It is with deep sadness Burnet Institute acknowledges the passing of Alastair Lucas AO.
The former Burnet Chairman from 2002-2014, died peacefully today, aged 63, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour late last year.
Alastair was a much loved and committed member of the Burnet Institute family.
Close friend and the Institute’s Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said Mr Lucas’ passionate commitment to medical research and international health had touched many lives.
“Alastair leaves an outstanding legacy for all those whose lives were touched by him, and the many lives saved through his generosity and passionate support of medical and public health research,” Professor Crabb said.
“He was a great believer in science and its application to create a healthier, more equitable and better world.
“He was a passionate supporter of our work and our mission to achieve better health for the poorest and most marginalised people in our own community and throughout the world.”
Appointed to the Burnet Board in 1998, Mr Lucas was Chairman of the Institute from 2002 to September 2014 when he stepped down following his cancer diagnosis.
His contribution, not only to Burnet, but Australian public life, had been exemplary.
“It is difficult to overstate the significance of Alastair’s leadership during more than a decade as Chair. He guided us though tough times, helped redefine the Burnet and he set a wonderful example as a major donor,” Professor Crabb said.
“His strategic advice and financial acumen enabled Burnet to establish a global reputation for excellence in research and public health activities, and put itself in a strong and stable financial position.”
As founding Chairman of the Medical Research Future Fund Action Group he advocated for the AUD$20billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF); was the co-founder and Chairman of Cell Care; a board member at Research Australia; and he helped to develop the Medical Research Foundation to engage Australians in philanthropy.
In recent years Mr Lucas also became involved with animal welfare through ‘Australia for Dolphins’, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, and Animals Australia.
In more than 20 years with Macquarie Bank, Mr Lucas distinguished himself as one of Australia’s most experienced corporate advisors, culminating in his appointment as Chairman, Investment Banking. In 2004 he was appointed Chairman, Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs Australia.
Mr Lucas was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his outstanding contribution to medical research and international health, animal welfare, philanthropy and the business community.
Mr Lucas passed away peacefully on 6 July 2015.
Burnet Institute offers its sincere condolences to Alastair’s family and close friends, particularly Louise.