Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is one of Australia's best-known doctors and public health and human rights advocates. She has been a medical practitioner for 40 years and is a pioneer in the fields of health communication and integrative medicine in Australia. She is an advisory board member and conjoint professor at NICM Health Research Institute, a Climate 200 advisory panel member anda member of OzSAGE.
In 2000, Professor Phelps was elected as the first female President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), 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 30 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 for the Australian Women's Weekly and television programs including Sunrise, EveryBody, Good Morning Australia, the Today Show, A Current Affair, 60 Minutes, and Australian Story. She has also written several books including General Practice: The Integrative Approach, Ultimate Wellness: The 3-Step Plan, The Cancer Recovery Guide, an integrative approach to the management of cancer, The Mystery Gut and How To Keep Your Brain Young.
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 seat of Wentworth in the Australian Federal Parliament, she spearheaded the landmark Medevac legislation, 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 2019 Federal Election.
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.
You can follow Professor Phelps on Twitter @drkerrynphelps.