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Penny Burns headshot
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Dr Penelope Burns

General Practitioner, New South Wales

Penny Burns is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Practice at the University of Western Sydney (UWS).  She is a General Practitioner (GP) with a range of experience in both urban and rural general practice in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. In Australia she has worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service; in Aboriginal Medical Services in Redfern and in Yarrabah Northern Queensland; and in Family Planning. In PNG she has worked as a GP in private practice, in Port Moresby General Hospital and in remote district hospitals and clinics. She has worked in hospital medicine in Columbia and the USA.

Penny’s special interest is the role of GPs in disasters and she has worked in disaster medicine at UWS since 2009. Reflecting her interest, Penny is on the steering committee of the Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma Loss and Grief Network at the Australian National University (ANU); on the NSW Mental Health Disaster Advisory Committee; is the Deputy Chair of the RACGP Disaster Management Special Interest; and the Disaster Response Representative for the NSW & ACT RACGP state faculty.

Penny has a wide range of teaching and research interests predominantly based around the role of primary care in disaster medicine; innovation in online blended learning and teaching in postgraduate education; human factors in tunnel evacuations in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel; the effect of animal ownership on human safety in disasters; evaluation of the first cohort of UWS medical graduates; improving access of adolescents to GPs through school based programs; evaluation of Medicare Local and LHD partnership in health delivery; and in undergraduate medical student teaching.

The Mental Health Professionals’ Network (MHPN) respectfully acknowledges the Wurundjeri and the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation, the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which our office is situated. We also acknowledge Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.