This public lecture challenges some of the common beliefs that surround Indigenous Australians and the history of 'grog', by discussing the findings of the newly released publication First Taste: How Indigenous Australians Learned About Grog by Maggie Brady (published by the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation).
This publication was released the morning before the lecture and is a series of six books.
The series is designed to educate and empower Indigenous people on alcohol issues, to illuminate the influence of history and social learning on drinking behaviour, and to contribute to greater understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Maggie Brady is an experienced social anthropologist and has undertaken long-term fieldwork on health and land issues in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.
Brady researched the diet and lifestyle of Aboriginal people in the vicinity of the Maralinga atomic test sites in preparation for, and following, the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia (1985).
She has worked primarily on alcohol misuse and other substance abuse such as petrol sniffing since the late 1970s. Brady has undertaken studies of drinking in Aboriginal communities, in Tennant Creek (1984) and Alice Springs (1999), and participated in a study of licensing restrictions in South Australia (2001).
In 1998 Maggie published the first edition of a book of community development strategies for managing alcohol problems The Grog Book winning an Australian Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing. A revised edition was published in 2005.
Brady is also a University Medal winner, receiving the JG Crawford Prize for her PhD thesis in 2000. Her interests include health and alcohol policies for indigenous peoples in Australia and internationally, the role of primary health care in alcohol interventions, and more recently, Aboriginal social enterprises and the liquor industry.
Romlie Mokak is Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), a Djugun man, whose family come from Broome, WA. Mokak was born and raised in the Northern Territory and after some time traveling the world and living in NSW, is now a resident of Canberra.
Mokak has significant experience working at community, State and Commonwealth levels in a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and program areas. These include disability, ageing, population health, health financing and substance use. During his time in the Department of Health and Ageing, a major achievement was constructing a comprehensive framework to address petrol sniffing, including the development of the non-sniffable fuel, Opal.
Mokak has been the CEO of AIDA since mid 2005, working with a great bunch of people at the AIDA Secretariat, under the leadership of the AIDA Board. Mokak believes strengthening the connections between education and health will ensure a better future for our kids. Mokak has a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Postgraduate Diploma in Special Education.
Robin Room has worked on epidemiological, social and cultural studies of alcohol. He's received the Jellinek Memorial Award for Alcohol Research, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Section of the American Public Health Association and the Annual Drug Research Award from the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs.