Dr Ingrid van Beek is a public health and addiction medicine physician who has worked at the sharp end of harm reduction for the past 30 years. She was the Director of Sydney’s Kirketon Road Centre until 2017, which is among the world’s most comprehensive primary health care services for ‘at risk’ young people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs. She was also the founding Medical Director of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre, which was the first and still only service of this kind in Australia, describing its establishment and early years in a book entitled: In the eye of the needle: diary of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (Allen & Unwin 2004).
Ingrid was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in recognition of her contribution to public health in 2010. She was also honoured to receive the Paolo Pertica Award at the City Health International 2017 conference, for her humane and compassionate approach to the often complex problems of criminalised populations.