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Council Profile: Stella Clarke

10 November 2010 By Leadership

Stella Clarke
Stella Clarke

Stella Clark is an LV Council member, a member of LV’s Projects Advisory Group and the CEO of The Bio21 Cluster, a 22 member not-for-profit in the health and bio medical area. The vision for the Bio 21 Cluster is to solve health issues through innovation and collaboration by facilitating  projects to enable this to happen. Stella graduated from WCLP in 1997 and is the subject of our second Council Profile.

What is your role on LV’s Council?

I’m a Council member. I am also a member of LV’s Alumni, I graduated from WCLP in 1997. In 2003 I became the Chair of what was then known as the SkillsBank Advisory Team, it’s now known as the Projects  Advisory Team. The Programs Advisory Team is very new and started this year with the change in how LV operates.  The team’s goal is to provide a think tank for the Programs Manager, Projects and provide a sounding board for her to bounce ideas off. It’s a role that is in transition at the moment, as LV’s operations continue to evolve. What do you value most about your role on Council?

Being able to see the breadth of activities the organisation as a whole is involved in; being able to contribute issues that come out of the Projects Advisory Team; and, developing strategies at Board level for the organisation’s future.

What makes a good leader?

Someone who can communicate a vision and has powerful and positive interpersonal skills.

Can you describe two key moments in your life that have shaped you as a leader?

1. Being appointed as President of the Australian society of Medical Research –my first leadership role with national influence.
2  Hearing on the radio of the Port Arthur Massacre – made me determined to live every day as though it may be the last ie value the current moment.

Leadership is usually attributed to heads of business and government leaders, can you tell us about an ‘every day’ leader whom you admire?

Some of the people on the ground on Black Saturday who took charge and made decisions  in very difficult situations and kept communities safe.

Tell us about the leadership roles you occupy outside of LV?

I’m CEO of Bio21 Cluster, on the Board and Honorary Secretary of the Bio Melbourne Network and, on a more personal level, I play a role as Aunt to three nieces, two great-nieces and a great-nephew. I think mentoring and leadership for young people is very important and has always been a passion of mine.

How has your leadership style evolved? What lessons have you learnt?

Because I’m an introvert I’ve had to learn how to speak up and speak out. Leadership is not often made for introverts so they’re important lessons to learn. I try to see the upside of everything and take something positive out of a situation. It’s also important to keep your sense of humour; rarely is a situation so serious that humour can’t help.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, let go, learn what’s important to concentrate on.

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer any leader?

You have two ears and one mouth and you should use them in that ratio.