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Lived experience of gambling harm the key to change

28 Feb 2023

A passionate new team member at the Alliance for Gambling Reform is playing a powerful role in removing stigma and driving change to reduce and prevent gambling harm.

A $140,000 grant from The Ross Trust last year meant the Alliance was able to employ Kate Seselja, a highly regarded advocate for gambling reform, as its new Voices manager.

Kate, who brought a depth of lived experience to the role, is now harnessing and supporting a strong team of volunteers who are also keen to share their experiences.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform is a small national health promotion charity with more than 42,000 supporters and 60 partner organisations working collaboratively to reduce harm from all forms of gambling. 

Alliance CEO Carol Bennett says that as a small not-for-profit, volunteers are a critical part of the workforce.

“The personal stories of our volunteers are sought by journalists, politicians and universities throughout Australia, and our volunteers enthusiastically advocate for regulatory, legislative and policy change,” Carol says. 

“Kate is very articulate and great at public speaking and in the media talking about her lived experience. She is further developing our Voices program and finding new and amazing volunteers so we can have many diverse voices who we can provide to the media or for speaking opportunities.”

The Alliance is also working at the federal level, having established a Parliamentary Friends of Reducing Gambling Harm, which features different topics and speakers at its regular meetings.

The Ross Trust CEO Sarah Hardy says the current grant followed 2019 funding to scale-up the Alliance’s ‘Champions for Change' pilot project by providing training and support for people who had experienced the devastating harm caused by gambling.

“We are delighted that the Alliance can continue its important work by building an even stronger network of volunteers who can contribute to a reduction in gambling harm across Victoria,” Sarah says. 

“The Alliance’s work strongly aligns with our strategic decisions to support advocacy, human rights and action for change on issues affecting vulnerable Victorians.”

Kate Seselja, who has already been interviewed by several media outlets, including the BBC, says she is very grateful for the support of The Ross Trust. 

“This is a significant moment in the history of Gambling Reform and to be able to be on the front line of change, supporting others with lived experience and making sure that their voices are heard, is everything,” Kate says.

Find out more about the Alliance at