Recommended program

Strong & Deadly Futures: Trial Opportunity

S&DF logo Indigenous dot painting with the text

This resource is currently under evaluation.

Year 7–8
Time Allocated

1-6 lessons





Content Especially Suited For

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders


Positive Choices supported the development of Strong & Deadly Futures, which is now being trialled in schools as part of a NHMRC-funded randomised control trial.

Strong & Deadly Futures is a new school-based alcohol and drug prevention program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students that is culturally inclusive, incorporates cultural strengths, and focusses on empowerment of the students.


Strong & Deadly Futures was developed by researchers currently based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia in collaboration with Gilimbaa (an Indigenous creative design agency). It was co-developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal students at four schools in NSW and QLD, with guidance from an Advisory Group with expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and substance use prevention. A full list of those involved can be found on the Strong & Deadly Futures website:


This curriculum-based online program is designed to be administered by teachers within classrooms. The program involves 6 × 45-minute lessons, each with three components:

  • A 10-minute computer-based component
  • Teacher and student lesson summary documents
  • Teacher delivered classroom activities.

Strong & Deadly Futures is designed to be implemented during Year 7 or 8 Health and Physical Education classes. No specialist teacher training is required. Booster sessions are also available.


Strong & Deadly Futures was developed for 13-14 year olds as a culturally-inclusive approach to alcohol and drug prevention and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Strong & Deadly Futures is based on the effective OurFutures programs and designed to be implemented within the school health curriculum. It combines illustrated storylines with interactive classroom activities to engage and maintain student interest and involvement. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is embedded within the program, and one activity option per lesson focusses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Student input shaped the characters, illustrations and narratives that form the central basis of the program. Watch the video below to learn more about the project and its development.

Expected Benefits

  • Reduced uptake of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis.
  • Increased alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis knowledge.
  • Increased resistance to peer pressure.
  • Reduced psychological distress.

Evidence Base

Strong & Deadly Futures is supported by evidence from an uncontrolled pilot study involving staff and students at the four schools involved with the program development. Students completing the program showed significantly increased knowledge and improved safety in attitudes towards alcohol and other drugs, and significantly decreased psychological distress. Feedback indicated that Strong & Deadly Futures was accessible and engaging for students, and easy to implement for teachers.
The evidence will be updated as further results become available.

Page last reviewed: 12/08/2022

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