Justine Clarke

Justine Clarke (born 16 November 1971) is an Australian actress, singer, musician, author and television host. She has been acting since the age of seven and has appeared in some of Australia's best-known TV shows. She is also a film and stage actor, and won the Best Actress Award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in Argentina in 2006 for her role in independent film Look Both Ways.

Justine Clarke
Justine Clarke at the 2018 ARIA Awards.jpg
Justine Clarke at the 2018 ARIA Awards in Sydney, Australia
Born (1971-11-09) 9 November 1971 (age 48)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • musician
  • television host
  • author
Years active1978–present
Spouse(s)Jack Finsterer
AwardsÁstor – Best Actress 2006
ARIA – Best Children's Album 2013
ARIA – Best Children's Album 2018

Early lifeEdit

Justine Clarke was born in Sydney, New South Wales. At the age of seven, whilst attending Woollahra Public School with other up and coming talents like Mouche Phillips and Deni Hines, she began appearing in television commercials, one of which was Arnott's Humphrey B. Bear biscuits.[1] At eleven she played the role of Brigitta in the stage musical, The Sound of Music.[2]

Acting careerEdit

Clarke's first significant acting role was as the character Anna Goanna in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The same year she appeared in the TV series The Maestro's Company and featured in the 1986 mini-series Professor Poopsnaggle's Steam Zeppelin. The following year she made appearances in A Country Practice and Willing and Abel.[3]

In 1988, Clarke began an eighteen months role on the soap opera, Home and Away, as one of 17 original cast members, playing the character of Ruth "Roo" Stewart. The character of Roo was reinstated in the cast list in 2010, portrayed by Georgie Parker, making the character of Roo one of only two remaining original characters in the series (along with Ray Meagher's character of Alf Stewart). Clarke was one of several Home and Away cast-members to star in a stage musical about the soap, which toured the UK in 1991.[4]

Following her departure from Home and Away in 1989, Clarke appeared in the short-lived series Family and Friends before going on to act in several mini-series including Come In Spinner, Golden Fiddles and Tracks of Glory.

Clarke's film Turning April in 1996 was followed by Blackrock with Heath Ledger in 1997. More recently she has starred in the films Danny Deckchair and Look Both Ways. The role of Meryl Lee in Look Both Ways scored Clarke a nomination for an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Lead Actress award in 2005[5] and the award for Best Actress at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.

In 1999, Clarke became a presenter on long-running ABC Kids television program, Play School, a role that she maintains to the present day.

The first time I stepped onto that set I felt like I was a child again and I had climbed into the television! I remember feeling slightly nervous about meeting old pros like Jemima and Big Ted, but they were very warm and welcoming and just the same as they are on the show.

— Justine Clarke, on becoming a Play School presenter[2]

After appearing in three episodes of the series Wildside, she played Dr Samantha O'Hara in 21 episodes of All Saints. She also played the leading role in the Australian medical drama The Surgeon and appeared in the third season of the critically acclaimed Australian TV Drama series Love My Way, as Simone, the estranged sister of Asher Keddie's Julia.

2009 saw Clarke star in the Showcase television series Tangle. In 2012, she appeared in Woodley. Other television appearances followed, including playing the role of Bernadette in The Time of Our Lives from 2013–2014;[6] Eve in House Husbands in 2016, and as Noelene Hogan in Hoges; as well as appearances in Rake and Gallipoli.

In 2010, Clarke starred in the short film Peekaboo. She has also provided the voice of Miss Cassandra in the Maya The Bee films.

Clarke created and starred in the popular children's television series The Justine Clarke Show!, which premiered in 2017 on ABC KIDS.


An experienced stage actor, Clarke has worked with the Sydney Theatre Company in productions such as The Man with Five Children, Trelawny of the Wells, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Herbal Bed, Hedda Gabler, Stiffs and Muriel's Wedding, and for Belvoir Company B in Michael Gow's Toy Symphony.


Justine Clarke at the 2013 ARIA Awards

Clarke has released multiple gold and platinum-selling albums and DVDs of children's music through ABC Music.

Her albums include I Like To Sing (2005); Songs To Make You Smile (2008); Great Big World (2010); A Little Day Out With Justine Clarke (2012); Pyjama Jam! (2015); and The Justine Clarke Show! (2017).

Clarke has twice won the ARIA Award for Best Children's Album, in 2013 for A Little Day Out With Justine Clarke and in 2018 for The Justine Clarke Show!.[7]

Clarke's first-ever, career-spanning greatest hits collection, Everybody Roar! The Best of Justine Clarke, was released in November 2019. In 2019, she released her first ever original Christmas song, 'Here Comes A Merry Christmas', written with longtime collaborators Peter Dasent and Arthur Baysting.[8]

Music videos for many of Clarke's most well-known songs, including 'Watermelon' and 'Dinosaur Roar', are broadcast regularly on ABC KIDS TV.

