Sue Receives OAM Honour

By Matt Stevens
June 21, 2021

Meet Susan.

Many know her as Sue. Sue Johnson.

On Monday, the 14th of June 2021, Sue’s title changed forever. The Queenslander was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM). The initials OAM would be forever etched on her name.

Susan Johnson OAM.

Every year on the Queen’s birthday, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia recognises those for outstanding achievement and service. The Order of Australia medal is awarded for service worthy of particular recognition. This year, Sue Johnson became the latest bowler to receive the honour, recognised for her service to the community and Tenpin Bowling.  

“I am very proud and excited about receiving the award,” explained Sue.

Sue has an Intellectual Disability and has just wrapped up competing at the 32nd National Disability Championships at Zone Bowling Mt Gravatt. Coincidently, two key figures in the industry who have received the same honour were present to welcome her to the club. Patricia Somerville OAM and John Coxon OAM.

L-R : Patricia Somerville OAM, Sue Johnson OAM, John Coxon OAM

Patricia is Sue’s good friend and support worker. Aware of her involvement in many volunteering efforts and astounded by Sue’s caring nature, Patricia nominated Sue for the 2021 honour.

When asked to describe the type of person Sue is, Patricia replied, “A very humble and caring person who never expects any recognition in return for her efforts”.

Sue lives with her mother, Rita, who is 98 years old in Tarragindi, Brisbane. She has an older brother Gregory who has a wife, Maree, and a nephew named Benson. Some thirty plus years ago, Sue began her bowling journey at Greenslopes Lanes in Brisbane.

Like so many, Sue became quickly hooked to the sport and increased her involvement. She was competing in East Coast Challenges for several years before bowling in State and National Championships, winning a medal in the 2019 National Restricted Challenge with the All-Abilities team as Assistant Manager, a real highlight.

These days you will now find Sue based at Zone Bowling Capalaba in Brisbane. Bowling league twice a week with the ‘6 O’Clock Club’ on a Wednesday and Special Olympics on Mondays.

A current TBA Accredited Manager who has held qualifications for coaching in the past, Sue has provided many hours to the Tenpin Bowling Association of Queensland (TBAQ) by volunteering her time to local, state and Pan Pacific Master Games events. When Sue is not at a bowl, she continues helping people by volunteering her time for charity.

A member of the Lions International Holland Park Branch for 30 years, Sue has held the position of President and spends most valuable hours volunteering with fundraising activities.

“Selling Christmas cakes, collecting at Shopping centres for various Lions Charities, and often she is out at 4 am setting up for fun runs, before serving at sausage sizzles later in the day”, explained Patricia Somerville OAM.

Sue is a valued member of the St.Luke’s Church in Ekibin, where she assists with serving at the Sunday services, a member of the Parish Council, helps out with the fete and any other events held there.

“Up until COVID entered our lives, Sue also spent time volunteering with various Disability service providers in the role of support, assisting with taking clients on outings and in-house activities”.

Holding certificates in Hospitality, Aged Care, and continually updating her CPR and First Aid as required, Sue is equipped to offer support in many service areas.  Never content, Sue is also currently studying for her Diploma in Disabilities support.

“It keeps me busy, and I enjoy meeting and helping people in my community”, explained Sue.

Sue will be invited to a special presentation in September or October to receive her Order of Australia Medal.

Tenpin Bowling Australia congratulates Sue Johnson OAM on receiving this outstanding award for recognising her tireless and important work over a sustained period.