National First Nations Substance Abuse Prevention Conference

22 - 24 July, 2024

Gold Coast (Venue TBA)

Conference Aboriginal Art


In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgment to country and to local Traditional Elders: “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal peoples visiting / attending from other areas of Australia who are present here”.

Indigenous Conference Services acknowledges and pay our respect to the Traditional people of the Country. "Welcome to Country" ceremony and "acknowledging the traditional custodians" of the land shows respect for Aboriginal people as Australia's First Peoples. Ceremonies and protocols are a fundamental part of Aboriginal cultures.


2024 National First Nations Substance Abuse Prevention Conference aims to bring together AOD workers, community mental health workers and Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Emotional and Social Well-being workers from Indigenous and Non-Indigenous organisations throughout Australia and presents unique opportunities for Alcohol and drugs workers to meet and discuss issues specifically centered on addictions and substance misuse in First Nations communities. The ongoing alcoholism and drug addictions in our communities leads to severe co-morbid mental health and well being issues throughout Indigenous Communities which has reached a crisis level through the length and breadth of this country. However this is not news to Indigenous peoples. Communities have proclaimed the need for action to address the needs of the many First Nations peoples with addictions and substance abuse issues.

This year’s conference theme will be based upon the principles of we all have a role to play in healing wherein range of issues brought to the forefront by our communities will be examined and as such, will endeavour to heighten the need for Australian Government, Non-Government, Health and Community organisations to refocus on their duty of care to all Aboriginal Peoples.


The conference aims to:

Provide an open and frank forum for discussions

Highlight inspiring initiatives, successes and challenges faced by mental health workers and Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander social and emotional well-being workers.

Lend support to individuals and groups working in the field of Indigenous Mental Health & Wellbeing

Help grow a network for the sharing of  information and resources  

Bring together both government and non-government agencies working in the field of Indigenous Health

Show that poor health is no longer tolerated or acceptable in today’s society

To bring together organisations as a united voice in closing the gap

Exchange information regarding the successes of community projects in the field of Indigenous Health in general

Reduce incidence of poor health at all levels within the community

Strategies for linking holistic policy with health interventions

Explore methods for improving accountability at all levels to ensure sustainable progress

Provides opportunity to network and meet face to face to exchange ideas, valuable information and successful programs in place in their communities.


Before European settlement and the introduction of foreign diseases, alcohol and other determinants, the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander culture was vibrant and strong with spiritual and family lores that were guiding principles to a way of life that for centuries has now succumb to bright lights and the trappings of modern day society.

Throughout the decades we have seen the erosion and destruction of our language, custom and spiritual well being. The dynamics of contemporary Australia showing seventy percent (70%) of Indigenous people live in urban setting. A question we ask you to consider - What if Captain Cook didn’t land on the shore of the East Coast of Australia, but in a far more remote area? Would Australia’s east coast be what it is today?

The backbone of our existence is family, custom & spirituality. During group discussions, we would like to explore past and present experiences and therefore leading into future strategies & goals to empower our men to be strong leaders in their communities. We believe that through sharing of experiences and knowledge, we become stronger as a collective. This opportunity to discuss First Nation’s issues in an open, transparent and culturally sensitive forum has become a vital networking source to develop collaborative approaches for the betterment of First Nations communities.

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING FOR THE EMPLOYER As an employee we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance. Staff attending conferences regularly tends to become long term employees, An event such as this adds to the positive moral of staff, Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training, Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base, The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the shortness of the event, Allows delegates to showcase the organisation nationally and internationally, May provide organisations with new ideas, Gives organisations a showcase and voice at a national level, Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs, Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minor amount of time. SPEAKER'S PROFILE - coming soon This conference is blessed with the abundance of the highest calibre Indigenous First Nations speakers. The speaker's list will be updated once all photos and biography are completed. Please watch this space as it will be updated regularly. SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Flexible sponsorship packages are available. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61 4557 76 668 or send us your expression of interest by e-Mail: CONTACT US ICS-MEES Pty Ltd Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court, Pt Vernon QLD 4655 Australia Web: Email: Phone: 07 4194 2803, +61 4557 76 668

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