SCUAAC Briefing 9 February 1994 Mr Steve Gelding District Manager representing the Department of Health and Community Services
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ALCOHOL ABUSE COMMITTEE - Wednesday 9 February 1994 KATHERINE MEETING focus of alcohol and drugs programs in Katherine. It is mainly from the 'Living with Alcohol' funding, but there is money that goes to the Rock Hole Rehabilitation Program that is sponsored by Kalano. ATSIC also puts a substantial amount of money into that. I believe you are talking to ATSIC too. That is a joint project. They also get funding through the Aboriginal Hostels for a cook etc. They have some recurrent National Aboriginal Health Strategy money for some positions there. Our total there is about $170 000 in the ballpark from 'Living with Alcohol' and another $50 000 through the Alcohol and Drug Program. Some of that goes to the Kalano night patrol. King Valley is a youth group group rehabilitation program run by Billy Fordham and $56 000 goes into that. We also have a counsellor at Ngaringman in the Timber Creek area and there is some recurrent funding, plus odds and ends. We did up a building for them at Bulla Camp. That is about $35 000. That is the funding through the non-government sector. Within the department, we employ a registered nurse and Aboriginal health worker in an education role for departmental staff to look at early intervention and awareness. The program has started at the hospital. The nurse is arriving next week and the health worker is already employed. There is funding through NCADA which half funds our health promotion officer. In the department, we have a team consisting of the health promotion officer, 2 Aboriginal health promotion officers, the nurse and the health worker which is an A04 actually. There is also funding coming through at the end of the financial year for community alcohol workers. It will probably be a grant through to Aboriginal communities. All in all, it is a fairly substantial amount of money. I do not know if you are aware of the history of KADA. It is a long and troubled one, to put it mildly. The basic difficulty we perceive, especially with the government's philosophy now of giving the community input into the services and actual control - and we have a service agreement with KADA to run the sobering-up shelter and others - is the great difficulty that community management committees have in actually running those organisations. The KADA committee has a long and troubled history. I spent the better part of the last 2 years working very closely with them - as did our colleagues in the Alcohol and Drug Program area such as Shirley Hendy - just trying to get them on track as to what they actually want to do without actually being the Big Brother and telling them what to do. We have held workshops with them - Anthea Duquemin who you may also be aware of - to try to whittle down what they should be doing. My personal view is that there have been far too many ex-alcoholics involved and I think that is one of the problems. I do not mind if people know my views on this. They really have difficulty seeing a broader picture. It is abstinence or nothing. It is very difficult to evaluate what they do or how effective counselling is. There will be plenty of times when people can put their