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.