Koorie Drug & Alcohol Program Pilot and development

Koorie AOD Program Banner

Following discussions with Justice Health about the need for a drug and alcohol program for Aboriginal men, a Koorie-specific AOD pilot program was developed by Caraniche and commissioned by Justice Health. A Koorie AOD Program Advisory Committee was established to oversee the program development and pilot.

Grounded in a set of cultural principles, the program design was informed by national guidelines like the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s Mental Health and Social and emotional Wellbeing (2004-2009).

The program content is also underpinned by culturally relevant theories of offence-specific rehabilitation and behaviour change, as well as incorporating cultural elements of psychological wellbeing and spirituality.


Background to development:

  • Part of a set of new initiatives driven by Justice Health and Caraniche to pilot new programs that would improve access and quality of service provision
  • Recognised significant unmet need for Aboriginal people in custody – mainstream programs not designed to meet unique treatment needs
  • Caraniche to initiate development and piloting of an intensive drug and alcohol program for Aboriginal men
  • Program needed to be developed from a cultural base, drawing on Aboriginal psychological, social and cultural perspectives – not modified version of mainstream program
  • Koorie community members need to be involved in development and delivery


Koorie Drug & Alcohol Program Overview:

  • 44 Hour criminogenic program for men
  • Program delivery has a cultural / clinical co-facilitation model – one facilitator must be a Koorie person with relevant experience
  • Program approach is one of healing, recognising the impacts of transgenerational trauma, racism, stigma and adversity, while building strength and wellbeing through cultural connection
  • Program based on Aboriginal models of healing and social and emotional wellbeing, and culturally adapted Western psychological approaches to addressing problems with substance use and offending
  • Currently being delivered at Loddon and Marngoneet.
  • 3 programs completed (18 participants completed) and 2 programs running now (16 participants)


Koorie AOD Program Banner

Above: This painting was produced by the men participating in Pilot 1 of the Koori Program, at Loddon Prison Precinct in 2016. Participants have kinship ties to various Aboriginal communities, including the Yorta Yorta, Gunaikurnai, Yawuru and Quandamooka People. Caraniche would like to acknowledge the artist of this work, Jordan Secombe, who has granted permission for it to be displayed by Caraniche.


Connecting with Koorie culture banner

Above: Caraniche would like to acknowledge the artist of this work, Sheldon Blunt, who has granted permission for it to be displayed by Caraniche.