Last week we were greatly saddened to learn that Jude Byrne, a leader in the AOD sector, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family.
Jude worked with many NDARC staff, over many years. Her wisdom, determination, and her insight have been instrumental to her work with NDARC, helping to create real and impactful change for the AOD community.
Jude never held back in sharing her honest thoughts. We remember the guidance she gave us in 2020 during COVID-19, which you can read in Connections.
Her joy was infectious, her passion unwavering and she will be greatly missed.
We’d like to share these reflections on Jude’s life made by AIVL’s CEO, Melanie Walker:
Jude has been a source of great inspiration to many for decades and her legacy will endure, not just through her own enormous contribution to the drug user movement, but also through the many people she has mentored and encouraged throughout her career who have gone on to make their own very important contributions across the BBV/STI, AOD and related health and social justice fields.
In this way, Jude’s achievements and contributions to the drug user movement both in Australia and internationally have been greater than the sum of their parts. I know that many of you will continue to ask yourselves ‘what would Jude do’ in any given situation moving forward, and also to inspire the next generation of harm reduction activists, policy makers, researchers and service delivery workers in line with things that Jude has shared with and taught you.