Anne Phelan remembered for her acting and advocacy

Actor Anne Phelan is being remembered for her work on stage and screen alongside her decades of community work and advocacy.

Phelan passed away earlier this week, she was in her 70’s. She is remembered for many prominent role on Australian television including roles on BellBird, Something in the Air, Friends and Family and Winners and Losers. 

Her most revered role was on the popular series Prisoner. Phelan played Myra Desmond from 1980 until 1983. Her character was the ‘top dog’ in the prison, replacing the show’s former leader Bea Smith.

Alongside her acting work Phelan also supported many community organisations. Since 2000 she was a patron for Positive Women (Victoria), a support and advocacy group run by and for women living with HIV.

She received the Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS 2002 Activist of the Year Award for outstanding contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In 2007 she received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for service to the arts as an actress, and to the community, particularly through support for women living with the HIV virus and for asylum seekers and refugees.

OIP Staff


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