Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Beal, Susan (1935 - )

AM

Born
1935
Occupation
Medical practitioner
Alternative Names
  • Ross, Susan

Summary

Dr Susan Beal has been investigating the circumstances surrounding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for more than 20 years. Beal who grew up in Sydney, New South Wales, studied medicine at Sydney University and specialised in paediatrics. She married in 1959 and had five children between 1960 and 1970. The family moved to South Australia in the early 60s. Dr Beal began working at the Adelaide Children's Hospital as research registrar in neurosurgery and then running the Cerebral Palsy Clinic. In 1970 she was asked to investigate the incidence of SIDS in South Australia. Since then Dr Beal has been involved in research and public awareness campaigns that have led to a dramatic decrease in deaths. Between 1973 and 1990 she visited more than 500 families who had lost babies to cot death, and in 1986 was able to show that the rate of death was highest among babies who slept face-down. She is credited with being the first person anywhere to argue publicly against babies sleeping on their stomachs, and in the countries that have heeded her advice, including Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the incidence of SIDS has almost halved. Dr Susan Beal was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday honours list, 1997, for service to medicine, particularly in the fields of paediatrics and SIDS research.

Sources used to compile this entry: http://act.wel.org.au/activ99/3-499act.htm and http://www.catalog.slsa.sa.gov.au:1083/search/aBeal%2C+Susan%2C+1935-/abeal+susan+1935/-5,-1,0,B/frameset&FF=abeal+susan+1935&2,,2 accessed 2004-05-11.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Dr Susan Beal, researcher into sudden infant death syndrome]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details
  • [Biographical cuttings on Susan Beal, Dr., epidemiologist]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Interview with Susan Beal [sound recording] Interviewer: Helen Chryssides, 23 October 1998, OH 505/2; Beal, Susan (1935 - ); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details
  • Launch of the second stage of The Honoured Women Oral History Project [sound recording], 7 March 2000, OH 568; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Anne Heywood and Robin Secomb

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0951b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124