The Marulu Strategy 2008–2012: overcoming Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Fitzroy Valley

James P. Fitzpatrick, June Oscar, Maureen Carter, Elizabeth J. Elliott, Jane Latimer, Edie Wright, John Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Aboriginal leaders concerned about high rates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Fitzroy Valley, remote north-western Australia, introduced restrictions on access to take-away full-strength alcohol. Following this, Aboriginal leaders engaged strategic partners in a broader strategy to address FASD in the region. The aim of this study was to develop and implement a community-led, researcher-supported, FASD strategy. Methods: A review of literature focusing on community-led FASD strategies identified key components that informed the Marulu FASD strategy. These included strategy ownership, leadership, and governance by participating communities, and a research framework. Results: Community meetings and workshops led to the development of The Marulu FASD Strategy (2008). Feasibility and community consent to conduct a FASD prevalence study (the Lililwan Project) was confirmed, and implementation was progressed (2010–2013). Concurrent FASD prevention activities were conducted. In 2012, the Marulu FASD Unit was established within a local Aboriginal organisation to sustain and coordinate ongoing strategy activities. Conclusions: Community control of public health initiatives can be achieved when Aboriginal communities prioritise issues of significant concern, and engage strategic partners to overcome them. Implications for public health: The Marulu Strategy forms a template for action to address FASD and other public health issues in Aboriginal communities in Australia and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'The Marulu Strategy 2008–2012: overcoming Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the Fitzroy Valley'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this