ACON Vice President Professor Louisa Degenhardt has been announced as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of her distinguished services to medical research, particularly addiction and mental disorders, to psychology, and to professional associations. as part of today’s King’s Birthday Honours.

As a Board Member for over a decade of Australia’s largest LGBTQ health and wellbeing organisation, ACON, Professor Degenhardt has extensively contributed to the field of sexuality and gender diverse health, and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) research.

Serving as a Board Member from 2005 to 2010, and then from 2015 to the present – becoming Vice President in 2020 – Professor Degenhardt has made immeasurable contributions to the wellbeing of all Australians as a Scientia Professor at the UNSW, a Senior Principal Research Fellow at the National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Deputy Director at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW.

Throughout her career, Professor Degenhardt’s contributions have significantly bolstered public health research, and AOD programs here in Australia and internationally.

Her contributions to drug policy and program settings have been pivotal, having led key illicit drug surveillance systems, such as the National Illicit Drug Reporting System, and helping identify emerging trends in drug use and associated health issues over decades.

Internationally, Professor Degenhardt has collaborated with other lead researchers through the World Health Organization and United Nations, building evidence and informing drug policy responses globally. Her academic credentials as a highly cited and well-respected research leader have been recognised locally with several awards conferred by UNSW.

ACON President Dr Justin Koonin said: “ACON commends Professor Degenhardt on this well-deserved recognition of her decades-long work in public and LGBTQ community health.”

“Her work and leadership have played a critical role at not only a national level, but globally, in developing world-class research in the field of alcohol and other drugs public health responses.

“Louisa’s dedicated service over many years, utilising her wealth of academic expertise to inform and shape health and AOD policy, along with her long-standing passion and commitment to improving health outcomes, is an inspiration to many in the AOD and health sectors, and wider LGBTQ communities.”

Koonin added: “Our communities are stronger and more resilient thanks to the tireless efforts of people like Louisa. ACON congratulates her on receiving this prestigious honour.”



For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E:   T: +61 (02) 9206 2044   M: +61 (0)428 477 042

12-06-2023ACON Vice President Receives King’s Birthday Honours

06-06-2023ACON Grants Helping LGBTQ+ Community Groups Celebrate Pride Month