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ALC 15 year strategic plan 2012-2027



ALC 15 year strategic plan 2012-2027


Anindilyakwa Land Council


Anindilyakwa Land Council annual report; Anindilyakwa Land Council strategic plan; Reports; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Anindilyakwa Land Council (N.T.) -- Periodicals; Aboriginal Australians -- Northern Territory -- Groote Eylandt -- Periodicals

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Anindilyakwa Land Council

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Anindilyakwa Land Council

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ALC 15 year Strategic Plan 8. Goal D: Strengthen Community Capacity 100 rent or holiday time, many go to Darwin to drink. Drinking that happens on the mainland can cause considerable family problems and is also felt in the workplace as people are missing and a lot of money is wasted trying to bring them back (Lee and Conigrave, 2011). Alcohol abuse on the island itself was a significant issue up until 2005, when Anindilyakwa people, through the ALC, made the courageous decision to ban alcohol on the islands, except under very tight regulation. At the request of the Anindilyakwa people, the Groote archipelago is now a Restricted Alcohol Area: a system of liquor permits enables possession and consumption of alcohol in selected localities. As a result, violence has diminished markedlybut a problem now replacing alcohol is the illegal consumption of cannabis which, rather than leading to violence, brings with it a dispirited lethargy that still prevents many of the local people from taking up education, training and employment opportunities that are now on offer. Cannabis use produces significant social, psychological and psychiatric harms for Anindilyakwa people, and compounds negative effects from poverty, unemployment and disengagement from the community. Witnesses also report an association between cannabis and, suicide and domestic violence in remote communities. It is expected that the serious long-term effects of cannabis use will become more evident over time, as effects take hold in populations currently engaged in habitual, heavy use. The cost of obtaining cannabis on Groote Eylandt is estimated to be four times that of mainland Australia and the loss of income to communities to cannabis is in the scale of several million dollars each year. Studies show that regular cannabis abuse arises from a deeper lack of purpose, and lack of clarity around options for the future. The ALC views the issue as an extremely complex one that requires a complex response; but at the core of the solution is developing a range of options that engage individuals and thereby, mental wellbeing. The ALC believes strategies to tackle the issue will require a collaborative effort from community as well as involvement from relevant government agencies, GEMCO, ALC and GEBIE. It is proposed that a substance misuse strategy is developed which is holistic, guided by the meaningful engagement and participation of local people and involves a genuine long-term commitment by all relevant stakeholders. The ALC proposes that the next step is to convene a two-day summit on Groote Eylandt with the aim of developing a comprehensive and holistic strategy and an action plan for addressing substance misuse. The core participants of the summit will be a cross section of community representatives from Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island. Representatives will also be invited from relevant government agencies (including senior NT police engaged in drug enforcement and intelligence, relevant Australian Government Health and Ageing and NT Health personnel), knowledgeable independent experts in the development and delivery of substance misuse strategies and relevant non-government agencies.