Dr Sue English receives top award

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We are incredibly proud to announce that Children First Foundation Board member, Dr Sue English, has been recognised in the 2021 Australia Day Honours list.

Sue, who is also a practising GP in Bayside Melbourne, received a Medal of the Order of Australia, acknowledging her service to the youth of Timor-Leste, to women, and to medicine.

“I am very thrilled and humbled to be bestowed with this award and thank everyone who has supported me along the way,” says Sue.

Sue first became involved with Children First Foundation in 2013 when she referred a young girl called Margarita, from Timor-Leste, to the Foundation. Margarita, who Sue met while volunteering in Timor-Leste, had severe scoliosis which markedly affected her mobility.

Sue worked tirelessly with Children First Foundation staff to bring Margarita to Australia for life-changing surgery. In 2014, Margarita underwent successful surgery. Post-surgery, as she recovered at the Children First Foundation Retreat, Sue stayed by Margarita’s side. Since then, she has been a dedicated Children First Foundation volunteer.

“The most meaningful and purposeful moment in my life was taking Margarita home to her family in Timor-Leste after her treatment. The treatment changed her life, but it has also changed mine. Margarita taught me that anything is possible, you just have to say; ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’. It is the story of children like Margarita that keeps me working and volunteering,” explains Sue.

Taking Margarita back home.

Using her extensive network of contacts, over the years, Sue has been instrumental in helping dozens of children, in Timor-Leste and beyond, access life-changing and life-saving surgery and treatment in Australia through Children First Foundation.

Thanks to Sue’s involvement, these children are now back home, happy and healthy with a future to look forward to.

In 2017, Sue joined the Board of Directors of Children First Foundation. Her medical knowledge, strategic approach, and commitment to governance, combined with her compassionate heart, her energy and passionate belief in the children have seen her make an extraordinary contribution.

Today, as well as serving as a Children First Foundation Board member, Dr English continues to volunteer with the Foundation in various capacities. She undertakes health checks for the children and organises immunisation and dietary plans. She actively spends time with the children at The Retreat and is also an energetic fundraiser for the Foundation. Her innovative ideas and extensive connections are a tremendous asset to the organisation.

“Sue is a great inspiration and a role model for the kids and everyone else within the Children First Foundation family, and we are very proud of all her achievements. We congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition and thank Dr English for her continuing commitment to the Foundation,” says Elizabeth Lodge, CEO, Children First Foundation.

Sue is a practising GP in Bayside Melbourne with special interests in women’s health, adolescents and paediatrics.

As well as volunteering for Children First Foundation, Sue regularly volunteers in Timor-Leste, helping young women gain access to education and health resources. She is also a founding member of International Women’s Forum Australia and of Bayside Friends of Salesian Missions in Timor-Leste.


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