Norman Swan MBChB, FRCP, DCH, MD (Hon Causa)

Multi award winning, medically qualified broadcaster

Dr Norman Swan is a multi-award winning broadcaster and journalist. He is the 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. In addition, Norman edits his own newsletter, The Choice Health Reader, which is published in partnership with the Australian Consumers Association. He is managing director of GSB Consulting and Communications Pty Limited.

One of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, Norman was born in Scotland, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen, later obtaining his postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics. Since 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. He has also snared 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 concerning the well-known gynaecologist, Dr William McBride. The program exposed fraudulent research, sending shock waves throughout the medical world and ultimately leading to Dr William McBride's de-registration. The programme 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. Consequently, 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.

On television, Dr Swan has hosted ABC Television's science program, Quantum, and been a guest reporter on Catalyst and 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. The series has been shown in twenty seven countries. He also co-wrote and narrated The Opposite Sex, a four part series for ABC Television.

Norman was co host of the social affairs programme, Life Matters on ABC Radio National for five years. He is frequently a guest host on Late Night Live and Radio National's news and current affairs Breakfast programme.

Norman Swan is also well known outside Australia. He has been the Australian correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal. He was consulted for the World Health Organisation in Geneva on global priorities in health research, putting evidence into health policy and clinical trial registration. In late 2008, Norman co-facilitated, with Richard Horton (editor in chief of The Lancet) a ministerial forum in Bamako, West Africa which aimed to advance the global health research agenda. He facilitated a follow up meeting in Singapore in 2009.

In 2010 he was engaged as a health expert on Network TEN's hit program, The Biggest Loser.

Client testimonials

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

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.

Convention Wise

Norman was received very well, the audience respected his authority and could see that Norman had a very good insight into the issues being discussed. Norman’s prior knowledge and research also meant that the questions he asked of audience and panel members were the types of questions the audience wanted to ask or expected to hear.

NSW Ministry of Health