Kerryn Phelps

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AM, MP, MBBS, FRACGP, Hon DLitt
Adjunct Professor, NICM Health Research Institute
Advisory Board Member, NICM Health Research Institute


Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is one of Australia's best-known doctors and public health and human rights advocates. She has been a general practitioner for over 30 years and is a pioneer in the fields of health communication and integrative medicine in Australia. She is an advisory board member and adjunct professor at NICM Health Research Institute.

In 2000, Professor Phelps was elected as the first female President of the Australian Medical Association, a post she held for the  maximum term of three years. She guided political and practical solutions to the medical indemnity crisis and the medical workforce shortage. Under her presidency, the AMA developed its first position statements on complementary medicine, on sexuality and gender diversity, on the medical response to bioterrorism, and on the association between climate change and human health. She advocated strongly for the rights of refugee children in detention and for a solution to the problems of health disparity and disadvantage for indigenous Australians.

Professor Phelps has appeared in the media for over 25 years, bringing messages about healthy lifestyle to the attention of the public. She has presented a variety of health and fitness programs on radio, and has been a regular newspaper and magazine columnist, including the Australian Women's Weekly, Sunrise, ABC's EveryBody, TEN network's Good Morning Australia,  the Nine Network's Today Show, A Current Affair, 60 Minutes, and ABC's Australian Story. She has also written several books including General Practice: The Integrative ApproachUltimate Wellness: The 3-Step PlanThe Cancer Recovery Guide, an integrative approach to the management of cancer, and The Mystery Gut.

In 2003 Professor Phelps was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for services to Medicine and Australian society. In 2011, she was awarded an Order of Australia for service to medicine. She was President of the Australiasian Integrative Medicine Association from 2009 to 2012, and has fought for the integration of evidence-supported natural therapies into conventional medical practice. In 2013 Professor Phelps was invited to India to meet with HRH Prince Charles and to open the Global Health Futures Conference. She was awarded in 2014 an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Western Sydney University.

Elected in 2018 to the Australian Federal Parliament she argued for policies to protect the environment, and for a review of the decision to ban private health insurance companies from providing rebates for natural therapies. Professor Phelps narrowly lost the seat in the Federal election in May 2019.

Professor Phelps has been a City of Sydney Councillor since 2016 and was Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney from 2016-2017, showing leadership on issues of city governance, inclusiveness, social justice and community wellbeing.


Awards and recognition

  • 2018 Elected to the House of Representatives for Wentworth (the first Independent to win the seat of Wentworth)
  • 2017 Wrote "The Mystery Gut" published by Pan Macmillan.
  • 2016-2019 City of Sydney Councillor
  • 2016-2017 City of Sydney Deputy Lord Mayor
  • 2015 Wrote "The Cancer Recovery Guide" published by Pan Macmillan.
  • 2014 Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the Western Sydney University.
  • 2013 Appointed to the board of Hockey Australia.
  • 2013 Wrote "Ultimate Wellness: The 3-Step Plan" published by Pan McMillan.
  • 2011 Awarded an Order of Australia for service to medicine, particularly through leadership roles with the Australian Medical Association, to education and community health, and as a general practitioner
  • 2010 Wrote an Integrative Medicine textbook "General Practice: The Integrative Approach, published by Elsevier.
  • 2009 Hosted Channel 7's "Last Chance Surgery" which was one of the highest rating shows of the season.
  • 2009-2012 Elected President of the Australasian Integrative Medical Association.
  • 2003 Awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for services to Medicine and Australian society.
  • 2000 Elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association, becoming the first woman to head this organisation and serving a maximum term of three years.

Education

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • 1976-1980 Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Medicine, The University of Sydney, Australia

Publications

For a full listing of publications please see: