Pieters-Hawke and bonds of love and affection

Sue Pieters-Hawke has been in the news this week for an argument with Blanche d’Alpuget, wife of her father, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

The two women have reportedly been at odds over comments about Ms Pieters-Hawke’s mother, Hazel, in d’Alpuget’s biography of Mr Hawke. Hazel is suffering from advanced dementia.

The disagreement occurred at Brisbane Airport last Thursday and the next morning Ms Pieters-Hawke gave an address to HammondCare’s Rehabilitating Aged Conference in Sydney.

Listening to Pieters-Hawke, it was obvious she was passionate about the care of older people, particularly those with dementia.

In describing what she learned in the years spent caring for her mother, Ms Pieters-Hawke said, “My job description while caring for mum… was doing my best to help her maximize her own enjoyment of life. Her subjective sense of happiness and well-being was both the very point of me doing what I did and the ultimate measure of its value.”

As care for older people and the growing incidence of dementia are among the greatest challenges facing our communities, I encourage you to read the rest of my story about Sue Pieters-Hawke’s address. A more passionate advocate you will not find.

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