Since joining Actor's Equity in 1968, Phelan has worked in all aspects of the industry and is a familiar face on our TV screens, appearing in shows from Prisoner to Neighbours, Winners & Losers and almost everything in between, including 4 years as Kate in Bellbird in the early 1970s.
She is the recipient of 8 Best Actress Awards including an A.F.I. for Mumma Darcy in Poor Man's Orange. She was voted the Variety Club TV Actress of the Year for Harp in the South and received two Television Society of Australia Awards for her role as Myra Desmond in the ever-popular Prisoner. She picked up her second A.F.I. for Mon Taylor in Something in the Air.
On Stage, Phelan has appeared in over 50 shows in roles as diverse as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Mrs Lovett in Sweeny Todd, Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Maria in Twelfth Night, Yente in Fiddler on the Roof and Rachael in Season's Greetings, for which she received a Green Room Award.
Phelan has appeared in numerous Australian plays including Aftershocks, Diving for Pearls, A Hard God, Away, On our Selection and the title role in Mavis goes to Timor. She also completed two very successful seasons of her own show An Accidental Actress, and although her film credits are short, look out for Pub Tart #1 in The Devil's Playground and 'Truck Driver' in Charlie & Boots.
She has made guest starring appearances in many drama series including The Flying Doctors and Blue Heelers. She was also a regular in Marshall Law and appeared in the ABC comedy Mother and Son, playing the role of a social worker who befriends Maggie Beare.
Phelan is an accomplished and highly sought-after public speaker and is the recipient of the Regional Arts Victoria Don Mackay Award (2006) for Outstanding Achievement in Regional Touring.
Patron of Positive Women (Victoria), a support and advocacy group run by, and for women living with the HIV virus.
Performed and sang with The Choir of Hard Knocks in Melbourne's streets in 2006, busking to raise money for a performance at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Recipient of the Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS 2002 Activist of the Year Award for outstanding contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Member of Actors For Refugees - a group of performers who volunteer their time and talent to tell the true stories of Australia's refugees and asylum seekers.
Ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia Vic - educators, advocates and spokespeople for those living with dementia, their families and friends, and those who support them.Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2007 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.
Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
Included in Who's Who of Australian Women, since 2006.
2016 Equity Lifetime Achievement Award.
Regional Arts Victoria Don Mackay Award (2006) for Outstanding Achievement in Regional Touring.
Oz Showbiz Cares / Equity Fights AIDS (2002) Activist of the Year Award, for outstanding contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
AFI Award - Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Television Drama (2000) in Something in the Air (Episode: "We will remember them")
Green Room Award - Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Drama) - Season's Greetings
Television Society of Australia Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Mini-Series - The Harp in the South
Television Society of Australia Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Serial - Prisoner
Television Society of Australia Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Serial - Prisoner
Television Society of Australia Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Mini-Series (1988) - Poor Man's Orange
AFI Award - Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini Series (1988) in Poor Man's Orange
Variety Club Heart Awards - Variety Club Television Actress of the Year (1987)
Other guest roles include: Welcher and Welcher, Simone De Beauvoir's Babies, Late for School, A Country Practice, Carson's Law, Matlock Police, Homicide, Division 4, Cop Shop, Starting Out, Holiday Island, Ryan, The Bartons, Special Squad, Skits and Boys from the Bush.
Anne has appeared in over 50 plays, including:ABC Book readings include: Down by the Dockside and The Harp in the South
Serials and plays including the production of the one-woman-play Dream Kitchen
Narrator for Visions of Yankalilla, a documentary for Flaming Star Pictures and the documentary series Grey Voyagers, for SBS
TV monologue - The Agony and the Ecstasy, for the ABC
Anne is also an experience voice over artist.
Anne's performances include:Cinderella - An Adult Pantomime (Capers Dinner Theatre)
Sweet Fanny Adams
Tikki and John's Theatre Restaurant
The Glitter Sisters (original 14 month Melbourne season)
Anti-Cancer Council Breast Health Video