Sue has learnt more about Dementia over the last 20 years than she ever thought she would want to know! Initially driven by her mother’s diagnosis and subsequent care and support for Hazel, Sue gradually grew into a role of advocacy, education and policy involvement.
Sue has been privileged to work with and learn from many people with dementia, their families and carers, researchers, academics, clinicians, providers, care workers and others across the Dementia and Aged sectors.
Sue was the inaugural co-chair of the (federal) Ministers’ Dementia Advisory Group (MDAG) from 2008, named Alzheimer’s Australia’s inaugural national ambassador in 2010 and enjoys her extensive work around Australia speaking and advising on dementia, aged care and healthy ageing. She is a regular feature at Australia’s key conferences in these and related fields.
“I have become convinced, on the basis of these years of diverse experience, that most of what we think we know about dementia is wrong; and that much of how we respond to people with dementia and organise care and support is sadly misguided. Without intending to harm, we in fact perpetuate stigma, cause sometimes awful distress and damage, and close down opportunities and life quality for people with dementia. This is not because we are ‘bad people’, but because our ‘knowledge’ is seriously outdated. We have a lot of catching up to do regarding information, evidence, best practice, attitudes and possibilities.
Working with others towards this is what I do.”