Wayne Hall

Conjoint Professor at NDARC
June 2017
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drugs sector to share a little about their work and life.

This weekend I will...try to sell the large Queenslander that my family have lived in for 16 years so that my wife and I can downsize to a more manageable apartment now that our children have left home.

I wish I'd never...taken the easy mathematics course in my first year of university (a re-run of my high school course).  I should have stretched myself to acquire greater facility with matrix algebra and differential calculus.

I'd originally planned to work...in the law, a fact I was only reminded of when I attended a 40 year high school reunion. I had changed my mind over the summer holidays and completely forgotten that I had. I have since had more than a passing acquaintance with the law by giving evidence to two Royal Commissions, providing opinions in interesting medico-legal cases, and serving on the UN’s quasi-judicial International Narcotics Control Board.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are...honesty and integrity, a commitment to making a difference, hard work and a good sense of humour.

I'll never forget...meeting my wife and the birth of my daughter, our first child.

If I had more time, I'd...study history as a scholarly subject rather than as an avocational interest.

I'm most scared of...developing dementia. I saw its awful effects on my mother in the last years of her life.

For my next holiday...I plan to revisit Portugal and visit Spain for the first time.

I can't get enough of...interesting books on history, politics and ideas (which I will have no space to house after we downsize). 

I'm really terrible at...saying no to interesting invitations to get involved in thinking about new and challenging topics. They always take up more of my time than they looked like they would when I said yes but usually teach me useful things I would not otherwise have learned.

Career wise, I’m most proud of...the success of the students and colleagues whom I have taught and mentored.  

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is…that it continues to attract and retain the bright young people who have driven research, practice and policy during my 29 years in the field.

The sector's biggest challenge going forward is...having good ideas and effectively advocating for them to ensure that our society responds to the many people affected by drug problems in an effective and humane way.


Professor Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall is a Professor at the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland and a Professor at the National Addiction Centre, Kings College London. He also has Visiting Professorial appointments at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW.  He was formerly: Director of CYSAR (2014-2016); an NHMRC Australia Fellow at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and the University of Queensland Brain Institute (2009-2014); Professor of Public Health Policy, School of Population Health, UQ (2005-2009); Director of the Office of Public Policy and Ethics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (2001-2005), UQ; and Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW (1994-2001).  He has advised the World Health Organization on: the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on addiction.