Workforce development

Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work


The Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work was written in response to Aboriginal health professionals requesting an easy-to-use resource to help them meet the challenges they face every day, while being respectful of both the clinical and cultural domains across Aboriginal Australia.

Written in plain language, the Handbook has practical sections on alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues, as well as other common problems like poly drug use, viral hepatitis, HIV, mental health, sexual health, contraception, pregnancy, child protection, prison and legal issues.

It can be downloaded online for free or a hard copy purchased at cost price.

The Handbook was created in partnership between the University of Sydney and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal agencies and health professionals.

Editors: Lee, Freeburn, Ella, Miller, Perry, Conigrave

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Smoking or alcohol dependence among Indigenous Australians: treatment may be needed, not just education


In trying to help Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) individuals or communities to stop smoking or reduce the harms from alcohol, it is important to be aware of the strong biological basis to smoke or drink.

There is a firm evidence base for the use of pharmacological treatments for nicotine or alcohol dependence, particularly in severe dependence or when counseling or non-pharmacological approaches have failed.

Indigenous Australians should be able to access the full range of approaches to managing these conditions.

Working in partnership with Indigenous health staff and agencies can help ensure that appropriate access to treatment and quality treatment delivery occurs.

Investigators:Conigrave and Lee

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Professional needs of Aboriginal drug and alcohol workers in NSW

(Original research)

As part of his MPhil studies Steve Ella has conducted of a survey of 51 Aboriginal drug and alcohol workers in NSW.

This study was designed to better understand the composition of the NSW Aboriginal drug and alcohol workforce, and to assess the workers’ professional needs and supports.

It is hoped that this research will help guide future policy development so that there is a better framework to support ongoing professional development of this workforce.

Around the time Ella was working on his MPhil thesis, he was inducted into the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee Honour Roll.

Investigator: Ella