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Speech by Dr Colin Goldscmidt

Managing Director Sonic Healthcare

Your Excellency and Distinguished Guests, it is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of Sonic Healthcare at this official opening of Clinpath’s new state-of-the-art laboratory here in Adelaide. 

As CEO of Sonic, I have been integrally involved with Clinpath’s development over the past 27 years, making this an especially great occasion for me! Clinpath was just the second pathology company to join Sonic Healthcare, way back in the early 1990’s. Since then, it has played a crucial role in the development of Sonic Healthcare as a global pathology company and as an organisation striving to achieve the highest possible levels of quality in pathology service.

So, Clinpath holds a special status in Sonic Healthcare, as one of our “founding” and “flagship” laboratories, in what we call the “Sonic Federation”. 

This is a federation of practices with laboratories throughout Australia, the USA, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland and New Zealand. From the base of those earlier years – with much water under the bridge – Clinpath has expanded to become South Australia’s largest pathology laboratory. 

Running concurrently, Sonic Healthcare has also grown, to now own around 50 operating companies in 8 different countries and employing almost 40,000 staff worldwide. And to put this into better perspective, when Clinpath joined Sonic Healthcare, Sonic’s revenues were just $35 million per annum, whereas this year, Sonic’s revenues will exceed $6 billion.

Clinpath provides an essential service for the people of South Australia.

It not only provides millions of tests to patients each year but importantly, benchmarks against “world’s-best” standards in pathology. 

On account of their outstanding quality and service levels, the pathologists and staff of Clinpath are a source of great pride to Sonic Healthcare – and no doubt to South Australia too!

Clinpath can stake claim to some enviable roots! It has some eminent persons amongst its founders and alumni. 

Professor Dick Whitehead, father of Clinpath CEO, Dr Fergus Whitehead, was one of 3 founding pathologists of Clinpath. Prof Whitehead was a renowned pathologist with a global reputation, having written one of the key textbooks on gastro-intestinal pathology, a book I used assiduously myself as a registrar while training to become a pathologist.

Another of Clinpath’s founding pathologists was Prof Svante Orell, a global “rock star” in fine needle aspiration cytology, famous throughout the world for his beautifully illustrated textbook publications, his presentations and teaching workshops. 

I would like to thank Dr Fergus Whitehead, Clinpath’s CEO, and the dedicated Clinpath staff for the work involved in transitioning from our Kent Town laboratory to this new and ultra-modern laboratory here at Mile End. 

Moving labs is never easy and the seamless way this relocation was achieved, is deeply appreciated. 


Sonic Healthcare is proudly an Australian company with international operations. 

We feel a little different and special on the world healthcare stage because we operate under the guidelines of a somewhat unique model we call “Medical Leadership”. 

At its heart, this model has pathologists and laboratory professionals intimately involved in all business operations and decisions. 

It is a model designed to deliver optimal patient care, one which equips clinicians to perform to the highest possible standards of medical care, whilst placing the patient at centre stage of the equation.

As it was back at its inception under Professors Whitehead and Orell – and as it is now again under the leadership of Dr Fergus Whitehead – Clinpath is a shining light of Medical Leadership. 

This modern, new lab embodies and propagates the Medical Leadership concept and stands as a model of excellence in Australian pathology and on the world stage too. A lab like this – staffed as it is with experienced, high-quality and passionate pathologists and staff – will continue to reach great heights in the medical speciality of pathology and will proudly continue to provide outstanding medical service to the people of South Australia.
Thank you