A Most Interesting Life

“I Can’t Bear To Be In A Corner…!”

Susan Neve, local JP, has an interesting way of viewing her life. When asked about her different hobbies and interests she says, “I can’t bear to be in a corner somewhere, growing cobwebs and withering.” After talking to Sue, I
believe there’s little chance of that happening!

I met Sue at Yarrabilba’s Family & Community Place where she provides a weekly Justice of the Peace service. When I sat down to talk with her between clients, I quickly learnt that being a JP is only one of her roles. Sue is also a marriage celebrant and president of the Singapore Club of Queensland.

Like many, Sue came to Australia as a migrant. She grew up in Singapore in a Eurasian family. She did some photographic modelling as a girl and wanted to be a cookery teacher, but instead, she trained as a secretary. Sue began working for the general manager of an oil exploration company and there met her husband Jim who was a Shoran Technician.

Sue Neve with husband Jim of 45 years

Sue and Jim married and moved to Brisbane six months later. How she longed for the sights and sounds of home! That’s why, some years later, she jumped at the chance to help set up a social club for Singaporeans working and living here plus ex-Singaporeans, the Singapore Club of Queensland. Sue later became the president of the club, a position she holds today. One of their club activities is putting on a display of the costumes, food, and culture of Singapore for residents in aged care and retirement villages. Sue and friends at the club also knit beanies and scarves for Rosie’s Friends on the Street, a charity for homeless and lonely people.

Artists, designers, and cake decorators run in Sue’s family. She tells of an aunt who even made cakes out of talcum powder while interred as a prisoner of war in Changi Jail during World War II. Sue herself started painting last year for pleasure and gets a great sense of satisfaction from
it. She makes and decorates cakes for family including her own when she and Jim celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary recently.

At seventy years of age Sue Neve is living life to the full. When asked what advice she would like to give younger people, she answers: “Never give up when learning new things (even when) it’s not going your way. If you venture on, you will succeed. Then you can sit back and smile and say, “I did it!”

As I leave Sue to finish her JP duties, I think, there’s no cobwebs on this dynamic and interesting woman. Sue Neve, JP and more, is one inspiring lady!

By Susan Alexander (Inspirational Writer & Team Reporter)