JAMES RANKIN ORATION
The James Rankin Oration is an annual oration held since 1990 as part of the APSAD Conference and honours a significant contributor to research, practice, and or policy in Australasian alcohol and drugs.
The Oration is named in honour of APSAD’s first President Professor James Rankin who established the first medically-based combined clinical and academic program for the treatment and of study for alcoholism in Australia at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne in 1964. In 1978 Jim became the Director of the Drug and Alcohol Division within the Health Commission of New South Wales. In 1994 Jim became Chair of the Central Sydney Area Drug and Alcohol Service and Clinical professor at the University of Sydney. In 1999 he moved on to work as Senior Staff Specialist in the Northern Rivers Area Health Service to assist in the further development of their drug and alcohol services until his retirement in 2000. For a more in-depth look at James’ career click here to read James’ section in the University of Sydney’s 150 Years, 150 Firsts: The People of the Faculty of Medicine.
Kate is an Addiction Medicine Specialist and Public Health Physician, based at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. She cares for people with alcohol or other drug problems in hospital, and has a weekly clinic at the Aboriginal Medical Service, Redfern.
Kate has worked in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services, health professionals and communities for over 20 years – in research and workforce development. She is joint head of the Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol.
Kate has a longstanding commitment to training of the health workforce and is an editor on two clinical textbooks. She has authored over 160 journal articles.
Kate chaired the group that revised the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2020). She has acted as consultant for the World Health Organization and has received both Senior Scientist and Mentor Awards from APSAD.
Chief (Ret.) Brendan Cox is the Director of Policing Strategies at the LEAD National Support Bureau where he provides strategic guidance on the implementation of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion/Let Everyone Advance with Dignity to jurisdictions around the world. Brendan was previously employed with the Albany, New York police department where he retired as Chief of Police in 2017. He served in numerous capacities in the Albany police department including overseeing its Special Operations Unit and Children and Family Services Unit. He rose through the ranks to become the Commander of Investigations, Assistant Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief. In July of 2015 he was appointed Chief of Police. In the summer of 2018, Brendan was appointed by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, to serve as a member of the Workgroup to Draft Legislation for Regulated Adult-Use Marijuana Program.
Brendan has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Dayton and a Master of Public Administration from Marist College. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. He is a member of the New York State Juvenile Justice Advisory Group and an Executive Fellow with the Police Foundation. He is a speaker for the Law Enforcement Action Partnership and a member of the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association. He sits on several local board of directors including the Albany Police Athletic League and the LaSalle School of Albany.
Dr McRobbie is the Regional Director, Northern Region, of the National Public Health Service, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand. He was born and grew up in Pukekohe, graduated with his medical degree from the University of Otago in 1996, a doctorate from the University of London in 2008, and has worked in the field of preventive medicine for over 20 years. Hayden is a Fellow of the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine and Professor in Public Health Interventions at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. He is also a Fellow of the Australasian Society for Lifestyle Medicine. Hayden has held positions with the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, and has contributed to a range of expert working groups, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. His areas of interest include the prevention and management of Long Term Conditions and child wellbeing with a particular focus on health equity for Māori.
Celia is a Professor of Psychopharmacology at University of Exeter, UK where she leads the Psychopharmacology and Addiction Research Group. She also holds an honorary professorship at University College London and is seconded to Awakn Life Sciences as Head of Ketamine Research. Celia started her professional career as an Assistant psychologist in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services in Camden, London, then went on to complete a PhD in Clinical Psychology at University College London on the effects of ketamine. She spent some time in Melbourne at the National Neuroscience Facility and at Yale in the Department of Psychiatry before taking up a lectureship at UCL and moving to Exeter and is passionate about working to translate research findings into practise in drug and alcohol services. She has led several clinical trials in drug and alcohol treatments and her current research programme focuses on the potential of pharmacological compounds, particularly psychedelics, in enhancing psychological therapy.
Najja Morris-Frazier is the LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) Support Bureau Director. In her current role, Najja is responsible for leading the team which provides technical assistance and support to jurisdictions through all phases of the implementation of their LEAD initiatives both nationally and internationally. Prior to joining the LEAD National Support Bureau, Najja served as a Case Manager, then as Direct Services Supervisor, with the LEAD Pilot program in Seattle WA for over four years.
