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Biographical entry Caldicott, Helen Mary (1938 - )

7 August 1938
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Paediatrician, Writer and Activist
Alternative Names
  • Broinowski, Helen Mary (maiden name)


Helen Caldicott trained as a physician and went on to treat children afflicted with cystic fibrosis. During the early 1970s she played a major role in the Australian opposition to the French atmospheric tests in the Pacific. In 1978 Caldicott founded Physicians for Social Responsibility in the USA and has since founded and been a member of a number similar organisations. The recipient of many awards, she has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and has received honorary degrees from numerous universities.



Career position - Resident Medical Officer at Royal Adelaide Hospital
1967 - 1968
Career position - Research Fellow in the Nutrition Clinic at the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Boston, USA
1971 - 1972
Life event - Initiated movement against French atmospheric tests in the Pacific Ocean
Career position - Intern at the Adelaide Children's Hospital
1973 - 1974
Career position - Resident Medical Officer at the Adelaide Children's Hospital
1975 - 1976
Career position - Founder/Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children's Hospital
1977 - 1980
Career position - Assistant in Medicine at Children's Hospital Medical Center, Harvard, USA
1977 - 1980
Career position - Instructor in Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School, USA
1978 - 1983
Career position - Founder and President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, USA
Award - Margaret Mead Prize received from the Environment Defence Center
Life event - Resigned to work full time on the prevention of nuclear war
Career position - Co-leader of the Nuclear Freeze Voter Initiate Campaign
Career position - Founder of Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament
Award - Humanist of the Year Award received from the Ethical Society of Boston
Award - Gandhi Peace Prize received
Career position - Led public New Zealand education campaign (with Dr William Caldicott) resulting in the official New Zealand nuclear-free policy
Award - United Nations Association for Australia Peace Medal Award received
Award - John-Roger Foundation Integrity Award received
Award - Norman Cousins Award for Peacemaking from the Physicians for Social Responsibility
Award - Louis Mumford Award received from the Architects Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility
Award - Distinguished Peace Leadership Award received from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
1995 - 1996
Career position - Instructor at New School for Social Research, New York, USA
1998 -
Career position - Patron of Parents Protecting Our Children Against Radiation in Lucas Heights, New South Wales
1999 -
Career position - Founder and Secretary of Our Common Future Political Party
1999 - 2000
Career position - President of the Star (Standing for Truth About Radiation) Foundation
Career position - Laurie Chair in Women's Studies at Douglass College at Rutger University, USA

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Biographical cuttings on Helen Caldicott, Dr., anti-nuclear activist, Cuttings Files BIOG; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Caldicott, Helen, A Passionate Life (Milsons Point, NSW: Random House Australia, 1996), 427 pp. Details


See also

  • Herd, Margaret ed., Who's Who in Australia 2002 (Melbourne: Crown Content, 2001), 2020 pp. Details

Ailie Smith