I'm Fiona Clarke (24/7); an accredited practising dietitian, academic educator and journey-girl, dedicated to helping you improve your health or your study skills.
A journey-girl; curious, passionate and witty by nature. When I was 14, my mother took my brother and me to Disneyland, Los Angeles. I took a ride on a roller-coaster that ventured through an artery of the human body. We dodged blood and immune cells that bowled toward us and the vivid colours let my imagination run wild. Since then, I wondered how the body worked; interested in the microdynamics.
I now have extensive academic qualifications including:
Masters of Dietetics, post-graduate qualification, UniSA - DAA accredited course;
Masters of Human Nutrition, Deakin University;
Bachelor of Science majoring in Molecular and Microbiology, Flinders University;
Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice, with Honours;
Honours, Bachelor of Science (in Immunology), Women’s and Children’s Hospital,Flinders University.
Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy and Western Herbal Medicine, Health Schools Australia;
Teaching certificate, Flinders University;
Certificate of Training and Assessment, Southern Cross.
Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Diploma, Deakin Prime.
I worked as a pharmaceutical representative for a number of large multinational companies for over 10 years. I serviced doctors and medical specialists with information for a large number of pharmaceutical products. I discussed product indications, contra-indications, mechanisms of action, half-life, food and other product- interactions and side effects. This has given me a great deal of insight for patient care when coming to me with health issues.
Due to my keen interest in natural health, I studied naturopathy and western herbal medicine over many years while I was a pharmaceutical representative and then finishing it after studying law. This study combined with my pharmaceutical work with pharmaceutical products enabled me to have a good understanding of health from different perspectives. I also developed at this time a deep appreciation for Aboriginal history of herbology and bush medicine that was prevalent before colonisation by the Europeans. I also developed a keen interest in Aboriginal culture and health.
I re-enrolled in the Master of Dietetics at UniSA and studied part-time the next four-five years, while teaching law at a few institutions. I needed to leave the course some 20 years ago due to having young children. The course was very time consuming. I decided to also do the Master of Human Nutrition at Deakin University around this same time. The two courses offered different perspectives. Dietetics is very much an allied health specialist course for assisting patients struggling with disease related issues. The Human Nutrition Master was more about health promotion and prevention of disease. As I like to consider different approaches, I found both courses to be interesting and challenging.
My strong interest in Aboriginal health and background in naturopathy led me to Alice Springs hospitial for a placement. I learned more about the interesting aspects of Aboriginal cultures, wellbeing and health. I also witnessed some sad situations due to food insecurity that brought about refeeding syndrome in a few patients. After this I was fortunate enough to do a placement in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and work in the upper and lower gastrointestinal wards and assisted patients with diet after Whipple procedure and other operations. I also spent time in the liver ward, and general ward. Sadly I witnessed the suffering of some patients with liver failure due to alcohol poisoning or other reasons beyond the patients' control. The most eye opening experiences for me, were for me to learn about liver issues for a patient with reaction to a herbal product and the new 3D technology for bone replacement (one patient was given a 3D femur, that was the exact dimensions for his body). These experiences have deepened my insights. I believe I have a well rounded understanding of medications, health, wellbeing, safe alternative healthy options for patients, and can work well with doctors and surgeons.
“As a journey girl,
education satisfies my curiosities,
while taking action satisfies
I have taught about 30 different topics to students since studying law and legal practice. I worked a while as a solicitor but found that I much prefer to work in academia, and research the law, and teach it. I am currently tutoring individuals, groups, and teach in 6 universities around Australia including:
UniSA as Coordinator for an Aboriginal Cultures topic;
Lecturer for Aboriginal students one-on-one in both law and health topics;
Lecturer for Aboriginal voices in film and literature;
Flinders Medical College for post-graduate medical students in law, ethics and Aboriginal cultural safety;
Nursing and Midwifery College for law and Aboriginal health topics;
Flinders Law College and UniSA, tutoring for many legal topics over the years.
And additionally, I am researching the suitability of best interests of the child principle; in the light of modern day advances in technology for serious and irreversible conditions. Much of my focus is on gender dysphoria for children and I am undertaking an discourse analysis with PhD. I will be later keeping a blog on this and am hoping to link up with the community.
– Fiona Clarke