Alcohol researcher celebrated for impact

Nov 21 2017

Professor Kypros KypriBehavioural scientist Professor Kypros Kypri, from the University of Newcastle, has been acknowledged in the Sax Institute’s 2017 Research Action Awards for his work in alcohol-related violence.

A member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s Public Health Program, Professor Kypri examined the impact of the Newcastle ‘last-drinks’ restrictions on assaults in the CBD. The restrictions limited the opening hours of some licensed premises and resulted in a large reduction in assaults.  

The findings helped support the continuation of restrictions and were also important in the design and efforts to implement law changes in Sydney (2014) and Queensland (2016).

“These awards recognise researchers whose work has made a real-world difference to people’s health and wellbeing,” Sax Institute CEO Professor Sally Redman said. “Professor Kypri demonstrated that reducing trading hours of licensed premises could reduce alcohol-related violence and informed alcohol policies in both NSW and Queensland.”

A panel of national and international experts chose Professor Kypri, along with Patricia Cullen from the George Institute who is running a car licensing support service for Indigenous drivers.

Professor Kypri says a “confluence of factors” played into the policy changes in each jurisdiction, but the research findings helped give policymakers the evidence that changes were effective.

“Research alone very rarely drives policy change, but it can facilitate reform,” he said. “In this situation, it gave the politicians something to show that the changes they were introducing were likely to be effective.”

The Sax Institute is an independent Australian leader in helping decision makers find and make best use of research to solve real-world health and social problems.