Inspired by Hazel's story

IMPORTANT VOICE: Dementia awareness advocate Sue Pieters-Hawke with late mother Hazel.
IMPORTANT VOICE: Dementia awareness advocate Sue Pieters-Hawke with late mother Hazel. Contributed

A FORMER larrikin Australian prime minister's daughter will be in Noosa tomorrow for Alzheimer's Awareness Month in memory of her mother.

Sue Pieters-Hawke, the daughter of Bob Hawke is an ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia and will be guest speaker at NoosaCare's Tewantin campus.

Dementia is something very close to Sue's own heart, after witnessing her own mother Hazel's battle with Alzheimer's.

Sue has become a much-lauded "accidental advocate” for dementia and Alzheimer's patients and their support network; working in the areas of advocacy, education, and policy involvement.

Sue wrote Hazel: My Mother's Story and is co-chair of the Federal Government's Dementia Forum.

She liaises heavily with dementia patients, their families and carers, researchers, academics, clinicians and dementia activists.

"Underlying much of the fear and stigma surrounding dementia is a plethora of inaccurate beliefs, outdated information, lack of education, and downright prejudice,” Sue said.

"If I can communicate one valuable message in my presentation, it's that people with dementia still fully experience their own lives, and we can support them in a manner based on respect and appreciation.”

A critical part of Sue's advocacy role is to assist the patients, their carers and the wider community, to better understand the journey ahead, and equip them with the tools and strength to work through the process with compassion.

She was primary carer for her mother, who died in 2013. Her best-selling book, revealed the highs and lows of the new reality that comes with an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis.

The public can attend

the free Dementia

Seminar on Wednesday September 13 at 10.30am, and attendees are urged to arrive by 10am at the Tewantin centre at 186 Cooroy Noosa Rd. Donations welcome.

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