Young Hygienist Snapshot: Samatha Clarke

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Samantha Clarke is a Certified Occupational Hygienist with nearly 20-years experience. Starting out in central Queensland, Sam has worked in Geelong, Darwin, Melbourne, Kuala Lumper and has been happily settled in Tasmania since 2003. After working for multinationals and consultancies, Sam branched out on her own in 2007, the same year she won the prestigious Drager Young Hygienist award. Sam has three great kids (6, 9 & 10) and enjoys running, cycling, dancing and having a drink with friends (a bit like our AIOH Conference each year – as per photo!). Sam’s advice for anyone considering breaking away and becoming self-employeed is to talk to someone who has been there – grill them for the crappy bits (it’s not always all that its cracked up to be). She attributes her survival over 10 years to surrounding herself with the right people, (trying to) never take anything for granted, accepting that change is inevitable and that flexibility is essential to evolve through ever-changing markets.

Here is 5-mins with Sam:

Best location I have worked: Malaysia – there’s nothing like a different culture to develop you professionally and personally.

The best thing about my job is: That appreciative look and words that result after expressing to a worker that you do actually care.

Career Highlight: Winning the Drager Young Hygienist Award in 2005, and serving four years as AIOH Counsellor.

If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Wearing heavy clothing and PPE in the middle of summer!

People normally think my job involves: Food safety or dental hygiene or no idea – this is, of course, after they’ve nodded knowingly.

The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Helicopter underwater escape training.

The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Thermal monitoring in an abattoir rendering plant – the smell impregnates everything!

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