News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Bells ringing for FASD

Wednesday 7 September 2005

Bells ringing for FASD

When the bells of Onehunga’s churches ring at 9.09am on Friday the 9th of September they will be the first bells in the world to mark International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. FASD Awareness Day promotes the need for abstinence during pregnancy to help ensure the healthiest possible start to life.

New Zealand, being the first country in the world to see in each new day, has proudly started the international sequence of FASD Awareness Day events since its inception in 1999.

This year is no different. An event organised by the Auckland Fetal Alcohol Network will be held at the University of Auckland College of Education, Epsom Campus. The official welcome will be offered by the Mayoress of Auckland Diana Hubbard.

Elizabeth Russell, author, birth mother of two children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and recovering alcoholic, will give a key note address. Elizabeth speaks with an authentic voice of someone whose own life journey has resulted in two children with the disorder. Her experience has been captured in a just published book called “Alcohol and Pregnancy – A Mother’s Responsible Disturbance”.

Alcohol Healthwatch is proud to sponsor Elizabeth’s visit to New Zealand and hope that it will help to raise awareness and promote action on the leading preventable cause of mental retardation.

Alcohol Healthwatch Director Rebecca Williams says that there is no known safe level of alcohol during pregnancy, therefore the best advice is don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy. If there is one simple message from the day it is this.

Williams says the day is also about recognising that there are individuals and families out there that are affected by the disorder and so in order for the appropriate help and support to be offered it needs to be safe to talk about the issue. We are incredibly indebted to people like Elizabeth whose courage enables them to rise above the personal trauma to help make things better for others.


For more information on FASD Awareness Day see

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

Negotiations Begin: Equal Conditions For Men & Women In Professional Football

The trade union representing New Zealand's professional footballers has initiated bargaining for an agreement securing equal terms and conditions for men and women. If negotiated, it will be the first agreement of its kind in the world. More>>


New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland