Codes 4 Life


Reconnecting Aboriginal men with cultural identity, responsibilities and community.

Codes 4 Life is an Abo­rig­i­nal men’s pro­gram that seeks to address and curb unlaw­ful behav­iour stem­ming from alco­hol and sub­stance abuse, includ­ing drink dri­ving, domes­tic vio­lence, and sex­u­al assault.

The pro­gram dri­ves ref­or­ma­tion and per­son­al change by deliv­er­ing work­shops designed to recon­nect Abo­rig­i­nal men with their cul­tur­al respon­si­bil­i­ties and find strength in one’s role in their com­mu­ni­ty. Embrac­ing cul­ture helps men under­stand their place in the world and their oblig­a­tions to fam­i­ly, com­mu­ni­ty, law and country.

All work­shops are designed and facil­i­tat­ed by Pro­gram Man­ag­er Michael Lid­dle, sup­port­ed by Project Offi­cer Micha Bartlett, and over­seen by Abo­rig­i­nal Elders or senior com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers. Codes 4 Life also works close­ly with the police and com­mu­ni­ty sup­port pro­grams to effec­tive­ly deliv­er com­pre­hen­sive programs.

Codes 4 Life men’s pro­gram par­tic­i­pants, May 2023

Michael Lid­dle empha­sis­es the need for the change say­ing, Our hos­pi­tals are filled up; our cour­t­hous­es are filled up; our jails are filled up. The one place not being filled up is our schools. We need more police­men; we don’t need more foot­ball heroes.”

Magnify C4 L 2

Michael Lid­dle encour­ages par­tic­i­pants to turn down the vol­ume of dis­trac­tions and lis­ten to the voice of culture.

Par­tic­i­pants are often plagued with ques­tions sur­round­ing their iden­ti­ty. Codes 4 Life chan­nels uncer­tain­ty about cul­tur­al iden­ti­ty into a sense of lead­er­ship by instill­ing a sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty to cul­ture and community.

The work­shops incor­po­rate var­i­ous engage­ment meth­ods such as pre­sen­ta­tions, group talks, activ­i­ties and show­ing video clips. They cre­ate a space for Abo­rig­i­nal men to dis­cuss issues, seek advice and guid­ance, and express dif­fi­cult emo­tions with their peers in a safe, empow­er­ing setting.

This tra­di­tion­al dot paint­ing was cre­at­ed by Codes 4 Life Project Offi­cer Wayne Scrut­ton, and is sym­bol­ic of the pro­gram’s work. It rep­re­sents Abo­rig­i­nal men and youth (left) los­ing their way in noise and dis­trac­tions, but try­ing to find their way to the Elders and their wis­dom; lore, cul­ture and coun­try (right).

Magnify Codes 4 Life Program Deliveries FY 2019 2010

Codes 4 Life pro­gram deliv­er­ies in the finan­cial year 2019 – 2020.

Dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, the Codes 4 Life team con­tin­ued their strong efforts, work­ing with organ­i­sa­tions that share their vision for a stronger com­mu­ni­ty. Watch the video here.

More Info


Codes 4 Life set to reach more men and boys after licensing agreement

Apr 20, 2024

Michael Liddle first came up with the idea for the Codes 4 Life workshops about 10 years ago, and ever since, they’ve been helping Indigenous men and boys in the NT find a healthier path.

The identity of an Aboriginal man: Codes 4 Life visits Tennant Creek

June 07, 2022

Codes 4 Life delivers a workshop in Tennant Creek featuring 21 participants, and three Elders of the Alyawerre, Warlpiri and Warramunga people.

Lessons Learnt: Preventing violence against Aboriginal women and children in Central Australia

Jan 24, 2022

Key messages and learnings from the panel discussion hosted by DKA and CAAFLU.