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Norman Swan

Travels from: New South Wales


A multi-award winning broadcaster and medically qualified journalist 

Categories: Health & Lifestyle, MCs & Hosts

Full Presenter Profile & Bio

Host of the 'Health Report', on ABC Radio National, presenter of 'Health Minutes' on ABC NewsRadio and ABC Television’s 'Catalyst', health commentator, speaker and facilitator, Dr Norman Swan, is a multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist. 

One of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, Norman joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1982, winning numerous awards for his journalism and broadcasting. 

In 1984, Norman was named Australian Radio Producer of the Year and was awarded a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes for his radio work. He has also won three Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism, including the prestigious Gold, and Australia's top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daly Award, twice. 

A famous example of Norman’s work is his much publicised and controversial investigative program on scientific fraud and the well-known gynaecologist Dr William McBride. The program exposed fraudulent research, sending shock waves throughout the medical world and led to Dr William McBride being de-registered. It earned Dr Swan the 1988 Australian Writers' Guild Award for best documentary and a Gold Walkley. 

In 2004, Norman was awarded the Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, an honour that had only been given three times and the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow made him a Fellow. In 2006 he was given a Doctorate of Medicine Hon Causa by the University of Sydney during its medical school’s 150th anniversary.

In addition to the 'Health Report', 'Health Minutes' and 'Catalyst', Norman was co host of the social affairs programme, 'Life Matters' on ABC Radio National for five years and is frequently a guest host on 'Late Night Live' and Radio National’s news and current affairs Breakfast programme. He also edits his own newsletter, The Choice Health Reader, which is published in partnership with CHOICE.

On television, in addition to 'Catalyst', Dr Swan hosted its predecessor, 'Quantum', and has been a reporter on 'Four Corners'. He hosted 'Health Dimensions' on ABC Television, and created, wrote and narrated a four part series on disease and civilisation, 'Invisible Enemies', made for Channel 4(UK) and SBS Television. This has been shown in twenty seven countries. He also co-wrote and narrated 'The Opposite Sex', a four part series for ABC Television.

Norman Swan has an international reputation. He has been the Australian correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal and consults for the World Health Organisation in Geneva. In late 2008 Norman chaired a meeting of the world’s Health Ministers in West Africa which aimed to pursue the goal of making health policy evidence-based and is facilitating a follow up meeting in Singapore in October 2009.

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