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Dethridge, Susan Margery (c. 1945 - 2003)


c. 1945
12 June 2003
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Councillor, Journalist and Writer


Sue Dethridge was a popular and influential local councillor for the Bellingen Shire Council from 1987-2003. She served as Mayor from 1991-1999. Dethridge stood unsuccessfully as an Independent for Coffs Harbour in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1995.


Susan Dethridge was a freelance journalist and inveterate writer of letters to the editor on many subjects. As Mayor, she produced a regular column in the Bellingen Courier Sun, drawing attention to local issues with the use of amusing or poignant anecdotes. On being diagnosed with breast cancer, she fought for improved support and treatment of cancer patients.

Dethridge was a long term local councillor and was the popularly elected Mayor of Bellingen from 1991 to 1999. Having moved to the town of Dorrigo in 1974 and seen it revived by tourism, she was active in promoting tourism as an antidote to the decline of country towns. She was a member of the Regional Development Board from 1997 to 1999, and Australia's Holiday Coast Regional Development Council from 2000 to 2002.

Dethridge was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2003 for services to local government. The award was made early due to the state of her health. She died, of breast cancer, that same year and was survived by her husband Barry Dethridge and their three children.

Sources used to compile this entry: Decker, Dianne, Women in Australian Parliament and Local Government: An updated history 1975-1992, Australian Local Government Women's Association, Canberra, 1992; (accessed 8 October 2005) Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June 2003 Sun-Herald, 22 November 1998 Australia's Holiday Coast Development Board 2001/2002 Annual Report Bellingen Shire Council Annual Report 2000/2001.

Barbara Lemon

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