Youth draw on their own resources to reduce alcohol abuse

MANY people learn better when they are looking at something.

The organisation Spirit Dreaming is using this knowledge in an attempt to reduce harmful drinking among younger people on the Northern Rivers.

The group was awarded a Good Practice Grant of $20,000 by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education.

The organisation will create a series of graphic novels allowing 20 Aboriginal people between the ages of 12-17 to get creative while learning about the dangers of alcohol misuse.

Spirit Dreaming chief executive Mel Brown said the grant meant they would have an opportunity to raise awareness through hands-on education.

"We're trying to tackle the problem a different way so young people can take ownership of their education and teach themselves rather than being told," Ms Brown said. "We're working on re-engagement into the community and letting young people take ownership of their own identity."

The resource will be published online to provide an important resource for years to come.

"The grant means we have an opportunity to create something that helps the community for longer than a few years as the books will be downloadable for free," Ms Brown said.

The group didn't want to call the series comic books because alcohol abuse isn't a laughing matter.

"The issues we're tackling aren't comical. The books will cover a range of topics including bad choices young people make when using alcohol, families and children with alcohol, and drink driving."

They books are expected to be complete early next year.

Spirit Dreaming runs cultural training, mentoring and community programs for Aboriginal people.

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