End of an era as four esteemed members of WSLHD’s Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine team retire


Westmead Hospital staff have come together in celebration of four highly admired members of the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine team as they retire from Western Sydney Local Health District.

An afternoon tea held at Westmead Hospital’s Green Room saw the heartfelt farewell of Professor Michael Kohn, who is moving on from his position of Head of Department, Adolescent Medicine, Liz Parker, Dietitian and Doctor Melissa Kang, who is retiring from her work at High Street Youth Health Service.

Colleagues enjoyed cake, speeches and a touching video tribute reflecting on the contributions and impacts these individuals have had on healthcare across WSLHD.

The event was also an opportunity to honour the illustrious career of Professor Simon Clarke who has been at the forefront of adolescent and young adult medicine throughout his extensive 43 years of service.

In 1980 Simon established the Adolescent Medicine Department at Westmead Hospital before going on to open Australia’s first Adolescent Ward in 1983, which was designed specifically to cater for the health care needs of adolescent patients and their families.

Throughout his career, Simon has built a comprehensive portfolio of achievements including the establishment of:

  • Multidisciplinary Learning Difficulties clinic
  • Adolescent Pregnancy clinic in conjunction with the Department of Obstetrics and Department of Social Work at Westmead Hospital
  • Child at Risk Unit in conjunction with the Department of Community Services at Parramatta
  • Child and adolescent sexual abuse clinic
  • Community based High Street Youth Health Service at Harris Park which supports homeless and marginalised young people
  • Westmead Hospital’s Centre for Research into Adolescent Health (CRASH)

While Simon begins a new journey, his legacy endures, and he will be remembered as a pioneer in the space of adolescent and young adult medicine and a champion for innovation and research in healthcare.