The overall goal of the Bunbury Geographe Aboriginal LDAT is to reduce the likelihood of young Aboriginal people becoming involved in substance misuse behaviours by strengthening known protective factors, for example: healthy relationships, constructive recreational activities, quality education and various forms of social support. In doing so, the LDAT worked to deliver project activities based on recommendations made by community members, including high school students, during community consultations.
The key issue that was targeted by this LDAT is the use of alcohol and other drugs, particularly methamphetamine, among young people.
A known issue among young people is boredom and participation in antisocial behaviour, leading to issues relating to harms associated with alcohol and other drug use. This LDAT wanted to provide opportunities for young people to engage in fun activities that connected them to peers and other community members.
In order to meet the objectives, the LDAT initially organised weekly Friday Fun sessions, involving a range of activities, including:
The LDAT initially provided alcohol and other drug sessions, however these were not well received among young people. They provided feedback to the LDAT that they
were more interested in the social aspects of the Friday Fun sessions. Upon consultation among LDAT partners, it was decided that the benefits associated with safe social spaces for young people were greater than risking a drop in participation.
With the success of the Friday Fun sessions among young people, and the re-evaluation of the initial objectives, the LDAT moved away from delivering Objectives 3 and 4.
Description of activity
The LDAT encouraged healthy lifestyles, engagement of youth in diversionary activities and provided peer support - all known protective factors. The four key objectives were:
Please note: The Local Drug Action Team program has evolved to include the SMART approach to objective setting since the completion of this Community Action Plan.
The LDAT delivered on its aim of strengthening community connections. This occurred through engagement of young people and their families in weekly activities such as sport and cultural practices.
The Bunbury Geographe Aboriginal LDAT Team conducted a total of 38 weekly Friday Fun for Families sessions in 2018. The number of young attendees rose continuously over this time. During the first few weeks the number of attendees varied between seven and 32. At the last session covered in this report there were 85 youth in attendance. A Blue Light Disco conducted in the final week in November attracted 170 young participants.
A total of eight workshops were conducted over the first two months of the program covering topics relating to resilience and support factors, healthy relationships and alcohol and other drugs.
Feedback provided to Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation from community members indicates that neighbourhood residents are happy with the decrease in youth wandering the streets.
Please note: This LDAT has progressed into a new Community Action Plan which is also measuring the impacts of their activities with respect to reducing AOD harm in the community.
Were there any unintended consequences?
A positive consequence was the whole of community became involved in the program, attracting children and families from across the Bunbury area.
The close working relationship that was established with SW Police, SWAMS and Red Cross has been a very positive factor in the successful launch of the program. The support and assistance of SW Police has been especially appreciated and is undoubtedly contributing to improving community relations between young Aboriginal community members and local police. The project also attracted other connections such as the Community Development Officer from the WA Cricket Association’s support. The Community Development Officer contributed their time to run cricket sessions for young people. The LDAT was also successful in securing an additional $50,000 from the City of Bunbury to improve the Youth Space in 2018.
Strengths in the approach
The key strength for this LDAT was the focus on addressing the stated needs of the community. This was determined through extensive community consultation and has resulted in strong community support for the Friday Fun sessions.
Reflections from community
❛Love seeing all the kids come together and get to see family.❜
❛Fun, get out of house with siblings.❜
Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation