Sue Barker is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Nursing Studies (Women’s Health) and a PhD in medical/cultural anthropology examining the effects of colonisation on the tradition and culture of the people of Nauru and the subsequent impact on their wellbeing.
Sue currently works at West Gippsland Healthcare Group as a Residential In Reach Care Coordinator, providing complex care and assessment to residents of aged care facilities in the region. She is also undertaking a project in Integration and Care Coordination for People with Chronic Conditions for the organisation. She undertakes clinical teaching with second and
third year nursing students. Sue was previously a lecturer in Indigenous Health and Wellbeing at Monash University where she is now an adjunct lecturer with them.
Sue is a committed volunteer and is in her second year as the Chair of the Board of Management of Gippsland Women’s Health having previously been the Secretary and a general board
member over many years. She is committed to assisting and mentoring people, with a significant history of volunteer work in many areas including mentoring medical students from James
Cook University, women’s health projects, fire recovery work after Ash Wednesday fires, kindergarten committees, volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and group leader with the Australian
Breast Feeding Association (Nursing Mother’s) for over 18 years, and mentoring younger people on Nauru in governance to provide them with additional skills to take on leadership roles in their nation.
In 2006, Sue established and is now the Executive Officer of Equatorial Opportunities Inc., a Non-Government Organisation registered in both Victoria and the Republic of Nauru which provides resources, education and training, practical support and capacity building to support sustainability in the areas of health, education, disabilities, the environment and community development that is culturally contextual, for the people of Nauru. Sue has run programs in Men’s Behavioural Change and other family violence related programs, along with programs treating children with congenital abnormalities, wound management, diabetic foot care and podiatry, amongst others. Sue has had an affiliation with Nauru for over fifty years and enjoys a close relationship with the wonderful people of this tiny island nation. Their influence on her understanding of how culture and lifestyle impacts on health and wellbeing has greatly influenced how she works as a nurse and a board member.
Sue currently lives and works in a rural area. Sue is the proud mother of six adult children whom she raised as a sole parent. She has three granddaughters and is owned by two rescue greyhounds.