Any alcohol use during pregnancy, even at low levels, can have downstream behavioural and psychological effects on children, including anxiety, depression and poor attention.

During development, at these stages of life, the brain is particularly sensitive to alcohol’s harmful effects.

This 1-hour webinar will provide you with an overview of the major changes occurring in the prenatal and adolescent brain and the disruptions in brain development that may occur due to alcohol exposure.

Key Topics of this webinar:

  • Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • The impacts of low-level prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing brain.
  • Which are the neurobiological factors that predispose adolescents to consume alcohol.
  • The impacts of alcohol use on the adolescent brain.
  • Main prevention and intervention programs focusing on reducing exposure to alcohol during these key periods.


Key learning outcomes:

  • Greater understanding and recognition of significant points of change in the brain’s development and links to key developmental milestones.
  • Deeper understanding of the latest evidence on alcohol exposure effects on neurodevelopmental processes.
  • Enhanced ability to recognise and identity with the lived experience of addiction effects, its social, economic, emotional and wellbeing impacts and how these might present in a clinical setting.
  • Greater confidence in applying state-of-the-science prevention and intervention programs aimed at reducing exposure to alcohol across key developmental periods.

Who will be presenting this webinar?

Jenny Valentish

Chair (with Lived Experience)

Journalist Jenny Valentish’s third book is Woman of Substances: A Journey into Addiction and Treatment, which blends research and memoir. It received major media coverage in Australia and the UK and was nominated for a Walkley.

Her book is on the recommended reading list for modules of Monash University’s Addiction Studies and RMIT’s Bachelor of Criminology and Psychology, and Valentish herself has a graduate certificate in AOD from Turning Point/Monash. She is a board director of SMART Recovery Australia, an ambassador for Monash University’s BrainPark, a consultant for Turning Point and a core member of AOD Media Watch.

Louise Mewton


Dr Louise Mewton is a UNSW Scientia Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing.

Dr Mewton’s research focuses on applying innovative methods, techniques and technologies to further our understanding of the epidemiology, assessment and prevention of problematic alcohol use across the lifespan.

Her research program links epidemiology, information technology, neuropsychiatry and prevention research and reflects global research priorities. Her current research program also focuses on the impact of alcohol use on the brain at key periods across the lifespan, including gestation, adolescence and older adulthood.

Briana Lees


Briana Lees is a Research Fellow based at The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, University of Sydney.

She obtained her Bachelor of Psychology qualification, with First Class Honours and the University Medal, at the University of Wollongong in 2016.

She has recently submitted her doctoral thesis to investigate the effects of alcohol exposure on neurocognitive and psychological development in children and adolescents. As part of her PhD, Briana has conducted the largest studies in the world to date, investigating child outcomes among those exposed to alcohol in utero and youth with family histories of substance use problems.

Andrew Baillie


Andrew Baillie is a clinical psychologist and professor of allied health (conjoint) with Sydney Local Health District. He convenes the Academic Implementation Science Network for Sydney Health partners, and collaborates with the Matilda Centre for Research in Substance use and Mental Health, the Edith Collins Centre (Translational Research in Alcohol Drugs and Toxicology), and the Sydney Institute of Women Children and their Families.

Don’t miss this opportunity to have access to the latest evidence, knowledge and resources all in one place.