Sue Pieters-Hawke

Gutsy, passionate, articulate. An innovative thinker committed to practical outcomes which improve lives.


Reframing Dementia

Updating our understanding to combat stigma, restore humanity, dignity & respect.


Ageing Well

Information, insights and attitudes that support happy ageing.


Death & Dying - Let’s Talk

Connection, information & preparation can help to reduce fear & grief.



Sue has been a guest columnist in The Australian and The Age newspapers and online, has recently edited 'Remembering Bob'-stories about her father, and written two previous bestselling books about her mother, Hazel Hawke. (She swears there will be no more on her parents!) Sue writes like she speaks – she has an earthy narrative style that synthesizes story, facts, feelings, reflection and unique insights.


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As a consultant and collaborative change agent, Sue can help you craft a program or develop advice and information to assist your organisation make the transition to better knowledge and understanding of dementia, and the better outcomes that flow from this.
Also available for innovative conversations and work regarding Ageing, Death and Dying.

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"Sue is a captivating speaker who inspires and motivates her audience She entertains and empowers with her sharp mind, quick wit and deep understanding of a broad range of topics."
She is available on any of the material covered on this site, and always happy to discuss tailoring presentations to fit your needs.
Also works as MC, Moderator and Panellist.

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Thought Leadership

Sue is an innovative, 'outside the box' thinker, but also very grounded in looking for practical initiatives to improve lives and solve problems. "I have consistently found that redefining problems via fresh paradigms, clarifying values, learning to 'look through new eyes' always opens up possibilities for creative, collaborative implementation."

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What They’re Saying

“Sue provided a plenary presentation for our Embolden Conference focused on challenging ageism and building respect for older people. Sue was engaging, provocative, witty and compassionate. Evaluations of the event showed that Sue was an absolute highlight.”

Dr. Catherine BarrettDirector, Celebrate Ageing

“Sue Pieters-Hawke has been one of Australia’s most important voices for social change over the past two decades. As carer and advocate for her mother, Hazel, Sue brought the experience of all families living with Dementia out from the shadows and into the light.
While we still have a long way to go, that helped start us down the path of being more understanding of Dementia. Sue’s voice has only become stronger over the years, as she continues to argue passionately for families to be placed right at the centre of our approach to these increasingly widespread conditions.”

Mark Butlerformer federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

“Sue was professional to deal with and took the time to really listen to what we wanted to achieve from her keynote address. On event day she was punctual and stayed on until the very end to make herself available to answer additional questions and to network. ”

Diana PawlukLocal Government Professionals Inc

“Sue’s well-thought out, informative and moving presentation engaged the audience from start to finish. Her presentation contained a wonderful mix of emotive and heart-felt personal experiences with wider community issues and societal implications of informal care.
Sue’s presentation content and delivery were both excellent.
An inspirational speaker, who related well to the audience – Sue bought a fresh, human and gutsy perspective to discussions around the wellbeing of carers.”

Nic MesicAustralian Unity

“As the inaugural Dementia Australia Ambassador Sue is a passionate advocate for all people living with dementia, their families and carers. She is highly valued for sharing her personal experience in caring for her mother, Hazel to raise awareness and increase understanding about dementia through advocacy, public speaking and in the media.

She understands the complexities of policy, funding and implementation, and has played a key, bi-partisan role in ministerial advisory groups over many years.

Sue was an early champion of the ‘new narrative’ which emphasises the importance of the human rights of people of all ages, living with all forms of dementia and their right to agency, dignity and respect.

She keenly and positively believes we can work together to reduce the stigma, increase awareness and develop a world-class dementia care and support system for all Australians impacted by dementia.”

Maree McCabeCEO, Dementia Australia

“I want to thank you again for your help with the wellbeing index stakeholder forum. Your contribution was invaluable and we have had some fabulous feedback from the event. I could see everyone with their eyes glued to you during your presentation, it really captured the audience.”

KateAustralian Unity

“Sue Pieters-Hawke explores the issues surrounding the care of people living with dementia with rare clarity and intensity. Her intimate knowledge of the policy framework governing the delivery of services combined with her lived experience of negotiating the system results in penetrating analysis and practical suggestions. She is one of the most powerful Australian advocates for the recognition of the human rights of people living with dementia.”

Prof Richard FlemingExecutive Director, Dementia Training Australia

“Sue is a genuine, heartfelt, and enthusiastic advocate for social justice in general. Her advocacy for people living with dementia is both personal and professional ... Sue brings deep insights, energy for positive change, humility, compassion, a willingness to challenge the status quo, and an enthusiastic desire to work collectively. The world is a better place because of people like Sue.”

Nick GuggisbergAward winning Nowra Dementia Friendly community