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 was born in Scotland, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen and later obtained his postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics.
Joining the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1982, he has won numerous awards for his journalism and broadcasting.
Norman was named Australian Radio Producer of the Year in 1984 and was awarded a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes for his radio work. He has 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 he 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.
Dear Norman Your speech was astonishing in its depth, its feeling, its relevance and its accuracy, but then we were confident it would be. We have received praise from all who were privileged to hear it, and excellent follow up. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
Delegates were very impressed with Norman's presentation skills as much as what he had to say... just a great communicator. He refreshed them with his knowledge and presentation style.
We were very impressed with Norman's role as facilitator at our Indigenous Health Workforce Policy Forum and received nothing but positive feedback about him. We felt Norman really added to the level of discussion and set a tone that was both probing and challenging - but also respectful. Dr Kim Webber and I also appreciated the contribution Norman made in planning for the event and developing the agenda.
Australian Rural & Remote Workforce Agencies Group