Dr Ingrid van Beek AM

Conjoint Professor, The Kirby Institute for Vaccine and Immunity, UNSW Sydney

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.

Paolo Pertica Award

The Paolo Pertica Award was established in 2004 by the European Network of Drugs and Infections Prevention in Prisons (ENDIPP) to mark the 10-year anniversary of the network. The creation of ENDIPP stemmed largely from Paolo’s work with prisoners from a wide range of different nationalities incarcerated in London prisons. The award was created to acknowledge his contribution to the development of work with drug using prisoners in the UK and within European criminal justice systems.

In addition to ENDIPP, the International Harm Reduction Association previously acted as the custodian of the award and now this responsibility resides with Knowledge Action Change.

The aim of the award is to recognise innovation and outstanding contributions to public health interventions within the criminal justice context, in relation to drug and alcohol users, which can be shown to have a positive impact for both individual offenders and the community in general.

The award is open to individuals and organisations throughout the world engaged in work directly with offenders (including advocacy) policy development work, training, or research. The context for the activity might be related to community settings (including work with police, courts and probation services) or within prisons and other places of incarceration.