It is important that your partners have a shared understanding of, and commitment to, community- led action. They may not have experience or understanding of alcohol and other drug issues but they can bring other skills and experience that help you deliver your activity in the local community.
Useful questions to consider when identifying partners:
- Who else might be interested in this activity?
- Who has a good understanding and connection to your target audience?
- What are you seeking to gain from partnerships?
- Who might be able to help you?
- What relationships are already in place? Can you build and strengthen existing partnerships, networks and alliances?
- Are there any people who might make the activity difficult?
- Are there particular agencies, government and non-government organisations, liquor accords, businesses, youth groups and community members who might like to get involved?
You must be willing to partner with other organisations to form a Local Drug Action Team. We recommend a maximum of 5–7 partners, including the organisations represented in your Local Drug Action Team. Having too many partners can make it difficult to align expectations and contributions.
A list of potential partners is included in Table 1. To identify partners for your project you may find it useful to use the list to brainstorm how your approach (e.g. issue, target audience, activity) might overlap with the interests or focus of others, and how you might harness those opportunities. You may think of other worthwhile contacts to add to this list.
Table 1: Potential partners.
|Young people||• Local high school SRC representatives • TAFE • Universities • Youth workers • School principals • Student services consultants (counsellors) • Community sporting clubs • Youth employment organisations • Community arts organisations (e.g. music, dance, drama)|
|Health||• Primary health networks • Community health, primary care partnership and community agencies • Hep C Council • Aids Council • Drug and alcohol services • Mental health services • Pharmacies • Needle syringe programs • Area Health Services|
|Groups that represent priority target groups||• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and peak bodies • Cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex (LGBTI) representative groups • Disability support organisations • Organisations that support regional and remote communities|
|Older people||• Senior Citizens groups • Men’s Shed • Salvation Army • Rotary Club • Lions Club • Neighbourhood Houses/Centres|
|Police||• Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) • Youth Liaison Officer • Community Engagement Officer • Local area commander|
|Corrective Services||• Parole officers • Juvenile Justice • Justice Department|
|Local government||• Mayor • Youth Development Officers • Crime Prevention Officers • Safety Officers • Community Services Officers|
|Other||• Local businesses • Chamber of Commerce • Local church groups • School Parent Associations • Neighbourhood Centres/Houses • Welfare groups|
|Volunteer organisations||• Apex • Youth organisations • Community Housing associations • Salvation Army • Mission Australia|
|Government agencies||• Department of Sport and Recreation • Department of Community Services • Department of Housing • Department of Education • Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing (OLGR – Liquor Accords) • Centrelink and employment agencies|
Be creative with your partnership ideas
Organisations are encouraged to think creatively about partnerships, particularly organisations in regional, rural and remote communities that may have limited options:
- Explore new opportunities beyond your traditional partners. Who could you partner with that you haven’t worked with before? For example, organisations with a focus on building resilience in young people or strengthening community connection.
- Look beyond your local community. Are there opportunities to partner with state/territory or national organisations? For example, headspace, beyondblue, and the Justice Department.
- Consider remote partnerships. Can you work remotely with organisations in other communities?
- Consider partnering with a university or TAFE.
Health centres, schools, universities, and local councils are often obvious choices for Local Drug Action Team partnerships but looking beyond the traditional partners is beneficial and allows for a broader cross-section of the community to be represented. For example, the local Chamber of Commerce can provide great insight into employment opportunities in the region to support those at risk of alcohol and other drug-related harms. The Police and Citizen Associations are often well placed to support community minded prevention activities.