Protecting the rights of children as Australia’s deeply respected paediatrician
Paediatrician Dr Suzanne Packer AM has been a leader in preventing child abuse since she began her career in 1972. Working tirelessly to advocate for the rights of children, Suzanne believes in highlighting the importance of early childhood environments for the developing brain of children.
Her work as a specialist paediatrician has seen her treating babies and children suffering terrible trauma from child abuse and neglect. With deep compassion and empathy, Suzanne maintains interest in all her patients even after they have grown into adulthood.
Suzanne works closely with the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), where she has been able to promote awareness of child abuse and neglect within Australian communities. NAPCAN encourages change at a societal level by promoting quality research, advocating for effective child safe policies, and spreading awareness through community initiatives like National Child Protection Week.
A devoted advocate on healthy environments for early childhood, Suzanne has played a crucial role in helping education and government agencies recognise its importance by implementing practical strategies for Australian children. She was pivotal in re-discovering the value of play in recovery, and also helped to establish child-friendly spaces in hospitals.
For her advocacy work, Suzanne was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her “distinguished service to child welfare, paediatrics and the public”. She was also named ACT’s Senior Australian of the Year in 2019, as well as Canberra’s Citizen of the Year in 2013.
Suzanne continues to advocate for the rights of children at every opportunity, presenting at international conferences and volunteering on advisory boards.