Professor Michael Farrell

Director, NDARC
April 2014
Each issue we ask someone from the AOD sector to share a little about their work and their life.

This weekend I will... enjoy Saturday morning breakfast relaxing with friends; go shopping and cook a meal for friends; go to the Eveleigh Market to hear that great musician Freddie White, Irish and undiscovered in Australia and to buy some food at the Kylie Kwong Stall.

I wish I’d never... given up white water slalom canoeing.

I’d originally planned to work... in General Medicine and Neurology. But I met some amazing people like Griffith Edwards and John Strang and Anthony Clare who inspired me to pursue a career in addiction.  

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are... passionate dispassion, honesty, integrity and a commitment to do the best for some of the most marginalised people in our society.

I’ll never forget... the Christmas Day when I was 15 and my father had a stroke.

If I had more time, I’d... write a novel.

I’m most scared of... anything bad happening to my two grown children, my daughter who lives in Tokyo and my son who lives in London.

For my next holiday... I will be going to Tokyo and Kyoto to experience the Spring Cherry Blossom and to spend time travelling with my whole family.

I can’t get enough of... the clear light, blue skies and beautiful Sydney weather.

I’m really terrible at... anything to do with musical instruments, I am in awe of musical talent.

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is... that we achieve common purpose, recognise the important things that can be done and work together to achieve them.

The sector’s biggest challenge going forward is... to be appropriately self critical and ensure that we change and find new solutions for difficult problems that empower our communities to tackle the complexities of tobacco, alcohol and other drug and gambling problems.

Career wise, I’m most proud of... being the Director of NDARC and working with such a talented and fantastic team of researchers.