Professor Adrienne Clarke AC

In 1991, Professor Adrienne Clarke was the first female chairperson of CSIRO.

Honour Roll

Adrienne Clarke was born on 6 January 1938, in Melbourne and educated at Ruyton Girls' School and the University of Melbourne, where she majored in biochemistry. She gained her PhD then did post-graduate work at Sydney University and the University of Auckland. She also worked at the Baylor Medical School in Ann Arbor in the United States, where she was part of a Nobel Prize-winning team.

When she returned to Melbourne in 1969, she was married and pregnant with her third child and thought her career as a scientist might be over. In 1981, she returned to the University of Melbourne to continue research and became Director of the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre in 1982. Three years later she was given a Personal Chair in Botany. She is an expert on plant biology and her research has international recognition.

She was a board member of the CSIRO from 1986 and was appointed to the Chair in 1991, a position she retained until 1996. Adrienne was awarded the AO in recognition of her services to science. She has also been involved in business as a director in a number of companies including Alcoa Australia, AMP Society and Woolworths. From 1997-2000, she served as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Victoria.