Aboriginal alcohol policy and practice in Australia: A case study of unintended consequences

Peter d'Abbs, Burlayn, Jamijin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper examines attempts by members of a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, to control alcohol use, and the impact of policy decisions taken by national, territory and local governments on those attempts between 2007 and 2017. The Australian Government's main policy instrument for reducing alcohol-related harms from 2010 was the Alcohol Management Plan (AMP), officially defined as a plan, negotiated at a local community level with a high level of community input, for the effective management of alcohol use by the local community. The paper shows that the policy as implemented had the unintended consequence of undermining rather than enhancing the capacity of the community to act collectively in managing alcohol, largely as a result of the interactions of four sets of factors: (1) the policies as formulated; (2) actions taken to implement the policies, (3) the responses of those affected by the policies, and (4) the socio-ecological context in which these events occurred. The paper seeks to identify the processes through which these consequences were generated, and the implications for future policy-making, policy implementation and community-level initiatives for managing alcohol in Aboriginal communities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-14
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
    Issue numberApril
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    Dive into the research topics of 'Aboriginal alcohol policy and practice in Australia: A case study of unintended consequences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this