Poster, advising against alcohol drinking, 'Caring and sharing without grog', paper, designed by Redback Graphix, Northern Territory Government, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, [1988-1995]
This group of posters exemplifies the approaches to health promotion taken by the Northern Territory government from around 1988 to 2000. Like all state governments, the Northern Territory addresses a wide range of health issues, but it also has particular challenges. For example, a large proportion of the Territory's population are Aboriginal people, either living in remote communities or dealing with the rapid social changes brought on by moving to urban areas. Improving Aboriginal health poses the greatest single challenge to the Northern Territory health care system. Health workers face the need to promote healthy practices to people in whose culture the conceptualisation of 'health' differs from that of mainstream health authorities, and whose main language is not necessarily English.
Also like other states, Northern Territory Health has needed to address the harmful effects of substance use, but alcohol, tobacco, petrol, kava, cannabis and diverted prescription drugs are of particular local concern.
The posters in this collection have supported and reinforced a number of Northern Territory Health's campaigns, including its 'Alcohol and Other Drugs Program'. They are evidence of creative collaborations between health professionals, artists and graphic designers. Many of them would have been developed in consultation with the target communities.
Posters are a very visible manifestation of campaigns involving many strategies. Depending on the issues being addressed, these strategies can include collaborating with other agencies (such as Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Correctional Services and the Department of Education), counselling, outpatient and residential treatments, detoxification services, sobering up shelters, workshops and information sessions (for parents, employers, owners of licensed premises, and schools, for example), grants to school, sporting and cultural groups, and professional training.
Posters in this collection employ words and non-verbal symbolism, hero worship and cultural pride, threats and humour. Probably the funniest posters are those in the tongue-in-cheek set that encourages blokey blokes to find ways to drink less - such as taking up knitting instead.
'Alcohol', site maintained by Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, 1999
Spark, Ross, Donovan, Robert J., and Howat, Peter, 'Promoting health and preventing injury in remote Aboriginal communities: a case study', Health Promotion Journal of Australia 1991, 1(2), 10-16 [campaign about excess alcohol consumption and drink-driving in an Aboriginal community in Western Australia's Kimberley region].
'Study shows NT 'Living With Alcohol' strategy reducing cost ', Hon Stephen Dunham MLA, Minister for Health, Family and Children's Services, Northern Territory Government, press release 23 March 2000
Territory Health Services, Annual Report 1999/2000, Northern Territory Government.
'Underage drinking campaign', Northern Territory Government, press release 23 February 2000
The original version of this poster was designed by Redback Graphix.
According to text on the poster it was produced by Aboriginal and Islander people of Australia as part of the Drug Offensive [a Federal Government program] and Territory Health Services, Northern Territory Government.