A consortium consisting of Monash and Deakin Universities undertook this research project to identify the most salient cultural drivers of low risk and risky alcohol consumption by Victorian youth, located in inner and outer suburban settings plus provincial and rural locations in Victoria.
The results from this project reveal young people view drinking positively and as central to Australian culture and identity. Friendship and the ease of access to cheap alcohol make drinking an attractive activity, whilst the key deterrents are risks of drink driving, parental pressures and the responsibilities of work and study. Most young people did not agree with the stereotypes of youth drinkers as ‘out of control’ and do not feel that the new drinking guidelines applied to them. It was also found that sporting clubs play an important role as community hubs where families spend leisure time. The serving of alcohol to under-age members in the presence of parents was flagged as a grey area and clubs nominated training, education and surveillance as key to responsible club practices around alcohol consumption.
This project was published in 2009.