Professor Robert Power was presented with the Fenner Award following his lecture and was congratulated by his wife Tanya, son Louie and Burnet Deputy Director, Associate Professor David Anderson.
By Lydia Hales
In the centenary year of late Australian virologist Professor Frank Fenner AC’s birth, Professor Robert Power delivered the 2014 Fenner Lecture to a large audience at Burnet Institute.
During the lecture entitled “Implementing research to further development: drugs, sex and participatory approaches,” Professor Power shared highlights from his fascinating career path, including a defining memory during his early days of harm reduction work 30 years ago in London where he realised the strong link between injecting drug use and HIV.
Professor Power said he came to Australia specifically to work at Burnet, and that having known about the Institute for some time, the ethos was an important factor in his decision.
“I came to Burnet Institute in 2005 because the values of the Institute were exactly what I worked toward – medical research combined with practical action,” Professor Power said.
“Everything we do is really about partnerships.
“This award is bestowed to me, but it is also to all the people who I’ve worked with throughout my career.”
The Fenner Award is the most prestigious award bestowed on a Burnet Institute staff member each year, going to a person whose work has made a major contribution towards our mission of achieving better health for poor and vulnerable communities.
A HIV prevention expert and social behavioural researcher, Professor Power has dedicated 30 years to work on harm reduction among marginalised populations.
He is the Technical Director on Australian Aid’s HIV prevention bilateral in Indonesia and Program Director for their Tibet Health program.
Professor Power has held several posts within Medical Schools in the University of London, and consulted in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, the Balkans, South-East Asia and China.
He is currently the Head of Burnet’s Centre for International Health, a Burnet Principal for Alcohol, Other Drugs and Harm Reduction, as well as a Senior Principal Fellow.
Congratulations again to Professor Power on receiving the 2104 Fenner Award.
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