After graduating in Science from the University of Sydney, Lesley Clarke completed postgraduate dietetic training at Royal North Shore Hospital and then travelled overseas, working as a dietitian at hospitals in London.
Upon her return, Mrs Clarke joined the Nutrition Section, Division of Health Education, in the NSW Health Department, where over the next five years, she developed and reviewed educational materials regarding diet and nutrition. She later returned to Royal North Shore Hospital’s Nutrition Department, completing 35 years service there, before retiring from hospital practice, while continuing in her small private practice helping those with food allergy.
During much of her time at Royal North Shore Hospital, she was the consultant dietitian to the Allergy Clinic, seeing the wide range of food-related allergic diseases, including, more recently, people with mammalian meat allergy. In 1996 a group of allergy dietitians, including Mrs Clarke, prepared a review paper for the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) on the dietary management of food allergy and food intolerance. She has contributed to several research projects, been the author or co-author of several papers regarding food allergy and intolerance and been active in dietitians’ professional bodies.