About

 Background

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre was established by the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet (HealthInfoNet) in partnership with the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) and the National Centre for Education Training on Addiction (NCETA).

The high quality, relevant and up to date content of the Knowledge Centre is consistent with the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015 (NDS) (and more recently the National Drug Strategy 2017-2026) and the three pillars of demand reduction, supply reduction, and harm reduction. The three pillars are supported by the Knowledge Centre’s commitment to build the capacity of the Alcohol and other Drugs (AOD) workforce, promote evidence-informed practice across sectors, and encourage greater integration between policy, practice and research. As a workforce support service the Knowledge Centre also aligns strongly with key government commitments to workforce development, contained in key strategies and plans such as the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 and the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework 2011-2015, through training, support and skills development.

Our mission

The Knowledge Centre’s mission is to contribute to improving the health of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and assist in ‘closing the gap’ by providing the evidence base to help reduce the harmful use of alcohol and other drugs.
We address our mission by:

  • undertaking research
  • disseminating relevant information
  • facilitating information exchange.

We take a broad view of Indigenous health, along the lines used by the National Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Party, and expanded by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO):

Health is not just the physical wellbeing of an individual, but the social, emotional, and cultural wellbeing of the whole community in which each individual is able to achieve their full potential as a human being thereby bringing about the total wellbeing of their community.

Governance

To ensure the Knowledge Centre meets the purposes for which it is being established, the Knowledge Centre is governed by a Reference Group made up of:

  • members from the Drug Strategy Branch of the Department of Health (the Knowledge Centre funding body)
  • stakeholders from peak AOD bodies
  • members of the AOD workforce at the community level
  • members with expertise in relation to drugs of concern.

These stakeholders come from various states and territories of Australia and include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation. The composition of the Reference Group reflects the variety of input required to ensure coverage of the field to best support: the workforce at the community level; community members working to reduce the harms of drug use; and those people working in programs and policy.

The Reference group and the Collaborating Centres provide valuable guidance through Reference Group meetings and on specific topics in their areas of expertise.

Translational research

The Knowledge Centre translates a wide range of health research and other relevant information into products that are meaningful to all people working at improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our products include:

  • an AOD Library collection – a comprehensive database of publications, resources and grey literature with specific relevance to AOD related issues and the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • a Community portal – targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and community members who are working to address alcohol and other drug issues in their communities. It contains plain language, up to date information about what communities can do to address AOD issues and where to go for help
  • Reviews – narrative reviews provide a synthesis of information on specific topics, bringing together the relevant evidence, essential contextual evidence and policy implications for how alcohol and other drug use affects the health of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people. Plain language versions of these reviews are also available to ensure the information is accessible to a broad audience
  • the Knowledge Centre AODconnect mobile phone app – a national directory of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander AOD treatment services
  • eBooks, webinars, infographics and short films – a suite of digital tools to provide alternative learning experiences for different audiences
  • social media – Twitter and an AOD Yarning Place where people with an interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander substance use can share information, knowledge, and experiences.

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