Top End Smoke Free Spaces
On the 17th, 18th and 19th of January a team from ARDS comprised of Johanna Ward (CEO), Howard Amery (Community engagement specialist) and Matt Wrigley (Top End Smoke-Free Spaces Project Manager) visited Ramingining and Warruwi to describe the Project to community decision makers and discuss whether the project should proceed in those communities.
At Ramingining, the ARDS team sought the assistance of Dhulumburrk Gaykamaŋu, an ARDS Board member and strong supporter of smoking reduction. Dhulumburrk advised the team on who best to meet with to discuss the project, including households and community leaders. While in Ramingining ARDS also met with ALPA & staff at the Ramingining Health Clinic.
The team were invited to present before the Community Safety Meeting, which saw many community leaders including traditional owners, and agency representatives in attendance.
Howard Amery presented on behalf of ARDS engaging community members directly by speaking in Yolŋu Matha, outlining the project, and posing a number of thought provoking questions to the audience to engage people's intellect and emotional response about how they see passive smoking. This generated considerable discussion among meeting participants.
At the conclusion of this discussion Howard asked if participants would like ARDS to undertake the project in Ramingining and return in a few weeks time to continue the conversation. This was met with a resounding “Yes”.
At Warruwi, the ARDS team sought the assistance of Bunug Galaminda, Chair of the Yagbani Aboriginal Corporation. Prior to our arrival Bunug met with community leaders making them aware of the visit and the purpose of the project. Bunug arranged for us to meet with members of the ALPA Store Committee.
ARDS and the Store Committee agreed that an ARDS representative would return to outline the project to a larger community group.
The team also met with staff members of the Warruwi Health Clinic, to describe the project and identify potential conflicts and areas for collaboration. Warruwi Health Clinic were broadly supportive of the project and offered a range of valuable information relevant to the conduct of the project.
We look forward to further meeting and consultations in Warruwi and the project launch in Ramingining.