30 July 2019
A free, potentially life-saving online food allergy training program for cooks and chefs, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, has today been launched by the National Allergy Strategy, a partnership between the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA).
Developed in conjunction with chefs and cooks with experience in commercial kitchens, “All About Allergens: The next step for cooks and chefs” focuses on food preparation, handling and storage, and highlights the importance of effective communication between the kitchen and other staff and consumers with food allergy.
Two courses – one for general food service and another for camp providers – have been developed to provide information relevant to the specific settings. The first All about Allergens course should be completed before undertaking the new course for cooks and chefs.
The free online courses aim to provide practical information for cooks and chefs. The National Allergy Strategy has engaged with key stakeholders, including conducting a focus group with chefs, to ensure that resources are developed that will help make managing food allergies easier for food service providers.
Read more: New free national food allergy e-training program designed for cooks and chefs
24 June 2019:
Today the National Allergy Strategy has launched the national roll out of the Food Allergy Prevention Project funded by the Australian Government. The project aims to implement the ASCIA guidelines for infant feeding and allergy prevention.
The Nip Allergies in the Bub website (www.preventallergies.org.au) has been developed as part of the Food Allergy Prevention Project and this website along with other resources have been piloted over the past year in Western Australia. Feedback about the resources has been collected and improvements made to the resources where required.
Alongside the online resources, face to face education of general practitioners, child maternal health nurses and pharmacists has been provided to inform and support health professionals. In preparation for the national roll-out, education sessions for general practitioners have been provided in most states.
Read more: Nip Allergies in the Bub - Food Allergy Prevention Project
June 14 2019:
Earlier in the year, the 250K Youth Project team hosted a video competition. The competition aimed to reduce the stigma of carrying EpiPen®s and an ASCIA Action Plan.
As such, applicants were asked to produce a short 20 second video showing the most creative and practical ways for a teen to carry their medication.
The winners of the competition are as follows:
- First place - Mia A
- Runner(s) up - Bella G & Kyle R
There were a number of outstanding entries to the competition, and the National Allergy Strategy is pleased to see the number of creative ways young Australians carry their EpiPens and ASCIA Action Plans on a daily basis.
Congratulations again to the winners.
Visit https://teen.250k.org.au or view the winning entry below:
Read more: 250K Youth Project – Video Competition – Winners Announced!
12 June 2019:
We are pleased to announce that the 250K website has been refreshed and a new section for young adults has been added.
These resources have been updated and created through engagement with young people.
- The 250K homepage now provides an option for young people to access the original school-aged teens site or a new site developed for young adults.
- The 250K school-aged teens site has been refreshed with a new homepage to make finding information easier.
- The young adult site has been created to allow young adults to access information particularly relevant to them. Topics include managing allergies at university and in the workplace, when travelling, when moving out, dating and when starting a family.
Read more: New 250k website for young adults – now available
As part of World Allergy Week 2019, we encourage anyone who is affected by allergy to support the National Allergy Strategy's $20 million election plea to all major political parties, for long-term funding of National Allergy Strategy initiatives.
You can show your support by signing a petition and sharing it with family and friends. This petition is open until 13 April 2019, which coincides with the end of World Allergy Week.
The National Allergy Strategy is a partnership between ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) and A&AA (Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia), working together with key stakeholders. The National Allergy Strategy, ASCIA and A&AA are greatly appreciative of the funding provided by the Australian Government to implement key urgent initiatives of the National Allergy Strategy, including funding that was announced by the Health Minister on Friday 5 April 2019 which will allow the continuation of these important projects. However, further long-term support is required, to enable the implementation of larger scale projects to help combat the rise in allergy and improve the health and wellbeing of people living with allergic diseases.
Read more: World Allergy Week 2019
21 March 2019:
With a federal election anticipated within the next 2-3 months of 2019, the National Allergy Strategy has submitted an election platform to all major political parties.
