Kerry Chant

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Kerry Chant
Kerry Chant.jpg
Chant in 2020
Chief Health Officer of New South Wales
Assumed office
PremierMorris Iemma
Nathan Rees
Kristina Keneally
Barry O'Farrell
Mike Baird
Gladys Berejiklian
Dominic Perrottet
DeputyJeremy McAnulty
Marianne Gale
Preceded byGreg Stewart
Personal details
Alma materUniversity of New South Wales
ProfessionPublic health officer

Kerry Gai Chant AO PSM is a public health physician who has been the Chief Health Officer of New South Wales, Australia, since 2008. She gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic providing regular public health advice for New South Wales, a contribution for which she was named the state's Woman of the Year in March 2021.[1]

Early life[edit]

Chant grew up in Punchbowl, New South Wales.[2] She attended the Danebank Anglican School for Girls, graduating in 1980.[3] She worked in retail jobs and a pharmacy before studying medicine.[4] She attended the University of New South Wales where she completed a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1987, a Master in Health Administration in 1991 and a Master of Public Health in 1995.[5]


Chant has been with the New South Wales Health Department since 1991 working in the areas of virus infections, communicable diseases prevention and control and Indigenous health.[6] She is currently the Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health and Chief Health Officer.[7] Prior to this, Chant was Director, Public Health Unit in Sydney South West Area Health Service; Director, Health Protection and Deputy Chief Health Officer. In 2013, she was threatened for advocating fluoridation of the water supply in the City of Lismore.[8] During the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chant often appeared alongside premier Gladys Berejiklian providing health updates and advice to the public.[9]


  • 2021: NSW Premier's Woman of the Year, and Woman of Excellence Award[10]
  • 2020: UNSW Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Alumni Achievement[11]
  • 2015: Australian Public Service Medal for "outstanding public service to population health in New South Wales"[12]
  • 2022: Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours for "distinguished service to the people of New South Wales through public health administration and governance, and to medicine".[13]


  1. ^ Aubusson, Kate (10 March 2021). "Just what the doctor ordered: COVID-19 conqueror leaves NSW in a fine state". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. ^ Robinson, Natasha (20 November 2020). "Local (health) heroes". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Directions Magazine". Issuu. Danebank. 14 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Local (health) heroes: the women leading the fight". 22 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Alumni Achievement". School of Population Health, University of New South Wales. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Speakers - 2015 Innovation Symposium".
  7. ^ "Dr Kerry Chant". Healthy Communities Mid North Coast. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  8. ^ Hansen, Jane (12 September 2013). "NSW chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant threatened and accosted after fluoride ban lifted in Lismore". Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  9. ^ "'Secret weapon': unflappable Kerry Chant faces toughest challenge yet as NSW Covid outbreak grows". the Guardian. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  10. ^ "NSW Chief Health Officer awarded the highest honour in 2021 Women of the Year Awards". NSW Government. 10 March 2021. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Alumni Achievement". School of Population Health, University of New South Wales. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Public Service Medal (PSM) entry for Dr Kerry Chant". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Queen's Birthday 2022 Honours - the full list". Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment Co. 12 June 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.

External links[edit]