigate bias and barriers for members of equity-seeking groups. 

These Public Service Employment Act amendments form one part of a set of initiatives and activities to increase diversity and inclusion in the public service so that it is reflective of the Canadian population it serves and a place where all public servants feel a true sense of belonging.

The work of eradicating bias, barriers, and discrimination, which have taken root over generations, demands an ongoing, relentless effort. The Government of Canada is committed to this effort and will use all available levers to improve the experiences of public servants in their workplace and ensure that they are able to realize their full potential.

“With the Royal Assent of the Public Service Employment Act amendments, the government is making concrete progress to reduce the potential bias and barriers that disadvantage equity-seeking groups in staffing processes for the federal government. This is an important step to foster greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the public service.”

—The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board  

“We must use all available levers to create a public service that is inclusive and reflective of all Canadians. These amendments to the Public Service Employment Act, which tackle potential barriers in staffing processes at all levels of the public service, will help us get there.”

— Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Marie-France Proulx

Press Secretary

Office of the President of the Treasury Board


Media Relations

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Telephone: 613-369-9400

Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)

Teletypewriter (TTY): 613-369-9371


Hong Kong – Disciplinary action against registered escalator contractor

Disciplinary action against registered escalator contractor


     The Lifts and Escalators Ordinance Disciplinary Board (Board) has completed hearings for 22 charges of disciplinary offences brought against Otis Elevator Company (H.K.) Limited (Otis) and decided that all the charges are established and the company should be disciplined.

     Disciplinary charges against Otis include four charges related to convictions in court for improper escalator maintenance at Langham Place in Mong Kok that contravene the Lifts and Escalators Ordinance (Ordinance), and 18 charges involving professional misconduct or negligence. The Board ordered that Otis be reprimanded for the four charges against the Ordinance, and be fined $960,000 in total as well as pay the expenses incurred in the proceedings of around $590,000. The Board’s decision and orders were gazetted today (April 9). Details are available on the website

     The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) welcomes the decision and will continue to strictly enforce the Ordinance to ensure the safety and reliability of lift and escalator services, with a view to safeguarding public safety.

     On March 25, 2017, an ascending escalator at Langham Place stopped suddenly and reversed its operating direction, causing 18 injuries. The EMSD conducted a criminal investigation on the incident and found that Otis, being the registered escalator contractor that undertook maintenance of the escalator concerned, had failed to ensure proper periodic maintenance of the escalator. The EMSD therefore instituted prosecution for Otis’ contravention of the Ordinance. Otis was convicted by the court on March 9, 2018.

     Having considered the convictions of Otis in court, and the multiple injuries resulting from the incident, the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS), pursuant to Section 109(1) of the Ordinance, referred the disciplinary offences concerned to the Board for disciplinary proceedings. At the same time, the DEMS also referred another 18 disciplinary charges of professional misconduct or negligence against Otis to the Board for consideration, of which 11 charges involved Otis’ failing to submit notices to the DEMS for carrying out major alterations to escalators between 2015 and 2017, and seven charges involved Otis’ failing to enter information and particulars of escalator maintenance works into the log book in 2017.