Across her storied career, Kerryn Phelps has been many things: a leading medical practitioner, an author, the President of the Australian Medical Association, an advocate for a range of social issues, and so much more. But above all else, there is one thing that Kerryn has always been first and foremost: unashamedly herself.
Speaking with Angela Vithoulkas on The Brew podcast, Kerryn showed a new side of herself as a doting new grandmother, completely content and comfortable in her own skin.
In 1988, Kerryn’s life as a public figure was flipped on its head. While the general public believed that she was married happily to Michael Fronzek, revelations emerged that she had wedded Jackie Sticker in a private ceremony in New York. With same sex relationships – let alone marriage – still a very taboo topic at the time, Kerryn had a huge choice to make. Did she deny her new marriage publicly and live a lie, or did she fully embrace who she was and in doing so, become a voice for those who needed one most?
Of course, for someone as unwavering in her personal values as Kerryn, there was only ever one choice on the table. “It chose me,” Kerryn said humbly when asked why she took on the role as the public face of same sex relationship advocacy in Australia. “I spoke out for all the people who couldn’t speak for themselves.”
Kerryn’s role as a LGBT advocate is still as prevalent as ever today. Recently she appeared in a “Vote Yes” campaign ad in light of the same sex marriage postal plebiscite, fully lending her reputation to the cause in a very public manner. In relation to the same sex marriage debate, Kerryn simply said that she was proud whenever new supporters were gained for the cause.
Her willingness to live within her own skin at all times, fend off the temptation of becoming overly comfortable in one position, and constantly aim to improve is the reason she is able to succeed so often.
“I challenge patterns in myself as part of expanding my consciousness,” she explained.
An overwhelming aspiration to assist others is another key to Kerryn’s career prosperity.
“What drives me is the desire to pay it forward.”