Alcohol Management Plans in Aboriginal Communities: An ethnographic study

Project Details

There is overwhelming evidence that harmful levels of alcohol consumption by Aboriginal people are related to violence, crime, injury and ill health. Alcohol has long been a focus of national Aboriginal policy with various policy responses. However, current levels of Aboriginal alcohol consumption and alcohol-associated harm remain extreme, by any comparative standard. This research aims to provide a sound basis for future development of AMPs by communities and government agencies and enhance their potential as vehicles for: (a) pathways for community participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of AMPs; and (b) building the capacity of community leaders to establish specific goals to limit the harms caused by alcohol consumption.  Additionally, this research aims to provide a strong evidence base that can be used to inform State, Territory and Federal policy. This will form the basis of a case study that will specify best practice approach to the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of AMPs within community contexts.

This project seeks to develop an evidence base for Alcohol Management Plans (AMP) as an appropriate policy framework to respond to the harms associated with alcohol misuse in Aboriginal communities. Through an in-depth case study within a remote Indigenous community in northern Australia, this research also seeks to understand ‘best practices’ in the implementation and evaluation of AMPs in community contexts.


Professor Marcia Langton

Associate Professor Richard Chenhall

Dr Kristen Smith


Pormpur Paanthu Aboriginal Corporation

Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council



Research Outputs

Smith, K. Langton, M., Chenhall, R., Smith, P., and Bawden, S. 2019. The Alcohol Management Plan at Pormpuraaw, Queensland, Australia: An ethnographic community-based study. Canberra: Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

Langton, M. & Smith, K. 2017, Dealing with the harmful impacts of alcohol: more effective policies urgently required, 14th National Rural Health Conference, Cairns Convention Centre, 26 – 29 April, 2017.

Langton, M., Smith, K., Bawden, S. 2018, Shifting the problem? Local versus regional approaches to alcohol management by Indigenous communities, The 5th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, 7 November - 9 November.

Langton, M., Smith, K. 2017, A regional approach to Alcohol Management in Northern Australia: Mobility, supply chains and community control, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) National Indigenous Research Conference 2017: Impact, Engagement & Transformation, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 21 – 23 March 2017.

Langton, M., Smith, K., Chenhall, R., 2016. Indigenous Narratives about alcohol impacts and sobriety, The Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne Conference Centre, Australia, 8-10 November.