‘A pleasure and an honour’: Congratulations to Blacktown Hospital’s Penny Clark on her retirement

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) has celebrated the career of Penny Clark, Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) and Co-Clinical Lead for the Communicable Diseases Surveillance Team, as she retires from her post as a core member of the WSLHD family.

Penny has been a part of WSLHD since 1979, working as a General Nurse at Parramatta Hospital before moving to the Department Manager role for Infection Control at Blacktown Hospital in 2000.

She spent 12 years in this role before moving to the WSLHD Public Health Unit, where she served the community for 10 years.

Penny made an impact on anyone who met her. She is kind, funny, thoughtful, and knowledgeable. A great nurse advocate for both patient and colleagues.

During her career, Penny has worked at baby clinics, community and multicultural health settings in Fairfield, Cabramatta and Villawood, nursing positions at Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF), and even as a tutor at Western Sydney University.

Penny was an absolute pleasure to work alongside in public health. She was one of the first senior CNCs I met outside of Hunter New England Hospital at my first CD workshop several years ago.  I will remember her beautiful smile which still sent warmth and friendliness through a screen. She was always there to share knowledge, and her point of view at network meetings and gatherings was invaluable.

“Providing comfort and care to patients at the end of their life has been one of the most memorable and important parts of my career,” Penny said.

“It has been a pleasure and an honour to meet and collaborate with so many wonderful people in the district during my career.

Thank you so much to Penny for her dedication, expertise, hearty spirit and the incredible work in protecting the people of western Sydney from nasty bugs, as well as supporting the public health network in NSW over the last 10 years. I have enjoyed working with Penny – she has always been so helpful and full of sensible and innovative ideas.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty

“I will miss the robust discussions, hugs and many laughs (and of course, the singing!)

“A workplace is never about the individual – thank you to all my team members for enriching my life.”

I spoke to Penny on the phone when I first started in the world of public health.  I can’t remember what it was about, but I CAN clearly remember how her warm, calm manner put this newbie at ease and made me feel welcome within this network. Over the following years, I have been so grateful to benefit from Penny’s extensive experience and collaborative, supportive approach to everything. Even through the dark days of the pandemic, Penny always had patience and kindness.

In retirement, Penny is taking up some volunteer opportunities in the RACF and NDIS sector, participating in the Secret Garden project at Richmond, and has travel plans around Greece and Australia.

We are all going to miss Penny so very much. This is a huge loss to the network but especially to us nurses, for who Penny is a true role model.”