Dr Norman Swan MBChB, FRCP, DCH, MD (Hon Causa)
Multi award winning, health and medical broadcaster and communicator
Dr Norman Swan is a multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist and commentator. He is the host and creator of the Health Report, on ABC Radio National, which is the longest running health programme in the English-speaking world. He is a guest reporter on Four Corners, a regular panelist on ABC Television’s The Drum and was medical host of Channel 10’s Biggest Loser for six seasons. He also co-created and hosted Tonic, a health show on the ABC’s News Channel. In addition, Norman edits his own newsletter, The Choice Health Reader, and is co-founder of Tonic Health Media, a set of health channels with an audience of 15 million people per month. With this background, Norman is in high demand as a keynote speaker, facilitator and MC.
One of the first medically qualified journalists in Australia, Norman was born in Scotland, graduated in medicine from the University of Aberdeen, later obtaining postgraduate qualifications in Paediatrics.
He has won numerous awards for his journalism and broadcasting. 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 won three Walkley National Awards for Australian journalism, including the prestigious Gold. Norman has also snared Australia’s top prize for Science Journalism – the Michael Daly Award – twice.
He was awarded the Medal of the Australian Academy of Science, an honour that had only been given three times and 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 also an occasional guest host on Late Night Live and Radio National’s news and current affairs Breakfast programme.
Norman Swan is also known outside Australia. He has been the Australian correspondent for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the British Medical Journal. He consulted for the World Health Organisation in Geneva on global priorities in health research, putting evidence into health policy and clinical trial registration. Norman co-facilitated, with Richard Horton (editor in chief of The Lancet) a global ministerial forum in Bamako, West Africa which aimed to advance the global health research agenda.
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.
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.