Prof. Alan M. Clarke (1932 – 2007)
The late Prof. Alan Clarke was Professor of Surgery at the University of Otago in Dunedin (1971-1986), then the Dean of the University of Otago Christchurch (1986-1994).
During his tenure as Dean in 1991, he became paraplegic after a fall from his roof. In 1994 he was appointed Clinical Director of the Spinal Unit at Burwood Hospital and in 2000 became Senior Rehabilitation Advisor to the General Manager at Burwood Hospital. He saw clearly the vision that people who sustain injury and disability should be in control of their own rehabilitation, and became very supportive of the Independent Living (IL) paradigm, popularized by Gerben DeJong from USA. Prof. Clarke was involved in the formation of the New Zealand Spinal Trust and its Academic Sub-committee, which later morphed into an independent body, the Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL).
He enjoyed rugby and took a great interest in measures to avoid neck injuries resulting from scrum incidents. He was a qualified pilot and continued to fly after his accident. Above all else he was enthusiastic about the activities that he took part in and achieved much in the various aspects of his career. He was awarded the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1995.
Following his death in 2007, BAIL established and funded an annual Memorial Lecture. His wife Jane and members of the family also attend.
The Alan Clarke Memorial Lecture
The Alan Clarke Memorial Lecture (ACML) recognises the significant contributions that the founder of the Burwood Academy of Independent Living, Prof. Clarke made to medical and rehabilitation science and practice, and in particular, to the institutions of the University of Otago, and the Burwood Academy Trust. To date there have been five ACML’s.