Tributes flow for Alastair Lucas AO

Tracy Parish

09 July, 2015

Alastair served on our Board from 1998-2014, including 12 years as Chair.

Undoubtedly, Alastair Lucas AO loved the Burnet Institute.

When he joined the Board in 1998 he was committed to making a difference, to enhancing Burnet’s business and strategic opportunities, to making sure that its mission was achieved through a culture of excellence, innovation and impact. He became part of the Burnet family, serving on the Board from 1998-2014, and as Chair for 12 of those years.

Fittingly, tributes are flowing for Alastair. We are proud to share those with you.

“I first met Alastair when he joined Macquarie Bank in the mid 80s. I will be forever grateful to him for so many years of friendship, support, wisdom and above all unqualified integrity. He was the significant driving force behind the establishment of Burnet as a sustainable international leader in research into infectious diseases. He will be remembered for his extraordinary intellect, his involvement in significant conservation causes and most importantly his quest for a sustainable resource dedicated to medical research. I am personally grateful for his active participation during the most difficult days of his illness in our recent Review of Australia’s Independent Medical Research Institutes. He has shared with all of us so generously his wisdom, his care for others and his ethical standards. His contribution to the community both in Australia and internationally has been extraordinary. He will leave a legacy for which we can all be truly grateful.” - Professor Graeme Samuel AC

Alastair was many things to many people – a visionary, strategist, businessman, change agent, philanthropist. For me, he was all of these, plus something more … he was a teacher. He taught me so many things from the importance of clear and persuasive communication through to respecting people by knowing in advance their likes and dislikes and their interests. As a teacher, I found his standards often too high – too hard for me to meet. But his infinite patience meant that he kept teaching me and teaching me – and he did it for more than 30 years. For all that and more, I thank him. - Simon McKeon AO

Alastair’s roles on AAMRI’s Advisory Committee and as the Founding Chair of the MRFF Action Group had a tremendous impact in improving our sector through his infinite passion for health and medical research. His wise counsel was always valued. It was Alastair’s determination that saw the formation of the MRFF Action Group and its establishment as a strong, united advocacy group. - Professor Doug Hilton, President Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).

Alastair made an incredible contribution to the Australian health and medical research sector where he was Chairman of Burnet Institute from 2002-2014 and Director of Research Australia from 2012-2014. Alastair’s leadership will be sorely missed by the health and medical research sector. Alastair was the founding Chairman of the Medical Research Future Fund Action Group and his sad passing reconfirms the importance of the establishment of the Fund as we look to find cures and treatments currently unavailable.” - Federal Health Minister, the Hon Sussan Ley MP.

“Labor is deeply saddened at the passing of Alastair Lucas AO. Alastair was a tireless advocate for the cause of medical research in Australia, especially in his role as Chairman of the Burnet Institute from 2002-2014 where he helped raise the organisation into one of Australia’s pre-eminent medical research and public health bodies. It is impossible to understate the significance of Alastair’s leadership, and his passing deprives Australia of a magnificent advocate for the cause of medical research.” - The Hon Catherine King MP, Federal Shadow Minister for Health.

“A tireless, visonary and passionate advocate for medical research, public health and animal rights, Alastair believed in the role of science to improve the quality of life of poor and marginalised people and communities. His legacy in the drive for the MRFF is very real and recognised by us all.” - Professor Christine Bennett AO, Chair of Research Australia.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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