Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
Creating a voice for the Disability Sector
What a strike! Hireup client Susan receives OAM

What a strike! Hireup client Susan receives OAM

25 February 2022

While we are often made aware of the grand achievements of sporting legends, rockstars and scientists, we are less often made aware of those tirelessly helping out in our local communities, and Hireup’s Susan is one of those quiet achievers.

Susan Johnson, from Brisbane, is a highly active volunteer in her community and has a passion for ten pin bowling - she is also an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) recipient! 

Sue was bowling in a disability league when she met her friend and now Hireup support worker, Patricia, who was managing a ten pin bowling centre at the time.

Susan and Patricia became friends back in 2000, though Patricia has only been officially supporting Sue for the last few years. 

Through Hireup, Sue receives social support from Patricia which includes assistance with being a bowling coach, completing certificates in hospitality and aged care and, more recently, a diploma of disability care for Sue to also become a disability support worker!

Finding the right support relationship isn’t always easy though well worth it as Sue and Patricia’s 20 years together have shown. 

“She trusts my guidance”, Patricia says.

Sue has volunteered for the Lions Club for the past 30 years as a member of the Lions International Holland Park Branch and has held the position of president.

For the club, Sue has organised many fundraising events including fun runs and barbecues. Sue also volunteers at her church where she helps with the weekend services, doing readings and helping with the slide show. And as if that’s not enough, Sue is also involved in her local theatre group where she volunteers as an usher.

Her hard work volunteering did not go unnoticed and she was nominated for the OAM a few years ago, and received her medal in June 2021.

“I was really thrilled to hear that I was nominated,” Sue says.

So where does bowling come in? 

Sue has been ten pin bowling for 30 years. 

During this time she has volunteered as a coach and helped out with the running of countless bowling events and competitions. 

Sue has also more recently been involved with, and bowling with the Special Olympics.

Patricia also received an OAM in 1994. 

“I felt very proud for her (Sue), it brought back good memories of my award,” Patricia said.

Sue and Patricia, both very happy with Sue’s achievement, discussed that the award was “deserved though not expected”.

*Material supplied by Hireup


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