Thursday, 11 December, 2008
At 1102 GMT on BBC Radio 4
Lorena Allam investigates a piece of human engineering on the grand scale in Australia's Northern Territory.
Last year Australia's government declared a state of emergency in the remote Aboriginal areas after claims of rampant alcoholism and child abuse.
Army, police, doctors, nurses and bureaucrats were sent there in an unprecedented billion dollar state run 'intervention' designed to curb violence and improve the well-being of Aboriginal families.
But Lorena finds the intervention has had mixed results and in some cases has led to poorer diets, premature babies and even an increase in teenage suicides.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 11 November, 2008 at 1102 GMT. It was repeated on Monday, 15 December, 2008 at 2030 GMT.
Reporter: Lorena Allam
Producer: Lucy Ash