Writing

Sue has been a guest columnist in The Australian and The Age newspapers, and has written two bestselling books about her mother, Hazel Hawke. (She swears there will not be a third!) Sue writes like she speaks – she has an earthy narrative style that synthesizes story, emotion, reflection and unique insights.

Hazel - My Mother's Journey

Hazel – My Mother’s Story (2011)

Hazel Hawke was one of our most loved and respected Australians. As the wife of a prime minister she brought a down-to-earth warmth to Canberra that influenced everyone she came into contact with. Whether it was working to improve life for the disadvantaged, supporting the arts community or passionately advocating her belief in equality and social inclusion, we all felt her energy, her practicality and her immense capacity for humour and enjoyment.

Following the Canberra years, and the end of her marriage, Hazel’s continued to build her role as an advocate for tolerance and fairness in the broader community and as a mother and a grandmother within her own family. Public love and support for Hazel reached a new peak eight years ago when she publicly announced she’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

This intimate, beautiful biography of an extraordinary woman is written by Hazel’s eldest daughter, Sue Pieters-Hawke. Candid, revealing and fascinating it explores Hazel’s life as she navigated personal challenges and profound social changes, and celebrates her value as a mother, wife, role model and tireless worker for the rights and welfare of others.

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Hazel's Journey

Hazel’s Journey (2004)

In November 2003 Hazel Hawke went public with the news that she had Alzheimer’s Disease. The result was a national outpouring of concern, affection and appreciation on a scale rarely seen. The Australian newspaper described her action in an editorial as ‘an act of personal courage that has touched the hearts of millions’.

In this book Hazel’s daughter Sue tells the full story of her mother’s life in that period: stepping out as her own woman after her split with former PM Bob Hawke, the early signs of what would prove to be Alzheimer’s, Hazel’s fear and anger, her decision to go public, and the gentle happiness she mostly settled to. The book, which will touch all readers and offer comfort to those also affected by the disease, has also raised money for the Hazel Hawke Alzheimer’s Research & Care Fund.
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