Coined the queen of sports nutrition in Australia, Louise Burke has had a career nothing short of stellar. After a light bulb moment as a student when she realised she could indulge her interest in sport in her professional life, Louise went on to spend three whole decades at the AIS. Although she defines herself only as a hobbyist researcher, Louise has had a tremendous impact on the nutrition science behind many different sporting disciplines. She’s worked closely with the best of the best elite athletes and is even linked to many Olympic gold medals! In this podcast, Louise walks us through her incredible contributions to the field of sports nutrition – and the dietetic profession as a whole – and explains why she’s looked at the COVID pandemic as a time in which an old dog can learn some new tricks.

Biography

 

Louise Burke is a sports dietitian with nearly 40 years of experience in the education and counselling of elite athletes.  She worked at the Australian Institute of Sport for thirty years, first as Head of Sports Nutrition and then as Chief of Nutrition Strategy.  She was the team dietitian for the Australian Olympic Teams for the 1996-2012 Summer Olympic Games.  Her publications include over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and the authorship or editorship of several textbooks on sports nutrition.  Louise was appointed as Chair in Sports Nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute of Health Research at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne in 2014 and took up this position in a full-time capacity in 2020.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The ‘accident‘ that led to Louise’s career in dietetics
  • How she’s paved the way for dietitians working in sport
  • Some of her career highlights after working at the AIS for 30 years, and more recently at ACU
  • The importance of collecting experiences and making mistakes, and learning from them
  • Her experiences working with Olympic athletes
  • The good (and not-so-good) changes in sports nutrition throughout her career
  • How success comes when everyone is successful
  • Her time setting up Sports Dietitians Australia and the remarkable dietitians she worked with to do so
  • Her views on working with the food industry
  • Where she’s setting her goal posts for her future