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No ordinary woman


Susan Newland – Born: April 23 1953 | Died: May 27 2017

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Born in 1953, Susan Marie was the second daughter of Robert and Joyce Newland, growing up in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

She attended Crafers Primary School and Heathfield High School where she demonstrated her artistic and sporting talents, winning art competitions and awards in netball and athletics.

Sue was an amazing person and a high achiever, rising against adversity in so many ways. Her early childhood was peppered with challenges including moving houses and changing schools. She lashed out by packing a suitcase with all her favourite books and best dresses and running away to the chook house. She was an exciting adventurer, fearless and carefree.

Sue faced every obstacle in her path with courage and resilience. Her positive attitude, self-belief and faith held her steadfast. She completed her matriculation at night school after working all day in the library at the Woodside Army Intelligence Base. She married Richard and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sarah. She was indeed a gift from heaven and gave Sue’s life purpose and direction.

An intelligent and articulate teacher, educator, librarian and researcher, Sue forged a career path in Catholic education, including 15 years at St Catherine’s Primary School, Stirling, where she inspired many young minds, made lifelong friendships and connected further with her faith. Baptised as an adult in the early eighties, she had a deep love for the Eucharist. From 2001, Sue was the coordinator of the Catholic Resources and Information Service.

She continued to embrace her artistic talents and created many beautiful works of art and poetry which were showcased in exhibitions and private collections.

Sue obtained a multitude of academic qualifications including a doctorate in education, a masters in international law and international relations and a master’s degree in theological studies. Her PhD was on Archbishop Philip Wilson, the title being: Wearing a coat of many colours: Archbishop Philip Wilson practicing the art of servant leadership. She had graduate diplomas in education, Aboriginal studies, women’s studies and religious education to name a few. ecognition in international law, coupled with her social justice activities, in particular her interest in human trafficking and membership of Australian Catholic Religious Against Human Trafficking (ACRATH), led to an internship at the United Nations in 2015. She was privileged to be sponsored by the Brigidine Sisters in Australia and her stated aim was to work for the “matters of truth and justice”.

While Sue was a high achieving academic she also was a loving mother, partner, sister and aunty. She possessed the ability to lighten any situation or occasion with her comical and witty remarks. Many a family birthday celebration, anniversary or special event was highlighted by Sue’s ability to create fun and laughter. Her character can be summed up in one word – “fortitude”. She was a proud and determined lady, elegant and beautiful; a lover of fashion, fine art, music and literature. Her faith was still and strong. She showed love to others and took action on social justice issues dear to her heart.

Sue wasn’t your ordinary woman. She was tea on some days and champagne on others. She epitomised the courage of a lion, spread laughter and joy and made the world a better place for others.

Sue possessed intelligence, impeccable style and a fighting spirit right to the end and left us with wonder.

– Taken from the eulogy by her sisters Barbara and Bernadette.


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