We encourage Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) to link with and/or build on existing program approaches that have been shown to work.

Existing or new initiatives

Existing programs may have an AOD focus, or possibly a different overall focus such as preventing gambling harm, or enhancing mental wellbeing. Be prepared to look outside the AOD sector for possible approaches; for example, programs that share a focus on strengthening communities to improve other health and social outcomes.

A limited number of existing programs are listed below. You may also find other programs through local health services, peak bodies and by drawing on local knowledge and networks you have access to.

Existing strong and connected community programs in Australia:

Delivered by the ADF, the Good Sports Program works with local sporting clubs across Australia to provide a safe and inclusive environment, where everyone can get involved. The program has run for nearly two decades and is proven to reduce harm and positively influence health behaviours, as well as strengthen club membership and boost participation.

Established 25 years ago, Big hART engages disadvantaged communities around Australia in art.

Community Hubs provides a welcoming place for migrant women and their children to learn about the Australian education system. With strong evaluation to support the effectiveness of the program, Community Hubs focuses on engagement, English, early-years and vocational pathways.

A national organisation that uses sport and art to improve the lives of people experiencing complex disadvantage.

If you have found some existing programs that could be incorporated, it is useful to seek out further information to find out if it is relevant.

You might want to consider the following questions (some answers may be available online, others you may have to seek directly from the organisation):

  • Does the program align with your community needs?
  • Is the program available in your geographic area? If face-to-face delivery is not available, is remote access an option?
  • Has the program been shown to be effective at strengthening community cohesion and connection, and reducing and preventing AOD harms? What evidence is available to demonstrate this?

Due to the limited number of existing programs available and the need for tailored approaches, many Local Drug Action Teams will work with partners to develop and deliver a targeted program in their community. Review Section 2d Resources required and Section 3 Delivering ‘Strong and Connected Communities’ interventions: Key Steps for insight into what is required when developing new approaches.

community art projects

Setting objectives

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the planning process. It is recommended that LDATs use the Community Hub page Set your objectives to think about using the SMART process.

Some example objectives for actions relating to ‘Strong and Connected Communities’ are provided below. LDATs can develop your own objectives by engaging with your community to determine needs, although you may find these a useful starting point:

  • Identify two suitable facilities and host one sport and one art-based community event at each site in the next 12 months.
  • Engage with 20% of local primary schools to help identify active transport opportunities for students to get to and from school over the next 12 months.
  • Provide support to a local high school to build an art project focused on reducing stigma around a health topic relevant to the students over the next 12 months.
  • Engage with local faith leaders, multicultural groups and other cultural groups to develop ideas for a shared space that celebrates diversity in the community in the next 12 months.

Working with community partners

Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing alcohol and other drug harms in the community. LDATs should work with a variety of different community partners to deliver ‘Strong and Connected Community’-related actions. These could include arts organisations, sporting clubs, local councils, and other organisations that work directly with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s priority target groups.

Partners can support your action in many ways, including delivering your activities, promoting programs, recruiting participants, financial support, and much more.

Your specific approach to building strong and connected communities may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.

Partners may include:

  • sporting clubs
  • arts organisations
  • community leaders (e.g. local faith leaders)
  • representative groups (e.g. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex)
  • local council
  • libraries
  • police
  • schools (primary, secondary, tertiary)
  • Lions, Rotary and Apex clubs
  • community development, health promotion and youth workers
  • local employers and workplaces
  • traders and business associations
  • multicultural groups and other cultural groups
  • primary health services (e.g. general practitioners, pharmacists, dentists)
  • community health centres and neighbourhood houses
  • health services and hospitals
  • AOD services and sector workers.

Resources required

All AOD programs need to be adequately resourced. Below is a list of the types of resources that community organisations need to build strong and connected communities. This is not an exhaustive list, and LDATs should be mindful that the resources required will be influenced by the Community Action Plan being undertaken by your group:

  • Basic administrative tools. Access to stationery and office supplies, printers, phones, and a workspace for administrative duties.
  • Venue for meetings. This may include in-kind use of meeting rooms from a partner organisation, local library, school or community hall (your local council will have a list of available places for community use), or schools. It is not appropriate for meetings to be held in people’s homes or private venues.
  • Funding for catering at events and meetings. Basic refreshments available before and/or after the event are often sufficient (e.g. tea, coffee, water, biscuits).
  • Checks. Funds to undertake police checks/working with children checks where necessary.
  • Insurance. Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate).
  • Funds for additional activities. This may include improvements to local facilities, delivering an arts program, running a media campaign or publicising an event.
Please get in touch to find out more about the program
Please get in touch to find out more about the program