Research on access to needle and syringe services

What is this research about?

The Australian Department of Health and Ageing would like to find out whether or not Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who inject drugs are finding it easy to use Needle and Syringe (or Clean Needle) services. These are services, available in many parts of Australia, to provide information and advice to people who inject, and to make sure they can get hold of clean needles. The Department is trying to find out why Indigenous people do or do not use these services, and how services could be improved.

Who is doing the research?

The research is being carried out by a team of people (some Indigenous, some not) from Urbis Keys Young, which is an experienced research company based in Sydney. They have done a lot of previous work on drug injecting, and a lot of work with Indigenous communities. The names of the individual researchers are at the bottom of this sheet*.

Why are you talking to me?

The researchers are visiting 12 cities and towns in different parts of Australia, and in each place they want to hear directly from people in the community who may know something about drug injecting in that area. [Insert name] suggested that you might be able to help.

What about my privacy?

Within the limits of the law the researchers will treat all discussions like this as anonymous and completely confidential. They do not want to know your full name – first name or a nickname is fine. When they take notes, they will not write any name on them at all.

Why should I take part?

Because we can only find out how good or bad the services are by talking directly to people in the community, like yourself.
Top of page

Do I have to take part?

No, that is completely up to you. If you do agree to talk to the researchers, you can refuse to answer any question you don't want to answer, and you can end the discussion when you want to.

Where and when would I talk to the researchers?

At a time and place that is convenient for you and them.

Do I get compensated for my time and trouble?

Everyone who takes part in the research will receive $50 in recognition of their time and trouble.

Will I find out the results of the research?

The main findings will go into a report that will be available to communities, and will be publicised in papers or magazines like the Koori Mail etc, and also in publications read by people who inject.

What if I'm not happy with the way the researchers treat me?

The researchers will make sure you have the name of a local organisation you can go to if you have any concerns, of if you want more information or assistance. Or you can contact Tess McLachlan at the Department of Health and Ageing, on 02 6289 4941, or email


* Study Team Members: John Schwartzkoff, Ania Wilczynski, Duncan Rintoul, Samantha Ross, Kerry Reed-Gilbert (Indigenous Consultant), Karen Milward (Indigenous Consultant)