Aboriginal Traineeships

NGO Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Traineeship Program

In July 2009, NADA received funding from the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Office, NSW Ministry of Health to roll out a three year Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Traineeship Program in the non government sector.   NADA, in close partnership with the State Coordinator of NSW Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Traineeship Program (NSW Ministry of Health) have established this exciting new program across the sector.   This program is based on the successful Aboriginal Mental Health Trainee Program currently being implemented state wide through Local Health Districts.

The program offers three NGOs the opportunity to host an Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Trainee from 2010 to 2012. Namatjira Haven Drug and Alcohol Healing Centre, Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service and The Lyndon Community were successful in each gaining a trainee position in a highly competitive selection process. 

Trainees undertake a relevant undergraduate degree while gaining invaluable work experience within the host organisation and other work placement settings. The program gives the trainee a holistic learning experience across the many facets of drug and alcohol health promotion and service provision, including mental health.

A comprehensive undergraduate degree has been developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Centres' Aboriginal Health College and the School of Indigenous Health, Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Wollongong for this program.  Trainees complete a Certificate IV and Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs and an Advanced Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health (community Care) at the Aboriginal Health College before articulating into the Bachelor of Health Science in Indigenous Health Studies at the University of Wollongong.  

Study is undertaken through flexible delivery mode that includes block teaching and e-learning over a three year period. Study is combined with the provision of a robust support network that focuses on learning and development, cultural mentoring and work place learning for the trainees in their host organisation and local community.

The program is overseen by a steering committee comprising of representatives from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and the NSW Ministry of Health.

Recently this program successfully extended to the NSW Ministry of Health Local Health Districts with six Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Trainees commencing the program in late 2011.   


The (then) NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt, launched the Non Government Organisation Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Traineeship Program on the 4th February 2010 at the Aboriginal Health College, Little Bay.


The Hon. Carmel Tebbutt, Dept Premier, and Minister for Health with Trainees (Left to right) Alan Lockwood (Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service), Erin Stanley (The Lyndon Community) and Greg Jarrett (Namatijira Haven Drug and Alcohol Healing Centre).

For further information on the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Traineeship Program please contact Heidi Becker, Program Manager on (02) 8113 1317 or Heidi@nada.org.au