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Top End Grog Summit: 16 Nov 2012


APO NT are committed to working together to help address the ongoing and devastating impact of alcohol misuse and related harm in the

On Friday 16 November 2012 a summit on alcohol policy and its impact on Aboriginal people and communities was held in Darwin, sponsored by the Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the Northern Territory [APO NT]. The summit was attended by around 150 people.

The forum heard from a number of speakers from Aboriginal communities and organisations across the Territory including: Anyinginyi Health Service, East Arnhem night patrol, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, CAAPU, CAAPS, Borroloola, Tiwi Islands, Ntaria, Beswick, Bagot community, SAF,T, Jilkminggan and Katherine. There was also a presentation from representatives from Fitzroy Crossing.

The summit heard also from expert speakers including Professor Peter d’Abbs from Menzies School of Health Research; Associate Professor, Ted Wilkes from the National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Committee; Professor Dennis Gray from the National Drug Research Institute; David Templeman, CEO of the Alcohol & Other Drugs Council of Australia; Donna Ah Chee, Acting CEO of Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Doctor John Boffa, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress; Russell Goldflam, People’s Alcohol Action Coalition and Michael O’Donnell, Chair of the NT Alcohol and Other Drugs Tribunal.

We ask for all levels of government to heed our warnings about the risks of allowing more alcohol to flow into remote communities.

The key messages delivered throughout the summit, included:

  • That NT has unacceptably high rates of alcohol related harm.
  • Aboriginal people in the NT have a long history of fighting for alcohol restrictions right across the NT and we are now at a critical point in this journey.
  • Aboriginal families are most affected by the destructive impacts of alcohol, including domestic violence, suicide, and removal of children from their families in high levels.
  • Aboriginal people need to secure our future and our culture by keeping our children safe, healthy and strong.
  • Evidence shows that Aboriginal people must be in control of developing and implementing strategies to tackle alcohol issues and associated problems for them to be effective.
  • Alcohol restrictions can provide necessary breathing space for Aboriginal communities, but are only one part of the solution.

To view the full recommendations from the APO NT Top End Summit, please read the communique.