Katherine's Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation will receive more than $832,000 funding to tackle alcohol and other drugs issues in the Katherine region as part of a $2.31 investment by the Australian Government to make an impact on drug and alcohol abuse in Katherine, Tiwi, the Daly region and the greater Darwin region.
Minister for Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, and Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish Crossin, announced the new funding during a visit to the Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service in Katherine last week.
During her visit Ms Macklin said she was pleased to be able to announce “extra money, which will be spend to help with the great work Wurli is doing on alcohol issues”.
“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.”
Ms Macklin said mentoring young people was and “important step in educating them about alcohol and drug problems” and the staff at Katherine’s Wurli Wurlinjang Corporation was doing “great high-quality work to do harm minimisation”.
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 creates 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 would enable the hiring of up to nine Aboriginal staff to work on alcohol and other drugs services in Katherine.
“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.
The $2.31million funding package aims to 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.