Professor Steve Allsop

Director, National Drug Research Institute
September 2014
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...  Spend all my time involved in football – as the President of a junior football club one of my roles is to open and close the canteen, I’ll watch my sons play their games (as part of the East Perth colts and reserves), and I’ll act as First Aider for the year 12s. I’ll also go to an AFL game (I’m an avid Fremantle Dockers fan).

I wish I'd never...  agreed to become the President of a junior football club!

I'd originally planned to work... Since I was eighteen I wanted to work in the alcohol and drug field, so I’ve ended up exactly where I wanted to be.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are... Integrity, humour, humanity, and respect and regard for those who we serve.

I'll never forget... Being at last year’s AFL grand final, and watching my two sons respectively win their grand finals (ok so I’m a football tragic!). I will never forget the enormous influence and leadership in our field provided by Griffith Edwards. I will never forget the great joy all my children bring. And I will always treasure the affection of my colleagues.

If I had more time, I'd... Get back into some clinical work.

I'm most scared of... Losing my hair? Well, those of you who know me are aware that this anxiety is well in the past! I’m most scared of forgetting the humanity and individual needs of people affected by drug use.

For my next holiday... I intend to travel around central Europe (if you disregard going to the next AFL grand final with my youngest son and actually seeing my team win this time!).

I can't get enough of... Good food. And great music.

I'm really terrible at... Walking past a CD shop without buying something.

Career wise, I’m most proud of... The clinical research I did on relapse prevention. I am also humbled, more than proud, by all the positive feedback I have had on workforce development I have been involved in with a variety of colleagues.

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is... That we remember the humanity of what we do and convey this to the broader community and challenge discrimination wherever we see it. This will have implications for the quality of responses and for the resources that are brought into the sector.

The sector's biggest challenge going forward is... Operating in tight financial times, and the continued marginalisation of people affected by drug use.

Professor Steve Allsop, Director, National Drug Research Institute

Professor Steve Allsop has been involved in the drug and alcohol sector, first in Scotland and then Australia, for almost 30 years.  He has a PhD in psychology, and has worked in policy, prevention and treatment research and practice, as well as professional development.  He has managed prevention, policy and treatment services, including more than ten years at the Drug and Alcohol Office of Western Australia. 

Professor Allsop has been Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University in Perth since 2005.  His current research interests include preventing and reducing alcohol-related harm, preventing and reducing harm associated with amphetamine use, preventing and reducing co-existing mental health and drug problems, responding to drug problems in the workplace, and enhancing the capacity of human service providers to implement effective prevention and harm reduction strategies.