Susan shores up WA's voice

25 March 2024
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Susan Hyde has stepped up to the plate for Western Australia, becoming the state representative in the MS Australia National Advocates Program.

The program aims to lift the voices of people with lived experience and their carers, meaningfully contributing to the peak body’s advocacy agenda.

This includes engagement with media, speaking opportunities at public events and discussions with members of parliament, relevant policy/decision makers and special interest groups.

Susan’s passion for people motivated her to take up the mantle, with a strong background in advocacy through her work in the New Zealand Police and WA Justice system.

“I’ve previously done this type of work for prisoners, where my job was around reintegration, and I also did a lot of victim support work with the police,” Susan said.

“I like people, I like working with people and I like being able to help people – plus I’ve always had a bit of a knack for networking.”

Diagnosed with remitting-relapsing MS in 1995, Susan was determined to keep up her active lifestyle, running and cycling whenever she had the opportunity.

While working as a Prison Officer in early 2016, Susan’s symptoms worsened, and she was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS. This resulted in an early retirement in 2022, despite her best efforts to keep her role.

Drawing on her experiences, Susan is determined to help others through advocacy and networking, with a focus on employment, inclusion, accessibility, and a prime goal of raising public awareness.

“I have had MS for 30 years and I believe there is not a huge awareness of what MS is and what it stands for,” Susan said.

“Accessibility is a big focus for me, and this role is a chance to get that out there, make the public aware and break down the barriers that exist to be more accepted.”

Susan is particularly excited about the PLATYPUS trial announced in December 2023 and to show others living with the condition what can be achieved when you set your mind to it.

“Many people who have silent diseases and illnesses think that because they have got it, they can’t do things,” she said.

“I saw this as a role that I could strive to do, and make those people believe they can do those things, too.”

“It is an exciting prospect and hopefully I do WA proud.”

Susan encouraged anyone wanting to know more about her advocacy work to contact her at or come along to the Rockingham Peer Support catch ups she runs monthly. If you have a query that she cannot answer, she will point you in the right direction.

If you are interested in the Peer Support Group Susan runs, you can contact her on the above email, or join the Facebook page MOBILE SOCIALITES ROCKINGHAM. The group meets for lunch the last Saturday of each month. Full details can be found on the Facebook page.