John Ryan is a leading voice for improved responses to drugs. As the CEO of Penington Institute he has achieved a number of public policy changes. These include funding increases in relation overdose prevention, increased access to needle and syringe programs and enhanced availability of opioid substitution programs.
John was the CEO of Anex, the predecessor organisation of Penington Institute, from 2000 until the formation of Penington Institute in 2013.
John has advocated for evidence-based responses to drug use in the community, media and with government. He is currently a member of the Board of Harm Reduction International, the Australian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood-Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissable Infections, and the Premier of Victoria’s Ice Action Taskforce. He is the Editor in Chief of the Anex Bulletin, Australia’s harm reduction broadsheet.
Previously, John has been a board member of Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association, drug user advocacy group VIVAIDS, West Heidelberg Community Legal Service and North Richmond Community Health Centre.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and in 2012 received a Churchill Fellowship to study ways to enhance public health approaches to drug policy.