Before beginning her work with LEAD in 2013, Najja dedicated over 20 years working within the urban areas of Seattle with/on behalf of a wide array of marginalized and disenfranchised communities; including foster-care/homeless youth, those struggling with mental health and substance abuse, chronically ill/homeless and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Najja is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to four granddaughters and currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her wife.
Tena koutou katoa – nga mihi nui ki a koutou – warm greetings to you all. Associate Professor Khylee Quince is Dean of the School of Law at the Auckland University of Technology, the first Māori Dean of a law school in Aotearoa. She is from the Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungungu iwi/tribes of the North Island. Khylee is a former practising lawyer, with 24 years’ experience as an academic, teaching and researching in the fields of criminal law and justice, with a focus on Māori, youth and female offenders. She is a member of the New Zealand Parole Board, former chair of the New Zealand Drug Foundation and a regular media commentator on legal issues pertaining to Māori.
Benjamin Riordan is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR) at La Trobe University. Although his research interests are broad, he predominantly focuses on using emerging and new technologies to understand and intervene with young adults who use alcohol. Ben has also spent time at the University of Sydney as a post-doc (where he is still an affiliate; 2019-ongoing), Brown University (as a Fulbright Fellow), and the University of Otago.
Caroline is an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Social Science Research, adjunct Senior Lecturer at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney and a Research Fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children & Families over the Life Course. She leads a research group focussing on substance use, mental health and the social challenges that come through comorbidity of these, such as economic and health disadvantage, discrimination and domestic and family violence. She is part of the national Drug Trends research collaboration. Originally a molecular biologist and having worked in service provision as well as academia, she now looks at the epidemiology of substance use and mental health problems. Her work on the design and evaluation of services that support people who experience these issues stems from her passion for translating research findings into policy and practice.
Paul works for Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, a not-for-profit NGO and the state’s only peer-based AOD service delivery agency. PBHRWA provides non-judgmental peer based support, information and education, advocacy, overdose prevention programs, testing and treatment for BBVs and STIs, and a range of health and harm reduction services aimed at reducing the transmission of BBVs and reducing the incidence of other harms associated with drug use in communities throughout Western Australia.
Paul coordinates PBHRWA’s Outreach Team, which delivers; needle & syringe exchange and other harm reduction services to-the-home, Overdose Prevention & Management Peer-education and Peer-administered Naloxone Programs, and hepatitis C Treatment Case Management services. He also provides consultancy, training, and education to other agencies, and guest-lectures to several universities.
Paul has worked at Peer Based Harm Reduction WA for more than 22 years. Paul has also worked as a Drug and Alcohol Officer for the State-wide Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service; as an educator and consultant for the Transnational Institute (in China and Myanmar); and as a trainer for the Burnet Institute for Public Health.
In 2002 Paul was awarded an Alcohol & Drug Council of Australia (ADCA) Australia Day Medal.
Annalee Stearne is a Nyungar woman from WA, with connections to Western Australia’s South-west, Pilbara and Kimberley regions. Since 2001, as a researcher Annalee has worked with First Nations Australian communities and organisations in WA, NT, and South Australia. She was awarded the 2012 APSAD First People’s Award. And currently she sits on the boards of NCCRED and a NT-based First Nations Australian Organisation Children’s Ground.
In 2019, supported by the Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol, she commenced a PhD study exploring First Nations Australians’ self-determination in alcohol-related harms in the Northern Territory.
Dr Stockwell is a Scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada. He has published over 400 research papers, reports and books on substance use epidemiology and policy. He was a clinician and researcher in the UK before joining Australia’s National Drug Research Institute as Director. Moving to Canada in 2004 he established the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research as a multidisciplinary research enterprise investigating the determinants of harmful substance use and also effective harm reduction strategies. He was a recipient of the international 2013 E.M Jellinek Memorial Award for alcohol research, a recipient of the inaugural national award from Research Canada in 2014 for health research leadership and advocacy and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has two daughters, Caitlin and Matilda, and lives in Victoria with his wife Paula.