The Dampier Peninsula Prevention Project: working with a group of remote Australian Aboriginal communities to address alcohol and drug use
Faculty of Education and Arts
Office of Associate Dean - Research and Higher Degrees (FEA)
The Dampier Peninsula Prevention Project worked with five remote Australian Aboriginal communities to address alcohol and drug use. In addition, the project provided an opportunity for community members to gain knowledge and skills in community mobilisation as a way of responding to local problems. This was an action research project that used a continuous cycle of planning, community action, evaluation and improvement. Data were collected from a number of different sources throughout the course of the project using a mixed methodology. Findings from a previous community needs assessment were reviewed and updated. Forty community members were interviewed at the beginning of the project. The same 10 key stakeholders were interviewed at the beginning and end of the project. The project officer continuously participated in and observed activities within the communities. Initially, the communities externalised responsibility for alcohol and drug problems and expected government intervention to deal with the situation. This view changed towards the end of the project, with more acknowledgement of the community's responsibility to make change. This was accompanied by more awareness of effective whole community strategies and increased participation in community events. While the focus of the project was problematic alcohol and other drug use, in the process it has also increased the capacity of the communities to address their issues of concern.