Skip to content
Date posted: 7 August 2014
The new alcohol and drug rehabilitation service for the North West region of South Australia (SA) will be open to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients, according to the Federal member for Grey.
Rowan Ramsey confirmed that while the $1.5 million project will certainly have an Aboriginal focus, it will also be open to non-Aboriginal people seeking rehabilitation. 'Anyone can go there, but it does have an Indigenous focus.'
Mr Ramsey's comments come in response to some confusion within the community about eligibility requirements of patients hoping to use the service.
Some groups were under the impression it was set to be a service exclusively catering to Aboriginal patients, perhaps given the consortia behind the development of the project are the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (ADAC), the Aboriginal Health Council of SA and Aboriginal Family Support Services.
The project leader, ADAC Director, Scott Wilson, said the facility had been 'specifically funded as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service'.
However, he said the service would not discriminate against non-Aboriginal family or partners of Aboriginal patients, but suggested patients themselves should be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
After consultation with the Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, Mr Ramsey confirmed that the service is open to anyone seeking rehabilitation in North West SA.
Aboriginal Community Engagement Group (ACEG) Officer, Courtney Dowling, said ACEG had always understood it would be an 'Indigenous specific' service, but this doesn't necessarily exclude non-Aboriginal patients. 'The service will be run by Aboriginal organisations and have an Aboriginal focus but just like other services, would not turn away non-Aboriginal people,' she said.
The residential rehab facility is set to open in November 2014.