Midsumma announces 2015 Festival Champions

Kerryn Phelps_John CaldwellMelbourne’s Midsumma Festival has announced that the 2015 Festival Champions will be Professor Kerryn Phelps AM and John Caldwell.

Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is Adjunct Professor at Sydney University in the Faculty of Medicine in the School of General Practice and Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales in the faculty of Public Health and Community Services.

She has been a familiar face to many Australians over the last twenty years during which time she has appeared regularly on television, radio and the print media informing the Australian public on health issues. Professor Phelps has written several books including Ultimate Wellness published by Pan McMillan in 2013. Her next book will be published in 2015.

A staunch advocate for Human Rights, Phelps and her partner, Jackie Stricker are Ambassadors for Barnardos and they have three children.

John Caldwell is the 2014 Victorian Australian of the Year. He is an author, film producer, media personality, philanthropist, an ambassador for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and a board member with Brodie’s Law Foundation.

Widely recognised for his youth protection work and for his endeavours in the anti bullying space, John also stands up for Gay Rights as a patron for Melbourne’s Joy FM and supports initiatives against family violence as a White Ribbon Ambassador and Spokesman.

A regular on Studio 10 and Mornings on 9, John is a revered social commentator who also does work with the Australian Radio Network, The Hoopla and Mamamia. John lives in Melbourne.

The Midsumma Board introduced the ceremonial role of ‘Festival Champion’ in 2014 with Louisa Wall, the New Zealand MP who introduced marriage equality in that country, and Jason Ball, an anti-homophobia in sport campaigner and the highest level AFL footballer to have come-out to date, the Festival’s inaugural Champions.

“The board of Midsumma Festival is delighted to welcome Kerryn and John as the 2015 Festival Champions,” says Midsumma Festival Chair, Aaron Hockly.

“Both are high-profile advocates for the GLBTI communities as well as being very successful in their respective fields. Kerryn and John’s appointment continues the board’s deliberate strategy of raising the festival’s profile and we look forward to working with Kerryn and John to promote the Midsumma Festival and its aim of celebrating diversity.”

The 2015 Midsumma Festival runs 18 January – 8 February. For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: Professor Kerryn Phelps AM and John Caldwell