National Squalor Conference Presenters

Dr Norman Swan

Host of the Health Report, on ABC Radio National, presenter of Health Minutes on ABC NewsRadio, health commentator, speaker and facilitator, Dr Norman Swan, is a multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is in great demand as a speaker and facilitator.

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.




Dr Norman Swan

Host of the Health Report, on ABC Radio National, presenter of Health Minutes on ABC NewsRadio, health commentator, speaker and facilitator, Dr Norman Swan, is a multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is in great demand as a speaker and facilitator.

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 and Health Minutes, Norman edits his own newsletter, The Choice Health Reader, which is published in partnership with CHOICE.

On television, Dr Swan has hosted ABC Television's science program, Quantum, and is a guest reporter on Catalyst and has been a reporter on Four Corners. He hosted Health Dimensions on ABC Television, Life Matters on ABC Radio National 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 is known outside Australia. 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 pursued the goal of harnessing research to evidence-based health policy.