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Kerry Chant

PSM
Kerry Chant.jpg
Chant in 2020
Chief Health Officer of New South Wales
Assumed office
2008
Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Deputy Jeremy McAnulty, Marianne Gale
Preceded by Greg Stewart
Personal details
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of New South Wales
Profession Public health officer

Kerry Gai Chant 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.

Early life

Chant grew up in Punchbowl, New South Wales. She attended the Danebank Anglican School for Girls, graduating in 1980. She worked in retail jobs and a pharmacy before studying medicine. 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.

Career

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. She is currently the Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health and Chief Health Officer. 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. 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.

Awards

  • 2021: NSW Premier's Woman of the Year, and Woman of Excellence Award
  • 2020: UNSW Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Alumni Achievement
  • 2015: Australian Public Service Medal for "outstanding public service to population health in New South Wales"
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