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The consultations revealed a range of pressing concerns faced by individuals, families and the community. Two areas of concern were dominant throughout the Darwin consultations.  These issues related to family and substance abuse and these were seen to be inter-related and have a causal relationship. The complexities surrounding the issues are due to inter-related cycles of violence, unemployment, boredom and a sense of despair. 

"Financial issues – people not being able to manage their money and the strain and cost of living is so high in Darwin."

"Alcohol and drugs, eg. Methamphetamines. I have used this before and it affects me more when I am coming down off it. My family are pushing me away as a result."

Racism and discrimination and the lack of cultural knowledge and the acceptance of Aboriginal culture stemming from the impact of the Stolen Generations is having an ongoing and lasting effect on people.

The most common theme emerging from the Darwin interviews was the need to focus on one’s self to ensure that they as individuals are well and have the confidence to make and contribute to positive change around themselves, within their families and ultimately within the community.  Focusing on family and culture was also frequently mentioned.


  • Self-care is important before you can look after others

  • Believing in ourselves and developing confidence to talk to others and speak out

National Empowemrent Project

The burden and stress of the high cost of living and the lack of employment opportunities and suitable housing also emerged as concerns for Darwin participants.  Even for people who are employed there was concern about the lack of support provided by employers and pressures involving job security and long term financial commitments along with the high cost of living.


National Empowemrent Project
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