Suzanne Yvette Startin

Suzanne Startin


Aged 70 Years

Late of St Albans

Loving Daughter of Joy & Tony (dec).

Beautiful Sister of John, Lynette (dec), Ann & Vicki.

Nan of Katie & Meg.

Favourite Aunt of many Nieces & Nephews.

Treasured Friend to many.

Suzanne was known to most as Suzie, she was born 3rd December 1948 in Taree to Joy & Tony Startin.

As a child Suzie grew up on an isolated dairy farm at Willina on the edge of Wang Wauk forest with her siblings John, Lyn, Ann & Vicki. As children they had to entertain themselves, Suzie developed a strong love of art, reading & the natural world. Suzie’s first experience with clay was on the edge of the farm dam where she found natural clay to make models, together with her siblings they roamed the farm catching tadpoles, climbing trees & watching baby pigs & calves being born.

Suzie was a very trusting Sister, she would often accept dares from her Brother John. One was to climb a Sapling tree whilst her siblings watched, John was pretty handy with an axe from a young age & soon had the tree down. Suzie emerged from the leaves & branches thankfully unscratched.

Suzie always had a beautiful & caring nature from when she was a child & as being the eldest she was more than just a Sister, she was a Friend & a second Mother to her Sisters & always cared deeply about Family.

Suzie began her schooling at a one-teacher country school at Willina Public School & later at Coolongolook Public. Her High School years were spent at Taree High School, her favourite subject was Art.

Suzie boarded with her Grandmother at Hallidays Point during her High School years. After Suzie finished school she went to Newcastle Teachers College to train as an Art Teacher. Suzie’s heart was in her art & she completed an honours year at Newcastle Art School after her training completed.

In 1975 Suzie travelled to Roti Island in Indonesia, in the village of Bogor she learned the arts of pottery, balk & weaving, Suzie loved the people she met there. This time in her life had a big impact on the direction she took & the love of different cultures Suzie developed for the rest of her life, Suzie dreamed of travelling again one day.

Suzie taught Art for the next ten years, her first position was at Temora High School which she was a great mentor and carer for all her students & everyone she knew. Suzie’s home became an open house where students could come to talk & listen to music.

Suzie returned to Sydney & studied Pottery at East Sydney Technical College, she worked as a full time Potter in inner city group workshops for five years in Ultimo & Balmain where she established her skills & style of pottery & glazes. Suzie established a reputation as one of Australia’s best young potters of that era.

Suzie was a much loved Aunt for all her Nephews & Nieces & shared many memorable times with them.

In 1980 Suzie met Gil Jones at Balmain markets, Suzie embraced the role of Nan to her two Grand-daughters Katie & Meg Jones, whom she held a special place in her heart. Suzie & Gil remained a couple for twenty years & moved to St Albans in 1985 where they established Wallambine Pottery at their home. Suzie & Gil built their St Albans gallery during 1995 to 1996 & ran it together before sadly seperating in 2003. Suzie continued to run her beloved gallery for another seven years, her gallery became her hive of social activity where you could always get a cuppa & a good conversation. As Director of St Albans gallery Suzie was strongly involved in many community events including organiser of al the markets. Suzie joined the local choir & opened her doors to events such as the St Albans folk festival & Shahzada, Suzie exhibited & was proud to support many local artists through out her time.

Suzie then took her love of art back to teaching at the McDonald Valley Public School, this was a role she was very passionate about & took great joy in bringing art to the primary children of the valley, Suzie was greatly involved in the schools 150 year celebrations & was a valued member of the St Albans community.

Family & Friends will always remember Suzie as a beautiful soul, a caring, compassionate & nurturing woman. Suzie was always someone whose shoulder you could lean on & talk troubles through with & she was a fighter for human rights, someone who gave unconditional love & judged not.

Our Suzie will be deeply missed & carried in our hearts forever.

In memoriam

Funeral service details

Date: Friday, 18th January, 2019
Commencing: 11:00am

Family & Friends are invited to attend Suzie’s Graveside Service to be held at St Albans New Cemetery Wollombi Road, St Albans.

In lieu of flowers family have asked that donations be made to the Leukemia foundation.

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Favourite memories
  • Suzie was a wonderful teacher. She was warm, kind and patient. These qualities along with her own talent enabled her to inspire and develop artistic creativity and skill in the children. We were fortunate to have her in our valley so that local children, including two generations of our family benefited from her nurturing. She developed all forms of expressive arts including music and dance and they remember with joy the regular exhibits which she arranged for their work in childrens hospitals, municipal galleries and even in overseas locations. Who will ever forget the annual video presentations for Wakakirri which encouraged awareness of environmental social issues.

    Suzie was a passionate opponent of those who exercised power without empathy and compassion. She tirelessly lobbied politicians of all persuasions over the plight of aboriginal people, asylum seekers and refugees. She was also a much loved member of the Dirt Road Choir.

    A life well-lived and a great loss to those who loved her and those who benefitted from her wisdom and generosity of spirit.

    Lyn and John Streckfuss
  • Love and gratitude from the staff and students of Macdonald Valley Public School. You are remembered for your passion and dedication.

    Melissa Date
  • My favourite memory of Suzie is when we celebrated an early Christmas in 2017 at Lambton Pool in Newcastle with the family.It was the last Christmas we celebrated together with her,she was to unwell this Christmas to have visitors or go anywhere.It was a lovely sunny day,we spoilt her rotten with presents and endless love,we also celebrated her birthday,singing and eating cake. Suzie got to meet my 5 month old son Ewen-Lejon for the first time. I remember thinking how special it was to all be together that day and to see Suzie so happy, family and friends ment everything to her and Suzie ment the World to all of us.

    Marleene Sutherland
  • Suzie was a very dear friend and mentor. Without her enthusiasm and encouragement I would not be going forth with my creative practise. She nurtured the artistic heart of St Albans and all of it’s creators. Vale Suzie... from one of your original “Gallery girls” Carol Gill. X

    Carol Gill