Professor Ann Roche

Director, NCETA
July 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... be in Sydney visiting long-term friends. One of my friends has a terminal illness and it will be fantastic to spend some quality time with them. 

I wish I'd never... I try not to have regrets; too much negative energy. Instead, I try to learn from mistakes and poor judgement and do better where possible.

I'd originally planned to work... as a geologist (I had a large rock collection under my bed much to my mother's chagrin), but then focussed on the education sector. I started life as a research assistant and morphed from there.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are... I really appreciate enthusiasm and passion, tempered by good judgement and common sense. More than anything, though, I value kindness.

I'll never forget... meeting Drs Mark and Linda Sobell and hearing first hand of their experiences of having the veracity of the research findings on the efficacy of controlled drinking continually challenged in the most legalistic of ways. It was a graphic illustration of the potential problems associated with challenging the conventional view of the day and the importance of being able to withstand scrutiny and criticism.

If I had more time, I'd... read more, cook more, write non-fiction, go back to learning piano, take tango lessons, travel more.

I'm most scared of... letting others down.

For my next holiday... I will visit family in Wales, do some work in Italy, and then take my stepsons on a cruise in the Mediterranean.

I can't get enough of... Laughter and good humour.

I'm really terrible at... filing. I am better at piling though. I have piles of paper and I know where most stuff is.

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is... to stay viable and thrive into the future.

The sector's biggest challenge going forward is... retaining its distinct identity and continuing to make important contributions.