Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Support to reduce the harm of alcohol and drug abuse

Joint Media Release with:

  • Warren Snowdon MP,Minister for Indigenous Health
    Member for Lingiari
    Senator Trish Crossin Senator for the Northern Territory

The Australian Government is investing $2.31 million to tackle the impact of drug and alcohol abuse in Katherine, Tiwi, the Daly region and greater Darwin.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, and the Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, announced the new funding during a visit to the Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service in Katherine today.

Ms Macklin said the funding will support harm minimisation activities and initiatives which aim to reduce the demand or potential demand for alcohol, including early intervention,education programs on foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, youth mentoring, outreach work and diversionary actions for itinerant people.

“Alcohol and drug abuse has a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals,” Minister Macklin said.

“But it is often families, children and communities that feel the full effect of the consequences of alcohol abuse.

“Aboriginal people have told us that they need support to reduce the shocking impact of alcohol and drug abuse. That is why our Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package includes new and enhanced measures aimed directly at tackling alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory.”

Mr Snowdon said the program at Wurli Wurlinjang would be an important boost for the local community.

“The Wurli Wurlinjang program involves local elders and the broader community. It will create a pool of community workers who will navigate culturally complex issues and deliver frontline services and referrals with support from professionals,” Mr Snowdon said.

Senator Crossin said the funding will enable the hiring of up to nine Aboriginal staff to work on Alcohol and Other Drugs services in Katherine; a new program to address foetal alcohol spectrum disorder servicing the Tiwi, Daly and Greater Darwin region; the expansion of two existing rehabilitation programs in Greater Darwin; and the launch of two new youth programs on the Tiwi Islands.

“The Australian Government is committed to working with Aboriginal people and communities to tackle alcohol and drug abuse and to build stronger futures for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory,” Senator Crossin said.

Organisation Program Initiative
(implementation in 2012-2013)

Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation

Frontline and referral services to support alcohol and other drugs issues in the Katherine region


CatholicCare NT

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder education and awareness program in the Greater Darwin, Daly region, Tiwi Islands and Belyuen


Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation

Watch House Pick Up and Diversionary Program in the Darwin region


Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services Incorporated (CAAPS)

Capacity building and management of therapeutic program including Outreach workers in Darwin and Palmerston regions managing withdrawal clients in substance abuse program


Australian Red Cross

Save-a-Mate Our Way Program in the Tiwi and Daly Regions focussing on youth mentoring higher risk peers with substance abuse and mental health issues