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Wyndham leaders unite to tackle impact of drug use

Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation CEO Ken Riddiford addresses a key stakeholder forum in Wyndham this week to seek joint support for tackling issues related to drug use in the community. Image supplied

by Heather Smith 25 March 2014


ocal community leaders and organisations gathered in Wyndham to seek joint support for tackling issues related to alcohol and other drugs. The key stakeholder forum was initiated by Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation and involved senior representatives from local government and health and service organisations. Ngnowar Aerwah Aboriginal Corporation chief executive officer Ken Riddiford said everyone agreed that there were a number of successful initiatives in place now but fresh thinking was needed.

“We need to support current initiatives that are working well and commit to generating new ideas if we are to address the key barriers to overcoming the impact of alcohol and other drugs in our community,” Mr Riddiford said. “Some of these barriers include people returning to live in difficult situation, lack of personal responsibility, unnecessary duplication especially by external service providers and the high turnover of staff at support centres,” he said. “Health, education, housing, training and employment are vital to the long-term wellbeing of individuals, their families and the community.

“We must work together as a unified team if we want to improve the health and future prospects of those impacted by drug use.” The forum attendees agreed Ngnowar Aerwah should lead, develop and implement a formal strategy to address the barriers in partnership with relevant organisations. “This will involve a ‘philosophical alignment’ so that the focus of future efforts is on partnerships, well integrated services and local employment,” Mr Riddiford said. “We all want to be known to government for providing lasting solutions, not merely for seeking more funding.”


Wyndham leaders unite to tackle impact of drug use