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In Adelaide, a group of Elders are raising awareness of drug and alcohol issues. Grannies Group was formed in 1999 by a group of Nunga grandparents, who were working in welfare, corrections, health, justice, drug and alcohol services and legal rights. They decided to pool their knowledge and take action over growing substance use problems in their families.
'At that time a lot of our kids were in jail and we were looking after their children,' 75 year old Grannies Group spokesperson Coral Wilson said. 'Anyone that's got children who drink or are on drugs, we all suffer the same thing and it's all about supporting each other.'
They support one another, and others, in the courts and jails, and help them access outreach services.
'Being Elders in the community and working with drug and alcohol support agencies, we know everyone and can link people with the services they need,' Diana Grose, another Grannies Group founding member, said. 'We get called up all the time by people and we're glad people do ask for help, because sometimes they think they're the only ones with problems,' she says.
The group is supported by the Australian Government, in recognition of its important work in Closing the gap in Indigenous health.