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'The Curse of White Man's Water': ABoriginal People and the Control of Alcohol
University of New England Law Journal (2007)
  • Heather A Douglas, University of Queensland
The question of how to respond to the devastating impact of alcohol on Indigenous communities continues to be controversial. Recently the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments have attempted to address the problem, introducing extensive changes to the way in which alcohol is regulated. The underlying concern of these recent initiatives is the protection of Aboriginal people from the devastating effects of alcohol. Alcohol has consistently been linked to high levels of crime and violence, significant health problems and loss of cultural identity in Aboriginal communities. This article follows the development of the legal control of Aboriginal people’s consumption of alcohol and the distribution of alcohol to Aboriginal people from the 1950s on, focusing on Australia’s Northern Territory. The article is concerned with understanding the transitions from government managed top-down prohibition during the 1950s, to various regulatory regimes that relied upon Aboriginal people’s collaboration in their design and implementation over the intervening period, to the recent return to top-down regulation of alcohol.
  • Aboriginal people,
  • alcohol,
  • prohibition
Publication Date
Citation Information
Heather A Douglas. "'The Curse of White Man's Water': ABoriginal People and the Control of Alcohol" University of New England Law Journal Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2007)
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