How a teenage near-death experience helped shaped the ABC’s Norman Swan

When Dr Norman Swan was 14 yrs outdated, he just about died. The ABC broadcaster was then a Scottish faculty scholar returning home from a youth club Easter trip to the south of England when a can of petrol ignited inside the cabin of the group’s broken-down bus. It still left 41 passengers combating for their life.

Swan was still left hanging upside down out the window with his trousers alight soon after supporting a woman escape. When he later located himself regaining consciousness on the ground, the trousers had burnt off. He was hospitalised and continue to bears the scars on his legs.

Dr Norman Swan was an early and active critic of the federal government’s COVID vaccine rollout.

Dr Norman Swan was an early and lively critic of the federal government’s COVID vaccine rollout.

“It did condition me I was definitely pretty traumatised. I got to know myself rather effectively,” he claimed of his weeks in healthcare facility.

“The bus accident did not determine me – what bought me into journalism was a enjoy of telling stories.”

A newspaper report on the bus fire in which Swan was injured.

A newspaper report on the bus hearth in which Swan was hurt.

And it is for that enjoy of telling stories – or more formally his “significant service to the broadcast media as a science and wellness commentator” – that Swan has been made a member of the basic division of the Get of Australia.

Swan has arrive a prolonged way considering that he moved from Scotland to Australia in 1978 to prepare as a paediatrician and segued into media, swapping an $80,000 health care income for $19,000 as a wellness reporter on ABC Radio in 1982.

His health reporting received him admiration and awards, but the COVID-19 pandemic turned him into a national determine, beloved by some, but sharply criticised by other people.

As a result of his journalism on Radio National’s Well being Report, 7.30 and the Coronacast podcast, he was an early and lively critic of the federal government’s vaccine rollout and also sounded the alarm about the blood clotting pitfalls of the AstraZeneca jab, for which he afterwards told this masthead: “I in all probability did result in some vaccine hesitancy.”