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Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 051 Pitjantjatjara Council Inc



Submission Sessional Committee on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol by the Community 051 Pitjantjatjara Council Inc

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Tabled Paper 271


Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Eric Poole


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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III. AVAILABILITY AS THE FOCUS FOR CONCERN "We are the women trying to be strong trying to keep our families together, our communities together. But we can't be strong with all the grog coming in - it's just too much." Ruby Forbes, Chairwoman of the Women's Council Clearly, action initiated by members of Pitjantjatjara Council to address excessive alcohol consumption amongst anangu has focussed on restricting to the greatest extent possible the availability of takeaway alcohol in the regions surrounding the Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra lands and communities. These controls have been pivotal in anangu management of alcohol since the gaining of land rights and self-management. They have provided stability and time for deeper and more complex techniques to emerge. It is acknowledged by professional staff of Pitjantjatjara Council, and by increasing numbers of anangu, that restricting availability alone will not make alcohol problems among traditional Aboriginal people disappear. It is understood that education programs are needed to raise awareness about the physical and psychological effects of prolonged and excessive alcohol use and some form of treatment and/or rehabilitation program is advisable for those with serious drinking problems as well as for co-dependent families. However, for these things to be put in place and to be effective, the impetus for them must come from the communities themselves. In the last ten years, with increasing rapidity, the anangu approach to alcohol has been changing. Councils are constantly revising and improving local rules to deal with alcohol. Traditional family ties and relationships are being changed to confront problem drinkers. Individuals and groups have paid to 22