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Awarded for service to Health; Volunteering; Arts and Media; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Born: 30 June 1946
Entered on roll: 2021
Lactation specialist Suzanne Cox has been at the forefront of development and assurance that accurate and consistent breastfeeding advice is given to mothers by health professionals particularly by consultants who have accreditation from examinations she helped develop.
Suzanne Cox trained as a General Nurse at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) and completed midwifery training. While raising two children, Suzanne became aware that few women knew how easy it was to breastfeed and if anything went wrong, they often switched to bottle-feeding. This began Suzanne’s 40 years as a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and educator with the Nursing Mothers Association of Australia, now the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA).
When Suzanne returned to midwifery in 1977, she recognised a lack of current knowledge and wrote a successful submission to the Royal Hobart Hospital’s Director of Nursing to be employed as a staff educator and new mother support. Suzanne began eight hours per week as the Breastfeeding Sister on the Maternity ward. Over the next 30 years, Suzanne continued to increase her paid hours at the RHH while volunteering with ABA and professional associations including election as first non-American President of the International Lactation Consultant Association.
In 1985 Suzanne was a member of the Inaugural Board of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, in Washington DC. Suzanne served on the Board for two years assisting in standardising the questions and language for an international audience in the first examinations in 1985 and 1986. This exam is now administered in approximately 30 languages in more than 350 locations across 55 countries and territories. Suzanne was responsible for promoting the examination in the Pacific region and establishing Australian examination sites. In 2012, Suzanne developed and presented the nationally accredited training course Peer Support for Breastfeeding in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities.
To educate Australian health professionals Suzanne has presented seminars throughout Australia and been a guest speaker at more than 100 international lactation and breastfeeding conferences.
Suzanne is the author of books about breastfeeding and has also written and presented DVDS. Suzanne’s books have been published in several languages.