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NAC and NACE celebrate one year anniversary

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1 September 2023

The National Allergy Council (NAC) and the National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) have established key projects to help accelerate allergy research and improve access to clinical care across Australia. Furthermore, the NAC continues to implement projects to improve anaphylaxis and food allergen management in the community.

The collaboration launched in August 2022, is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, to help combat one of the country’s fastest growing chronic conditions.

The Walking the allergy tightrope report showed allergic disease affects one in five Australians, and there was a critical need to reduce the alarming trend of anaphylaxis rates and tragic deaths due to allergies.

With a national focus on allergy research, clinical care, education, prevention and support, the NAC and NACE will ensure the findings from quality research will be implemented effectively to improve and save lives.

Ged Kearney NACE NAC

Pictured left to right: Dr Sandra Vale NAC CEO, Dr Melanie Wong NAC Director, Maria Said AM NAC Co-chair and Director, Hon Ged Kearney Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Professor Kirsten Perrett NACE Director, and Tenaya Jamieson NACE Business and Operations Manager on 7 August 2023.

NAC first year highlights

The National Allergy Council – alongside the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) – has developed key projects to help improve access to evidence-based, best-practice allergy care for all Australians.

Shared Care for Allergy project

Nationwide in-person and targeted consultation was conducted that included:

  • In-person sessions in Cairns, Brisbane, Orange, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth.
  • Online sessions for regional Western Australia, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
  • Three national online sessions.

Allergy 250K Youth Project

  • We held two Allergy 250K young adult camps, one of which was a peer mentor training camp for 13 peer mentors.
  • We held three Allergy 250K school-aged teen camps to catch up camps that were unable to be conducted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Camps were held in Adelaide, Perth and the Sunshine Coast.

Nip Allergies in Bub Food Allergy Prevention Project

  • From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, there were 110,461 visits to the Nip allergies in the Bub website (a 9.5% increase on the previous year).
  • The NipBub eczema and food ideas infographics were translated into 15 languages and new eczema animations about moisturisers and cortisone creams and ointments developed.

Schools and Children’s Education & Care Project

  • From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, there were 30,738 visits to the Allergy Aware website (a 19% increase on the previous year).
  • From 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, the Best Practice Guidelines for Schools was downloaded 1,553 times and the Best Practice Guidelines for CEC was downloaded 1,316 times.

Food service project

  • All about Allergens for general food service was the top performing course (16,905 enrolments) and there were 44,660 enrolments across all courses.
  • Course feedback indicates that 90% of respondents felt the course met their needs ‘extremely well’ or ‘very well’.

Drug allergy project

  • A Delphi panel has been established to achieve consensus on drug allergy terminology.

Stay informed about the National Allergy Council projects, including the Shared Care for Allergy Project.

Join the NAC community

NACE first year highlights

The National Allergy Centre of Excellence (NACE) has established a world-first model for a national allergy research body bringing together more than 300 drug, food, insect and respiratory allergy experts. Our vision – to save lives and reduce the burden of allergic disease – is underpinned by four pillars.

Allergy Research Pillar

  • A national Allergy Studies Directory launched to list the drug, food, insect and respiratory allergy studies currently recruiting and active across Australia, improving access to – and awareness of – allergy research.
  • A Consumer Advisory Group and Engagement Register was established, including representatives from rural urban, culturally linguistic backgrounds to help shape allergy research.

Repository and Discovery Pillar

  • Work has begun on establishing the first National Allergy BioRepository (NAB) and metadata platform to drive individualised healthcare.
  • Design is underway for an Exemplar Anaphylaxis Project to test systems of embedded trials and inform the NAB development working across Pillar 1 and 2. The project will capture all allergy and anaphylaxis presentations at two Melbourne Hospital Emergency Departments.

Evidence and Translation Pillar

  • Work has begun on a Shared Care and Drug Allergy Systematic Scoping Review.
  • A Living Systematic Review program – to seamlessly connect evidence and practice in real-time – will begin with a world-leading collaboration between the NACE Food Allergy Stream and EAACI to establish living evidence methodologies and synthesis.

Training and Innovation Pillar

  • Eight Postgraduate Scholars have been appointed following a national call for applicants and independent panel review.
  • Research projects have been carefully designed to fill the gaps in our scientific knowledge across drug, food, insect and respiratory allergy streams.

Youth Action for Allergy

  • The inaugural Youth Action for Allergy Campaign launced in May to raise awareness about allergies among schools students and funds for allergy research.
  • $17,590 was raised in honour of Max McKenzie and James Tsindos, who both sadly died after an allergic reaction in 2021. Campaign media coverage reached 53 million viewers.

 Are you part of the Australian and New Zealand allergy research community? Join us to connect, collaborate and help revolutionise how allergy research is conducted and translated.

Become a NACE member