Melissa Sweet is one of Australia’s most experienced health journalists. She has been writing about health and medical issues since the late 1980s, and has worked at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin magazine and Australian Associated Press.
She is now freelancing, and her work appears in a wide range of professional and general publications. She also coordinates health coverage for the e-newsletter Crikey (crikey.com.au).
Together with Ray Moynihan, Melissa is the author of Ten Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor (2009), which encourages people to be more questioning about health care and health advice. She also recently published a non-fiction book, The Big Fat Conspiracy: How to Protect Your Family’s Health (2007), which gives families and communities some strategies for healthy living and preventing weight gain.
Her book, Inside Madness (2006), examined the history of mental health care in Australia, and the work and life of murdered psychiatrist Dr Margaret Tobin. In recognition of her work on this book, Melissa was awarded a Dart Centre Ochberg Fellowship. Melissa is also co-author, with Professor Les Irwig, Judy Irwig, and Dr Lyndal Trevena, of Smart Health Choices: Making Sense of Health Advice (2008), which aims to give readers some tools for critically assessing health information.
Melissa’s long-standing commitment to covering health and medical issues has been recognised by the University of Sydney, which awarded her an honorary position as Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health. She also holds an honorary appointment as Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine at Notre Dame University, Sydney campus.
Melissa has a particular interest in public health, mental health, rural health, media coverage of health, Indigenous health, consumer participation
in decision-making, evidence-based care, and quality and safety issues.
She lives in Sydney, Australia.