COMPARI (Community Mobilisation for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Injury) was a demonstration project, designed to show that alcohol related injury could be reduced by mobilising a community to take an active role in changing individual drinking behaviour and the environmental factors that influence drinking behaviour. The project operated in the small Western Australian regional city of Geraldton from January 1992 to February 1995. Although there were initial difficulties in gaining support at the local level, the project team developed a strong local network, contributed to the community's capacity to deal with alcohol problems and demonstrated the benefits of a community harm prevention approach by initiating a number of high profile activities that generated broad community support. In total, COMPARI undertook twenty-two major component projects over three years. The nature of these individual projects and the implementation and evaluation strategies employed by the COMPARI team are outlined. The mistakes, successes and lessons learned from the intervention are presented. Four major conclusions have been drawn from the project. These concern project initiation, project strategies, project impact and outcomes, and the evaluation methodology. The COMPARI project did have a considerable impact on the way alcohol issues were dealt with within the Geraldton community. On completion of the demonstration phase, the project was valued by its host community to the extent that it received local funding and evolved into the major alcohol and drug service provider for the city and the surrounding region.