Susan Lockwood AM

Sue Lockwood AM fought to involve breast cancer patients in developing research, improved treatment, evaluation of services, and practical support.

Honour Roll

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women. Each year 10,000 new cases are diagnosed and seven women die of the disease each day. These figures describe part of the need for more medical research and better clinical treatments. But they also describe the size of the community of women who have a very personal experience of breast cancer.

Sue Lockwood's life was changed forever when she was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. She remembered the wonderful women, some of whom died of their disease, who gave voice to their passions and worked to make the difficult journey of easier for others. Supporting these women was her passion and Sue Lockwood was a tireless advocate on their behalf.

As Chair of the Breast Cancer Action Group, the first advocacy group for women with breast cancer in Australia, she argued for the involvement of patients in the development of research, improved treatment, evaluation of medical services, and practical support. She was a member of large number of state and commonwealth advisory committees, review groups and task forces. Sue's contribution has been recognised internationally and she was invited to address a number of conferences and published in some of the world's most respected medical journals including the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.

Her work saw the growing expectation that women will be actively involved in all stages of collecting data, medical trials and planning of services. Sue was particularly proud of this change.

"Women with breast cancer now have a voice. It's a voice that is used and, just as importantly, a voice that is heard. What we need to do now is extend that voice so that women with advanced breast cancer are heard just as clearly as those who are newly diagnosed".

Producing long term change of this magnitude is a tribute to her ability to work with other women to build for the future. It means that in the future more women with breast cancer will have better information about the disease, with improved treatment options and a larger range of economic, social and emotional supports. Sue sadly passed away in 2009.