Professor Kate Conigrave

Addiction Medicine specialist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
June 2016
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drug sector to share a little about their work and life.

This weekend I will... learn how to prescribe the new Hep C treatments for my patients at a course on Saturday.   Then brunch and a walk with my husband and some of our grown up kids on Sunday.

I wish I'd never... let my dog walk off the lead (He got run over…..sniff!)

I'd originally planned to work... part time and not have a serious career.  I still work part-time – in theory.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are... being good people, committed to making a difference and able to listen. Being smart, practical and having a sense of humour doesn’t hurt either.

I'll never forget... the time I was interviewing an older Aboriginal woman in a remote NT community. We were both sitting on the ground and she was grinding up bark for bush medicine to relieve tooth ache.  She was telling me how the she and other women risked their safety to ask for alcohol restrictions to protect their families.

If I had more time, I'd... get out my violin and find a group to play with.

I'm most scared of... letting life slip by in a blur of hyperactivity!

For my next holiday... we’re going paddling in remote South West Tasmania. A most beautiful spot – just hope the weather is kind!

I can't get enough of... sleep.

I'm really terrible at... recognising faces - and any ball game.

Career wise, I’m most proud of... having helped teach, supervise or train some really impressive people - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal.

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is... to reduce the stigma for our clients and to have more evidence-based policy.

The sector's biggest challenge going forward is... political point scoring (and in the alcohol field) political donations.

Professor Kate Conigrave

Professor Kate Conigrave is an Addiction Medicine specialist and a public health physician. She works with clients with alcohol and drug problems at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.  Kate is also a Professor at the University of Sydney, where she is involved in training of health professionals.  She has over 100 publications in refereed journals.  She is an editor of the book Addiction Medicine, and was one of the six editors of the Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work.  Kate has worked in partnership with Aboriginal community controlled agencies in NSW and other states, and with communities in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory over the past 15 years.