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Susan (Sue) Elizabeth Meeuwissen


Susan (Sue) Elizabeth Meeuwissen
Irene Meeuwissen


the peoplescape stories

Susan (Sue) Elizabeth Meeuwissen

Nominated by Irene Meeuwissen - 3149

What contribution has this person made?
Avid anti-smoking activist, Sue worked incessantly raising public awareness of the unseen, life-threatenting damage inflicted by environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and the desperate need to protect the innocent - children, those seeking access to hospitals, and employees in the hospitality industry. Attending a nightclub, she suffered an asthma attack. A landmark decision at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in Francey and Meeuwissen v Hilton Hotel, 1995, ruled that the barrier Sue faced by being unable to stay in a smoky environment was not different from a physical barrier that might stop a person in a wheelchair from entering a public venue. This case is used as a precedent throughout the Western world. Other achievements include - instrumental in a smoke-free Central Market, Adelaide, urging smoke-free hospitals in Melbourne, Adelaide long before legislation, spoke at meetings etc. Worked to improve quality of life for the disabled in general.

Why this person is important?
When people in ASH, Heart Foundation (especially Tasmania - including MPs), QUIT and others write and say 'what a difference Sue made (makes) to so many lives with her activism' we feel proud. Publicity is the only way that her goals will be achieved - although great strides have been made, children are a big concern. Peoplescape will give that publicity and assist in educating the public by telling her story in this meaningful way. A story remarkable in itself as she suffered severe illhealth all her life from Cystic Fibrosis, received a double lung transplant, had 3 years almost normal life, stood for the seat of Adelaide in the belief that legislation is essential. Accidental exposure to ETS led to hospitalisation, infection and the slippery slide. She worked from her bed on her campaign 'Where People Smoke Matters' - it was launched at her funeral. July 2000.