Using a set of clearly defined criteria, an independent panel of Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts identified five Indigenous community controlled organisations that were generally recognised as exemplars in the provision of alcohol and other drug services. These were Tangentyere Council’s Night Patrol, the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council (SA), WuChopperin Health Service’s Alcohol and Other Substances Program, Milliya Rumurra Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Centre, and the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services.
Site visits were made to each of these organisations to conduct interviews with staff, management, board members, clients and key stakeholders, and to observe the day-to-day running of the projects. Additional documentary information was also gathered. On completion of the site visits, members of the research team prepared case studies that focused on the factors that led to their success. These factors or elements of best practice were: clearly defined and effective management structures and procedures; trained staff and ongoing staff development programs; good multi-strategy and collaborative approaches; strong leadership; and adequate and continuing funding.