Aboriginal community engagement


Engaging Aboriginal communities in the context of family violence, drug and alcohol use in rural and remote Aboriginal communities is a huge topic. In this paper, the author focuses on a specific group of people who are currently engaged with the rural and remote communities, as a point of reference for considering what is required to successfully engage Aboriginal people in this context. These people are the ‘grog runners’, the generic name given to the alcohol, drug and substance abuse dealers in remote communities. A grog runner knows his community, he understands the problems of his community, and he provides a solution in an ‘escape from reality’ to some of those problems, even if they create other problems in doing so. They exhibit continuity with the community and maintain a social and economic position within the community. Engaging with communities requires commitment to communities, as exhibited by the grog runner. Governments and other organisations need to follow this example of being there permanently, supporting and addressing the requirements of that community, as well as providing an attractive product.

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