Vale Susan Healy, former OV President and Nillumbik Emu

We received sad news from our friends at ONSW.  Many Victorian orienteers knew Sue very well, over a period of many years.  Our condolences to Sue’s family, friends and clubmates.

Vale Susan Healy

Sue died on 1 March at her Aged Facility at Ashfield.  She was 93 and had suffered from cancer for the previous year.  Fortunately she did not have much, if any, pain and died peacefully.

Sue began orienteering in late 1974, introduced to the sport by her sister, Pella Rye.  Pella was visiting Sue in Wollongong from England (Pella had been orienteering for some years in England).  Sue formed Orienteers of Wollongong (the predecessor of Illawarra Orienteers) in early 1974 and organized several events for OW in 1975.

She then moved to Melbourne (late 1975) to work at the Victorian State Library (she became Victorian Head Librarian before her retirement in 1993).  Sue competed in most major Australian events from 1975 to 2020 as well as in New Zealand and Europe.  Sue was President of the VOA (Victorian Orienteering Association) in the early 80s and won the World Masters Sprint Championship (W85) in 2017 in NZL.  She moved to Sydney in 2018 and joined Uringa Orienteers.

Sue had a very active and varied life.  Born in England in 1930, she lived the first 25 years of her life near Wem except for boarding school and University (London University) where she obtained a BA in French, Spanish and Librarianship. She was the leader of a UNESCO team sent to reconstitute the library at Dunkirk in 1951 (she was the leader because she was the only team member who spoke fluent French – with a Marseille accent! due to working as an au pair there in 1949-50).

She lived in Kenya in 1955-57 (during the Mau Mau incursion!) and Sierra Leone in 1959.  She moved to Australia (Canberra initially before moving to Wollongong) in 1960.  In the mid 70s in Wollongong she stood for the Australian Parliament for the Australia Party and later the Australian Democrats.  Sue spoke French and Spanish fluently and Italian, Greek and Swahili competently!

She has 2 children (both born in Kenya) – son, Richard and daughter, Margaret.

Sue will be missed, especially by me.  Dave Lotty

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