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NSW Police Force ‘Not Our Way’ Campaign

Cox Inall Ridgeway

The New South Wales Police Force is the law enforcement agency of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is a servant of the Crown, independent of Government, although a minister of the Crown has administration. [source NSW Police Force].

CIR worked directly with the NSW Police Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination team. 

To raise awareness of the harms of ‘ice’ and Fentanyl (pharmaceutical) drug use in Aboriginal communities. To promote Police as a community partner in tackling issue & as a trusted source of support. Objectives were educating & supporting families primarily, encouraging people to call triple zero, reduce the shame about asking for support & to act quickly to any symptoms as a result of drug use.

Strategy and Execution
Due to historically challenging relationships between police & Aboriginal communities in NSW, the strategy was to co-design the campaign and bring police and community together, meeting the needs of all stakeholders. This sensitive issue, required the strategy to bring the voices of Aboriginal people with lived experience, to the forefront. With literacy & language considerations as well as communication preferences of Aboriginal people, the approach delivered a visually led & story based strategy, which empowered local Aboriginal organisations across NSW to act as intermediaries for the information.

The campaign developed a range of communication products that were culturally appropriate & included community members (visuals), who had first-hand experience of issue. The campaign developed story books, booklets, posters, postcards & two videos featuring community champions. The materials were distributed through key Aboriginal organisations, such as Aboriginal medical & legal services, throughout regional, remote and metropolitan NSW.

CIR launched the campaign in a number of targeted regional communities, where the issue was particularly prevalent. These launches were delivered in partnership with the NSW Police and local community leaders. 

The campaign achieved strong media pick up through Indigenous media channels, as well as mainstream outlets such as ABC. Following the first release of materials, the NSW Police received requests from Aboriginal organisations for additional copies of materials.  The success is attributed to the co-design approach, which involved working with communities to design the strategy and execution of the campaign. The NSW Police Commissioner also requested a briefing on the campaign due to its success for the agency. Additional the Police Force in NT have expressed interest as they have acknowledged that support in co-design with communities would benefit their work in this space.

Our community champion Chloe, had started a rehab day program at start of project, the police were concerned to use, after viewing footage and with strong advocacy by CIR and team at Police to highlight the reality of life for many, Chloe was accepted as a champion. A significant move by the Police and Chloe used the campaign to focus on her recovery and has been off ice for one year and recently gave birth to healthy baby.