Welcome to rffada

The Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) is a national not-for-profit health promotion charity dedicated to ensuring that individuals affected prenatally by alcohol have access to diagnostic services, support and multidisciplinary management planning in Australia and that carers and parents are supported with a “no blame no shame” ethos.

On this site you will find a range of support resources and information relating to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, or FASD.

The Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) Strategic Plan is based on four key priorities.

    1. Prevention
    2. Support
    3. Training and Education
    4. Research and Projects


Aussies asked to swap the pub for the bub

September 2014: This September Australians are being asked to ‘swap the pub for your bub’ and take a break from alcohol to support a loved one who is pregnant.

Pregnant Pause challenges participants to go alcohol free to support the pregnancy of their partner, family member, loved one or friend.

Recent studies have found that almost half of all pregnant women drank before knowing they were pregnant and 19.5 per cent continued to drink once they became aware of their pregnancy.

Research also shows that 77 per cent of women who consume alcohol during their pregnancy do so with their partner.

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) Chief Executive Michael Thorn, says that the simple act of joining your loved one by being alcohol-free during her pregnancy will make it easier for her to abstain from alcohol too.

“Pregnant Pause is a campaign that builds a support system to help pregnant couples achieve an alcohol-free pregnancy,” Mr Thorn said.

Prenatal exposure to alcohol can lead to a range of severe adverse consequences during pregnancy including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

FASD is the most common preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia and babies born with FASD have devastating developmental disabilities that can affect them for the rest of their lives.

“The good news is that FASD is not a genetic disorder. We don’t need complicated gene therapy or major pharmaceutical breakthroughs to treat or prevent FASD.  We can prevent FASD by not consuming alcohol during pregnancy,” Mr Thorn said.

The campaign will feature print and radio advertisements, community activities, events and community service announcements to be broadcast on ABC radio stations during September, and ahead of World FASD Day on 9 September.

Duncan Buchannan, an Everyday Ambassador for the campaign, was so inspired by his partner during her pregnancy that he was eager to find a way to give something back.

“During our pregnancy, my wife did everything she could to ensure that our daughter was born happy and healthy, particularly by not drinking during the pregnancy. So I did the Pregnant Pause challenge, in support of my wife and other mothers who want to make healthy decisions for their new baby,” Mr Buchannan said.

Mr Thorn agrees that Pregnant Pause offers a worthwhile and meaningful way for Dads-to-be to be more engaged with their partner’s pregnancy.

“Pregnant Pause encourages men to think about the whole issue of alcohol use in pregnancy. By taking a pause in their drinking while their partners are pregnant, then their partners are much more likely to be able to stop drinking during the pregnancy and avoid harming their unborn child,” Mr Thorn said.

Those wishing to take a Pregnant Pause can take the pledge to go alcohol free in support of a pregnant loved one at

Media Contact:  Jeremy Henderson, 0425 559 710, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to stop the harm caused by alcohol. Alcohol harm in Australia is significant. Over 5,500 lives are lost every year and more than 157,000 people are hospitalised making alcohol one of our nation’s greatest preventative health challenges.

For over a decade, FARE has been working with communities, governments, health professionals and police across the country to stop alcohol harms by supporting world-leading research, raising public awareness and advocating for changes to alcohol policy. In that time FARE has helped more than 750 communities and organisations, and backed over 1,400 projects around Australia.

For further information visit FARE’s website:


Thank you to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Information Network


Peggy Oba and her family organisation The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Information Network have made a welcome donation to the rffada. Thank you Peggy and family, this will mean printed brochures and posters to distribute to organisations and additional support for our parents and carers.


Pregnant Pause

FARE is pleased to announce a new national fundraising campaign that calls on Aussie dads-to-be to take a Pregnant Pause, and go without alcohol in support of a healthy pregnancy.

Giving up alcohol for up to 40 weeks, dads won’t just be giving their families the best start, but will also be raising funds to support thousands of people across Australia with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

The campaign launches this week and is catching on fast, with soon-to-be parents, Australian Olympic Swimmer, Elka Whalan and her husband, Olympic Water Polo champ, Tom Whalan, both proud ambassadors for the campaign.

Pregnant Pause Ambassador Ms Graham says, “A healthy pregnancy and baby is the ultimate for any family, so I’m delighted to be a part of the Pregnant Pause campaign, and proud to have my husband Tom supporting me along the way.”

The campaign’s creative catalyst and father of two, Troy Jones, wants to challenge Aussie Dads and says fatherhood should start before you bring the baby home.

“Dads today are a lot more hands on, and Pregnant Pause is a way that they can give their baby the best start in life, before they even enter the world.

We’re calling on dads-to-be to step up and join their partners in going without alcohol during the pregnancy, in the knowledge that by doing so, they’ll make it easier for their partners too,” Mr Jones said.

With the campaign slogan: Man up, drinks down, Pregnant Pause will also raise funds for prevention, education, diagnosis and support for the thousands of people across Australia who are impacted by FASD. FASD is the most common preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia, and it happens because of prenatal alcohol exposure. Babies born with FASD may have devastating developmental disabilities that can affect them for the rest of their lives.

Mr Jones says Pregnant Pause will raise money to provide support to those who are living with FASD, to prevent it from happening to more babies, and to educate the nation that there is no known safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

“We want to smash the taboos, clear the air on alcohol during pregnancy and raise funds for Australians living with FASD – we want to make FASD history.” Mr Jones said.

Register for Pregnant Pause today

Give to Pregnant Pause now


Posters and Brochures

If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant over the holiday season, dont drink.  The consequences could be far more than you could ever imagine.


rffada poster

    For a healthy baby, no alcohol while pregnant is safest!


If you need more or different information

If there is information on FASD which is not on this website please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   I will source and upload the information that you require.  If you need it then others will too.

Information on this site from volunteers of the rffada is based on experience and is not made by medical personnel unless stated as such.  Additionally,we advise that the information contained in ths site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing health care professional/s.

Thank you


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