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Who is Professor Kerryn Phelps? Meet the new member for Wentworth

This doctor has replaced Malcolm Turnbull and in turn, made history.

By Alex Lilly

In historic news for Australia, Independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps has won the seat of Wentworth making her the first non-Liberal since 1944 to hold office.

She has now forced Prime Minister Scott Morrison into minority government after defeating Liberal candidate, Dave Sharma following Malcolm Turnbull's sudden exit.

"My friends, we have made history today," she told her emotional supporters at a Wentworth by-election evening function at North Bondi Life Saving Club on Saturday night.

"This win tonight should signal a return of decency, integrity and humanity to the Australian government."

"This has been a David and Goliath struggle. We have been up against the major parties with all of their infrastructure and resources. And here we are with a little pop-up campaign with about 3 weeks notice to put together this awesome, awesome campaign."

"I am humbled by this privilege and I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you."

Kerryn Phelps has quite the impressive resume- not only was she the former Australian Medical Association President and former Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney, but is also an author, corporate consultant and professional speaker. Get to know more about her here.

Dr Kerryn Phelps has made history *(Image: AAP)*
Dr Kerryn Phelps has made history (Image: AAP)

Career and move to politics

After completing her studies at the University of Sydney and further training at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Professor Phelps appeared on numerous television shows to inform audiences of how to lead a healthy lifestyle including The Today Show and Last Chance Surgery.

She has also written and co-written numerous books including The Mystery Gut, a guide into common gut conditions and improving gut health; The Cancer Recovery Guide and Sex: Confronting sexuality. Professor Phelps has also been the health columnist for the Australian Women's Weekly since 1995.

WATCH: The Australian Women's Weekly: Let's Talk with Kerryn Phelps and Leila McKinnon. Post continues...

Professor Phelps was also the first woman to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and served as a past President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association. She was elected to council in September 2016 and has served as Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney.

Though she didn't originally plan to run for the Wentworth seat until Malcolm Turnbull was ousted, Professor Phelps has been a passionate advocate for the immediate removal of asylum seeker children from Nauru and a long-time supporter of same-sex marriage.

And with fans like Magda Szubanski and Greens MP Janet Rice, it's clear she has plenty of support.

Family and personal life

Kerryn was previously married to Michael Fronzek with whom she shares two children, Jaime and Carl. She then married Jackie Stricker-Phelps in a religious ceremony in New York in 1998 and the two share their adopted daughter, Gabrielle (Gabi), who joined the family when she was a very troubled nine-year-old.

"I've been around for a lot more than half of Jaime's life and absolutely I feel like her mother," Jackie told The Weekly.

"I don't ever think biology is all that important. It's more about the raising and the being there," Jackie added.

In 2015, Gabi wrote a passionate letter to then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott asking why her mums can't get married that was published in The Australian Women's Weekly.

Kerryn and her wife Jackie have been together for 20 years *(Image: Instagram @drkerrynphelps)*
Kerryn and her wife Jackie have been together for 20 years (Image: Instagram @drkerrynphelps)

"I see them like a dynamic duo, supermums. I get so much from that," Jaime said.

"Mum and I have things that we have in common, like the same sense of humour, and then there are things that really bond Jackie and me together. We can talk till the cows come home and we're both Cancerians, so we're very emotional and family-oriented."

Jaime, her husband Rob and their one-year old son Billy stood firmly behind Kerryn in her fight for the Wentworth seat.

"She has endured the most hideous personal attacks and dirty tricks, enough to break a daughters heart. Through it all she's held her head high, taken the higher ground and just stuck with the real issues, fought tirelessly for what she believes is right, which she has done her entire life," Jaime shared on Instagram.

"She can not destabilise an already completely unstable government. What she can do is keep them accountable and be a real voice for the people. A fiercely smart and sensible voice with no other agendas," Jaime posted on Instagram.

Dr Phelps celebrates her victory with daughter Jaime Chambers, son-in-law Rob Chambers and grandson Billy Chambers. *(Image: AAP)*
Dr Phelps celebrates her victory with daughter Jaime Chambers, son-in-law Rob Chambers and grandson Billy Chambers. (Image: AAP)
Kerryn and Jackie share a tender moment after the victory was announced *(Image: Getty Images)*
Kerryn and Jackie share a tender moment after the victory was announced (Image: Getty Images)

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