The legacy of a community mobilisation project to reduce alcohol related harm
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Faculty of Education and Arts
Kurongkurl Katitjin / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
The Community Mobilisation for the Prevention of Alcohol Related Injury (COMPARI) project was established to investigate how alcohol related harm could be reduced within the Geraldton community through community action. Twenty‐two major component activities were carried out over three years. On completion of the demonstration phase the project was taken over by the community and evolved into the region's main alcohol and drug service provider. This research seeks to identify the legacy of COMPARI from interviews with 23 key informants and from serial measures of alcohol consumption and harm. Key informants indicated that the original community prevention focus of the project has been diluted and there is more emphasis on individual prevention through education and training. A culture of intersectoral collaboration on alcohol issues has endured and this contributes to better use of resources and higher levels of treatment referral. There was also strong acknowledgement that the local committee was crucial in sustaining the project. Since the inception of COMPARI, local alcohol consumption has decreased and a proxy measure of alcohol harm, weekend, night, hospital accident and emergency occasions of service, also indicates better outcomes in Geraldton. The original project initiated cultural and structural change in the way alcohol problems are dealt with in Geraldton and this has produced on‐going benefit for the community.