NAS Election platform 20-03-19161.91 KB
The National Allergy Strategy is grateful for the funding it has received to date from the Australian Government Department of Health. Almost 2 million dollars has been provided to the National Allergy Strategy over the past 3 years which has allowed us to undertake the much needed 250K youth project, the food service project, drug allergy scoping work and the food allergy prevention project (Nip allergies in the Bub).
While the National Allergy Strategy has made good progress in improving care for those with allergic disease, more funding is urgently needed to achieve the goals of the Strategy which was launched in 2015.
A five year, whole of health approach is needed to combat the rise in allergic diseases and to improve the health and quality of life of those living with allergic diseases, through a range of strategies.
The National Allergy Strategy is asking for 20 million dollars in funding over 5 years to allow us to implement the following important projects in consultation with key stakeholder organisations:
- A Shared Care Model for allergic diseases to improve timely access to quality care for all Australians living with chronic allergic conditions.
- A comprehensive approach to drug allergy management including the implementation of a drug allergy register.
- A comprehensive, consistent approach to food allergy management in all food service (e.g. restaurants, schools, education and care services, hospitals, aged care facilities, airlines etc), expanding on the initial work that has been undertaken.
- Effective engagement with teens and young adults (at highest risk of fatal anaphylaxis) to help them to manage their severe allergies, particularly food allergies.
- Expansion of allergy prevention strategies to help prevent the development of allergic diseases including food allergy and some forms of asthma.
- Implementation of an anaphylaxis register system that meets the needs of all Australian states and territories to allow collection of nationally representative de-identified data to better understand the gaps in knowledge regarding anaphylaxis, and to allow for rapid removal of incorrectly labelled or allergen contaminated foods from the marketplace.
- Access to oral immunotherapy for food allergy in highly regarded allergy clinics, which is currently unavailable in Australia (except in limited research trials), resulting in many Australians having to travel and live oversees to access treatment.
- Expansion of existing education and support resources.
Please support all Australians living with allergic diseases by contacting your local federal candidates asking for their support of the National Allergy Strategy election platform by contacting their party leaders to publicly announce support for this funding request.
For letter templates, please visit https://allergyfacts.org.au/about/our-work-and-advocacy/election-2019
Read more: National Allergy Strategy Election Platform
8 March 2019:
A 2016 youth survey conducted by the National Allergy Strategy showed that 50% of respondents felt as though they couldn't carry their EpiPen® during social occasions as the device is too bulky, and doesn't fit in a clutch or pocket.
It can be difficult, or even embarrassing to carry an EpiPen® around when out with friends, but it's important to always have the EpiPen® and ASCIA Action Plan on/with you.
In order to reduce stigma about carrying medication, 250K are hosting a competition to find the most creative and practical ways to carry an EpiPen®s and action plan. We’re asking entrants to share a short video of how they carry their EpiPen®s and ASCIA Action Plan on a day-to-day basis and/or during social events. Winners will receive a JB-HI-FI gift voucher valued at $500.
For details about how to enter, visit 250K.org.au
Read more: 250K Video Competition
1 February 2019
The 250K youth camp was a great success according to the campers who participated. Here are some of the highlights from the camp held at Yarramundi YMCA in Western Sydney in January 2019.
30 campers attended the camp, aged from 11-23, alongside 9 National Allergy Strategy staff and volunteers. This was the first face to face meeting of some members of the 250K Youth Advisory Team. Despite the scorching temperatures (45°C!) campers participated in all of the planned activities – their favourite being kayaking.
Other favourite activities were the giant swing, Sydney Trapeze School, high ropes, team games with Pete Griffiths (CEO of Australian Camps Association), and the medical & allied health discussions lead by an Allergist (Dr Melanie Wong), Dietitian (Dr Merryn Netting) and Allergy Nurse (Briony Tyquin).
A whopping 17 meal times were catered for over the duration of the camp – which given our group had 21 different food allergies to manage – was very impressive! Campers mentioned on numerous occasions throughout camp how well fed they were.
Read more: Highlights from the first National Allergy Strategy 250K youth camp