Clare Mendes worked as an advertising copywriter for several years before turning to creative writing. She also wrote scripts for TV (including Neighbours, q.v.), and has conducted workshops on play and scriptwriting. Melbourne-based Mendes was the Executive Officer of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Victoria) in 1997, during which time she was instrumental in starting Rat Readings - a forum for new works by Melbourne writers held at the Water Rat Hotel on Monday nights.
An active volunteer for organizations such as the International Womens Development Agency and Australian Volunteers International, she has used her skills to edit and write articles for their publications, using experience gained in Indonesia during her 1997 Asialink Residency Program award.
A daily television drama series set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Erinsborough, Neighbours chronicles the lives of the residents of Ramsay Street. The series initially revolved around three families: the Ramsays (at number 24 Ramsay Street), the Robinsons (at number 26), and the Clarkes (at number 28). The scope of the series has since broadened to include new Ramsay Street familes.