In 2016, Clarke collaborated with singer-songwriter Josh Pyke on 'Words Make The World Go Around', a song to celebrate, promote and raise funds for the work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation[9]

In the 1990s, Clarke performed in a number of bands with fellow Australian thespians, including Loene Carmen and Noah Taylor. These groups included the country and western combo The Honky Tonk Angels; punk band The White Trash Mamas; and the avant-garde Cardboard Box Man.[10] In the late '90s she was a backing vocalist in the Sydney band Automatic Cherry, which also featured The Cruel Sea guitarist James Cruickshank. The band released the album Slow Burner in 1997.

In 2014, Clarke teamed up with Tex Perkins for series of shows paying tribute to Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra.[11]

Clarke is also a jazz vocalist and cabaret singer, popular on the Sydney club circuit.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Clarke has three children named Josef, Nina and Max with her husband, actor Jack Finsterer and reside in Sydney.[1][12][13][14]


  • I Like to Sing (ABC KIDS, 2005)
  • Songs to Make You Smile (ABC KIDS, 2008)
  • Great Big World (ABC KIDS, 2010)
  • A Little Day Out with Justine Clarke (ABC KIDS, 2012)
  • Pyjama Jam! (ABC KIDS, 2015)
  • The Justine Clarke Show! (ABC KIDS, 2017)
  • Everybody Roar! The Best of Justine Clarke (ABC KIDS, 2019)



Year Title Role Notes
1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Anna Goanna
1996 Turning April Rosa
1997 Blackrock Tiffany
2000 Bootmen Kim
2003 Danny Deckchair Trudy Dunphy
2003 Japanese Story Jane
2003 Car Park Renee Short
2005 Look Both Ways Meryl Lee
2008 The List Amy Short
2008 8 Mother Segment: "The Water Diary"
2009 In Her Skin Irene
2011 Peekaboo Jillian Short
2011 Spider Walk Angela Short
2013 The Humble Beginnings of the Balloon Narrator (voice) Short
2014 Healing Michelle
2014 Maya the Bee Miss Cassandra (voice) English version
2015 A Month of Sundays Wendy
2016 Red Dog: True Blue Diane Carter
2018 Maya the Bee: The Honey Games Queen (voice) English version


Year Title Role Notes
1984 The Maestro's Company Tina TV series
1986 Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin Carmen TV series
1987 A Country Practice Nicki Simpson Guest role (5 episodes)
1988 Princess Kate Kate McLelland TV film
1988–89 Home and Away Roo Stewart Regular role
1990 Come In Spinner Monnie Malone TV film
1990 Family and Friends Cheryl Brooks TV film
1994 Golden Fiddles Liddy Powell TV miniseries
1994 Tracks of Glory Kate O'Brien TV miniseries
1996 Twisted Pip "The Crossing"
1998 Wildside Jessie Roscoe / Jessie Armstrong "1.11", "1.12", "1.32"
1998 Never Tell Me Never Anna TV film
1998–99 All Saints Dr. Samantha O'Hara Recurring role (series 1-2)
1999- Play School Presenter TV series
2001 Head Start Julia Hunter "Seeing Is Believing"
2004 Go Big Gina Katz TV film
2004 The Brush-Off Salina TV film
2005 The Surgeon Dr. Eve Agius Main role
2007 Love My Way Simone Recurring role
2007 Bastard Boys Janine McSwain TV miniseries
2007 Chandon Pictures Samantha "Back to School"
2009–2012 Tangle Ally Kovac Main role
2012 Woodley Em Main role
2013–14 The Time of Our Lives Bernadette Flynn Main role
2014 It's a Date Amy "What's the Worst Thing That Can Happen on a Date?"
2015 Gallipoli Mrs. Johnson TV miniseries
2015 House Husbands Eve Main role (series 4)
2016 Rake Alli Franklin "4.2"
2016 Have You Been Paying Attention? Herself Guest Quiz Master
2017 Hoges Noelene Hogan TV miniseries
2017 The Justine Clarke Show Herself TV longseries
2018 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself Series 9, Episode 5
2019 Squinters Jess Series 2
2020 RFDS


  1. ^ a b c Look every which way – TV & Radio – Entertainment – theage.com.au
  2. ^ a b Play School >> faces >> presenters >> justine
  3. ^ Harrison, Tony The Australian Film and Television Companion Simon and Schuster 1994 ISBN 0-7318-0455-4
  4. ^ "Home and Away musical Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine", mook. URL last accessed on 2007-01-29.
  5. ^ Look both ways – Sarah Watt, William McInnes, Justine Clarke, Anthony Hayes – CIA
  6. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/timeofourlives.htm
  7. ^ "Justine Clarke : News / 'A Little Day Out with Justine' wins 2013 ARIA award for Best Children's Album". www.justineclarke.com.au. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  8. ^ 105.9, Magic. "Tell the kids!". Retrieved 23 December 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Foundation, Indigenous Literacy. "website". Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  10. ^ ABC, Double J. "Justine Clarke". ABC. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  11. ^ Zuel, Bernard. Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/antiromance-valentines-tribute-to-lee-hazlewood-and-nancy-sinatra-20140213-32n3o.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ I Like to Sing – Arts Reviews – Arts – Entertainment – smh.com.au
  13. ^ Song in their hearts – The Daily Telegraph
  14. ^ Mendelsohn, Clarke miss Tangle launch – news.com.au

External linksEdit