Penington Institute is named in honour of one of its patrons, Emeritus Professor David Penington AC, 1930-2023.
One of Australia’s leading public intellectuals and health experts, he courageously advocated for sensible drug policy in his roles as former chairman of the National AIDS Task Force, the Victorian Premier’s Drug Advisory Council, and the Victorian Government’s Drug Policy Expert Committee.
His unstinting efforts over many years helped to make Australia a world leader in HIV/AIDS public health strategies and in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
He believed that contributing to rational debate on drug-related issues is one of the most important things Penington Institute can do. “The institute will be bringing in very respected contributors to help mobilise the debate in ways that will help to change community attitudes to alcohol and illicit drug problems.”
Professor Penington’s other leadership roles included: Professor of Medicine, Dean and Vice Chancellor at the University of Melbourne; chairman of Cochlear Ltd, Bio21 Australia Ltd, the Bio21 Institute, and Bionic Vision Australia; and former president of Museum Victoria.