Triple success for Turning Point

Posted on: Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Turning Point’s reputation as a national leader in research and treatment has been reinforced with staff members winning three prestigious awards.

Researchers Robin Room and Michael Livingston, as well as Needle and Syringe Program worker Michael Honeysett, have all received recognition for their outstanding contributions.

Professor Room won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Drug and Alcohol Endeavours at the National Drug and Alcohol Awards. This award acknowledges his achievement in alcohol policy and research throughout a career spanning nearly 50 years.

Prof Room, who is the Director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research – a collaborative effort between Turning Point and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education – initially began his career in research and policy as a two-month summer job.

“I am greatly honoured to receive this award,” said the professor, whose recent work includes working on the Alcohol’s Harm to Others program.

Mr Honeysett, who is a Koori elder in the Fitzroy and Collingwood area, received the Yarra Drug & Health Forum’s City of Yarra Worker of the Year Award.

However, his contribution to the community reaches much wider than his role in Turning Point’s Needle and Syringe Program.

Yarra Drug & Health Forum Executive Officer Greg Denham described Michael as a compassionate man and respected advocate, who is often sought out for advice and support on matters concerning the Koori people and the most disadvantaged.

“I initially wasn’t going to accept the award because I just consider what I do to be part of my job,” Mr Honeysett said. “However, it’s great to be acknowledged for what I do in the wider service as well.”

Their achievements follow Turning Point researcher Michael Livingston’s commendation at the 2012 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research.

Mr Livingston was acknowledged for his investigation into the relationship between the density of alcohol outlets and people’s health and social welfare, which helped to change alcohol policy in Victoria.

Turning Point Director Dan Lubman said he was incredibly proud of the trio’s achievements.

“Turning Point is extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and hard-working team. These awards are very much deserved,” Professor Lubman said.

Eastern Health Chief Executive Alan Lilly agreed.

“These awards are further evidence of Turning Point’s reputation as a national leader in the drug and alcohol field. Congratulations must go to all the award winners,” Mr Lilly said.

“Eastern Health is extremely proud of the work undertaken by our Turning Point team and the profile they achieve in this vital area of research and understanding for our community.”

About Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre

Turning Point (established 1995 and based in Fitzroy) provides leadership to the Victorian alcohol and drug sector. It promotes the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities living with, and affected by, alcohol, other drug-related harms and gambling. In 2009, Turning Point joined Eastern Health.

About Eastern Health

Eastern Health is one of Victoria’s largest public health services. It provides a range of acute, sub-acute, mental health and community health services from 29 locations. Its larger facilities include: Angliss Hospital in Upper Ferntree Gully, Box Hill Hospital in Box Hill, Healesville & District Hospital in Healesville, Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood East, Peter James Centre in Burwood East, Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre in Fitzroy, Wantirna Health in Wantirna, Yarra Valley Community Health in Healesville and Yarra Ranges Health in Lilydale