Partysafe was a community mobilisation project, conducted in the remote northwest town of Carnarvon in Western Australia over a period of 18 months. The initial goal was to reduce alcohol-related harm associated with drinking in private settings. However, subsequent to the pre-intervention community survey, greater emphasis was placed on influencing males in the age range 25-45 years, because of the high risk drinking behaviour identified in this group. The intervention comprised a number of components, including local media advertising and advocacy; participation in high profile community collaborative campaigns and use of a peer character cartoon strip to highlight alcohol issues and model behaviour change. On completion of the intervention phase, process and impact data were gathered from a number of community sources. The major impact of the Partysafe Project was heightened awareness of alcohol issues in the community. The project also contributed in a major way to institutionalising a collaborative Christmas alcohol harm prevention campaign. Use of local media content was particularly effective in raising community awareness as to the project's message and garnering support for its aims.
Carnarvon, like most rural communities in WA, has a higher rate of alcohol consumption than in the metropolitan region, hence its selection as the target site. An additional reason for selecting a remote town was the belief that national and state level prevention strategies cannot always be successfully implemented due to a regions unique social and environmental influences.
The project used a community mobilisation framework to reduce drug-related harm associated with drinking in homes and private parties.
Activities attempted to assess alcoholrelated harms and to raise local awareness of the potential problems associated with alcohol consumption.
A combination of archival quantitative data and community based qualitative data will be used to assess the projects success.
The design provided a weak basis for inferring a causal relationship between the intervention and changes in alcohol-related harm. The descriptive process analysis provided useful data with which to plan better interventions, and suggested that the intervention was implemented with considerable success.
males in the age range 25-45 years
High rates of alcohol consumption and harm in the remote northern and eastern regions of Western Australia support the need for greater prevention efforts in these areas (Daly & Philp 1995; Holman et al. 1993; Midford et al. 1998; Unwin et al. 1997). However, metropolitan focussed national prevention campaigns may not be appropriate in such rural communities, as the social and environmental factors that influence drinking are quite different (Midford & McBride 1999). Furthermore, the prevention afforded by such campaigns may be quite small in individual communities. In addition, any prevention programme in rural areas needs to take into consideration the research that shows consumption predominantly occurs in private dwellings, rather than on licensed premises (Jeffrey & Milligan 2001; Midford et al. 1997; Boots & Midford 1995).
Indicators used to assess the success of community mobilisation included an increase in local media coverage, the formation of action groups and coalitions, and survey data indicating an increase in community recognition and concern about alcohol-related harm. Program elements included training to promote responsible drinking in licensed premises and structural changes designed to lower risks.
The major impact of the Partysafe project in its own right was heightened awareness of alcohol issues in the community. However, the project also contributed in a major way to institutionalising a collaborative Christmas alcohol harm prevention campaign.
Use of local media content was particularly effective in raising community awareness as to the project message and obtaining support for its aims. Of particular interest was the effectiveness of local content in attracting community attention to the projects message of reducing alcohol-related harm.
Cooper, M., Midford, R., Jaeger, J. and Hall, C. (2001). Partysafe Evaluation Report. National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia.