Clarke, Caroline

  • Caroline ClarkeBackground

    Caroline completed her undergraduate medical degree at the University of Southampton in the UK in 1981. She then undertook training in paediatrics working at Southampton General Hospital, Poole GeneraHospital, the Brompton Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Later she undertook paediatric registrar training at St Helier Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital Carshalton, Surrey. Whilst at Carshalton working under the late Dr Alina Piesowicz she developed a strong interest in paediatric diabetes and completed her MD in the speciality entitled "Autonomic neuropathy in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus”.

    Work at RCH

    Caroline and her family moved to Melbourne in 1989.  She worked as a sessional endocrinologist at RCH from 1992 to 1995 and then again from 2005 to 2009. During the initial period of employment at RCH she established the diabetes complications screening program for the clinic along with Prof Jenny Couper, now in Adelaide. 

    In 2005 Caroline was appointed as Executive Director, Medical Services (Chief Medical officer) at RCH and continued in that role until 2009. 

    She has been RCH Alumni honorary secretary since 2020.

    Other work and contributions

    After relocating to Melbourne in 1989 Caroline worked as Senior Clinical Tutor in Paediatrics at Monash University under the leadership of Professors Arthur Clark and Michael Adamson. She then completed her endocrinology training spending a year in adult endocrinology at the Austin Hospital and Repatriation General Hospital with Professor George Jerums and the late Dr Mario de Luise. 

    Immediately after this she was appointed as the inaugural Head of Adolescent Medicine at Monash Medical Centre, and also continued to work there in the paediatric endocrinology clinic led at the time by Dr Hugo Gold, who was later succeeded in that role by Dr Christine Rodda.  Shortly after joining MMC Caroline set up the very successful Young Adults Diabetes Clinic with Professor Richard O’Brien, adult endocrinologist, who had also moved there from the Austin Hospital. It was during her time at Monash that she developed a keen interest in medical administration, becoming Medical Director of the Children’s, and later the Women’s and Children’s, Programs. 

    After leaving the Chief Medical Officer role at RCH Caroline took up a similar role at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, which she worked in for 10 years before deciding to move into a more part time role at Chief Medical Information Officer at the same hospital to focus on her interest in Digital Health. 

    Caroline has held Associate Professor roles at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University, and has had a number of clinically focused papers published in peer reviewed journals, as well as regularly presenting at scientific meetings. 

    Caroline has also held many positions in specialist medical colleges including being a member of the Board of Censors for both RACP and RACMA. She has also served on the examining committees for both Colleges. More recently she has undertaken a number of roles with the Australian Medical Council (AMC). Initially she served as a member of a number of accreditation teams for specialist colleges, most recently chairing the assessment team for the Australian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians.  In 2019 she was appointed as the Chair of the AMC Recognition of Medical Specialities Committee, a role she continues to find very rewarding, and in 2020/21 chaired the AMC Digital Health in Medicine Advisory Committee.

    Finally, Caroline has not stopped working in the area she is most passionate about: paediatric diabetes. She has been a sessional endocrinologist at Austin Health working in the paediatric diabetes clinic since 2010 alongside Dr Anton Harding. 

    Leisure interests

    Caroline and her husband John (a Melbournian born and bred, and now retired civil structural engineer, who she met in the UK) have two adult sons who are both married, one is an accountant and the other a university academic in exercise physiology. They have three young grandchildren and enjoy spending time with the family.  She is a passionate swimmer, both in the pool and open water, and competes regularly at state and national Masters competitions. She is currently the President of the Doncaster Dolphins Masters Swimming Club. 

    She also enjoys dramatic and musical theatre and dining out, and is hoping to get back to these pursuits when COVID restrictions and related comfort levels allow! Plus, she is also a proud supporter of the Melbourne Demons Football team, and has enjoyed watching the replay of their 2021 Grand Final victory on numerous occasions. 

    2nd January 2022