Decolonising harm reduction
Apr 28, 2023
Last week, the International Harm Reduction Conference was held in Melbourne. Amongst a strong line-up of inspiring speakers, was Professor James Ward, Director of the University of Queensland Poche Centre for Indigenous Health who provided a keynote address on decolonising harm reduction. The transcript of Professor Ward’s speech has been published by Croakey – the health media arm of Crikey. In the speech, Professor Ward describes the traditional substance use practices of Aboriginal people, but then he describes the ways that other substances introduced by the colonisers (tobacco, opium, alcohol and cocaine) were used to control Aboriginal people and played an important role in the dispossession of lands and people.