Source: The Council of Aboriginal Elders of SA website, http://www.caesa.org

The National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) in Australia has a great article on their website on Locally designed and operated Indigenous community models. The article states:

“The benefit of locally designed and operated initiatives is that they can be tailored to community needs and in a cultural context that is owned and supported by the community. This enhances the strengths and builds resilience of a community and combined with the added support of services provides for a more sustainable and long term solution.”

One of the programs profiled in the article is The Grannies Group.

The Grannies Group in South Australia is a peer support network of senior Aboriginal men and women who advocate on behalf of issues affecting their children, grandchildren and their community. Part of their work includes raising awareness of drug and alcohol issues through community education sessions using their own stories and issues.

In a radio interview in May 2012, 75-year-old Grannies Group member Coral Wilson describes the founding of the group:

“We sort of got together and talked about how we can come to terms with the drug abuse that’s in our community and within our families. It wasn’t that we had to set up this group straight away it was a lot of talking between ourselves about, what are we going to do with him? What are we going to do with her? They’re in jail, we’ve got to look after the kids and so on. And that brought about this group coming together, and it was to support, support each other because of the problems we all had with our children on drugs and alcohol. And it’s been going for well over ten years now. “

The Grannies Group is part of the Council of Aboriginal Elders of South Australia and is supported by the Australian Government’s Home and Community Care (HACC) program.

See the press release Elders take a stand against alcohol abuse (September 12, 2012). You can also take a look at the NIDAC report Addressing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Australia (2012).