Sue Lewis – An APPA History

Photogeek™ blog posts can include affiliate links. For more info, see my full disclosure here.

PUBLISHED: December 9 2023 | UPDATED: December 11 2023

A Celebration of Service & the Australian Professional Photography Awards

Three side-by-side portraits of AIPP Awards matriarch Sue Lewis
SOURCE: Sue Lewis. (Please make contact for attribution).

What does Sue Lewis have to do with APPA history?

This one goes straight to the 'news' category.

Today's news?

Not really.

Important history of the Australian photography industry well worthy of publication?

You bet .


This post was originally researched and written in 2020.

I was the Editorial Supervisor at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) at the time. (Sounds a bit fancy. Means I wrote and published the blog and member e-news.)

Sue Lewis announced her AIPP retirement earlier that year, just shy of her 20 years of Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) service.

It was an ideal opportunity to publicly reflect on Sue's time and properly acknowledge her significant contribution and dedication to the AIPP.

Blog snippet with photo of Sue Lewis and thank you message from AIPP Awards Committee
ABOVE: A farewell note from the 2020 AIPP Awards Committee (Tony Hewitt, Robyn Campbell, Rochelle Morris, Gary Cranitch, Bill Bachman and Craig Wetjen) published on the (now deleted) AIPP Digest (blog).

A Promise is a Promise

After informing Sue I was working on this post (I needed to spill the beans to obtain and verify historical information from the woman herself - few people know quite as much about APPA after all), she told me it was likely it'd never see the proverbial light of day.

I scoffed.

How ridiculous!

I said that'd be true over my dead body - I'd publish it on my own if I had to; if the AIPP chose not to 'air' it (as Sue had unfortunately correctly foreseen).

The following article was quashed sans explanation (and later the AIPP thrust into voluntary administration come November 2021).

So here we are 👋🏼.

A promise is a promise.

And this is an important (if not tardy) formal head-nod to Sue; to all those who worked with her, for her, and long before her to help build what was some 43 years of Australian Professional Photography Awards run by the (now defunct) AIPP.

To some, this post will be of minimal relevance.

To many in the photography (and Sue's) community, it'll prove an interesting (if not poignant) reflection of what was.

And to one dependable stalwart of the AIPP and APPA, it just may mean more than any of us could ever know.


If you know or interacted with Sue personally, would you please take a moment to say hello in the comments section at the end of this post? It'll be sincerely appreciated (particularly given a public / in-person acknowledgment or farewell for Sue was never able to occur given Covid and the subsequent collapse of the AIPP and APPA). Thank you so much 🙏🏼.

Editor's Note

I met Sue in 2007 as a student photographer and worked alongside her annually as part of the APPA Event Team for the dozen years following.

I know her well. I admire her work ethic and respect the dedication she showed to her role, the AIPP community and the Institute in general. And I acknowledge my personal bias and friendship with Sue.

Please note however, this article is factual and the information within researched and verified by the various parties cited throughout.

A trio of portraits of Sue Lewis and Katrina Ferguson at AIPP APPAs
ABOVE: With Sue Lewis at APPA Gala dinners over the years. L-R: Melbourne 2010, 2014 Sydney, 2012 Melbourne. I met Sue in 2007 as a student photographer and respect her highly. Acknowledged bias aside, the historical information in this post has been researched, verified by others and is a factual representation.

Introduction - Sue Lewis: The Woman, the Wonder, the Legend

Two decades.

That's a damn long time.

And for anyone involved in AIPP State or National Awards for the last ten years of their running - if not another decade prior to that - there's one name unquestionably synonymous with all things APPA and the Epson State Professional Photography Awards: Sue Lewis (APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM).

"Sue Lewis has, since the beginning of time - just before Earth's core started to cool - been known as the woman who makes APPA tick!"


Sue began her affiliation with the AIPP in 2001, officially stepped into the role of Event Manager on the Awards Committee in 2008, and maintained and refined the position up until her AIPP retirement in January of 2020.

"So it's a new year and I find myself taking a new direction in life," Sue wrote on Facebook when announcing her retirement.

"New challenges and 365 new opportunities could be waiting for me in the year ahead," she said. "To do this, I've made the decision to retire from the AIPP and my position as Event Manager on the Awards Committee."

"I took on the role as Events Manager and strived to achieve the goal of running and organising one of the best photographic awards in the world."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

And that she did ✅.

The Beginning - Sue Starts at APPA in 2001

Just as our Awards founding father, the late Peter Foeden Snr, reportedly wrote back in the 80s, our Awards events were demonstration of many benefiting thanks to the efforts of a few.

And since 2008, Sue has been at the helm as Awards Event Manager after first becoming a volunteer in 2001 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre for the 24th Annual APPA.

(The 43rd - and final - AIPP APPA was hosted in Melbourne in 2019.)

"We had break out out in the convention centre halls - a massive empty space with us set up towards one side and tables and tables of computers and data entry points using an old DOS system on the other," Sue recalled.

Back of house MS DOS setup at the 2001 AIPP APPAs Brisbane
ABOVE: The MS DOS system used to power APPA at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Looks dated now but was considered technologically advanced in 2001. Standing is APPA Event Manager of two decades, David Puddefoot. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"We unpacked prints for days and then on the Thursday we were invaded with semi-trailers driving inside the halls where the [Photo Marketing Australia] Trade Show was built before our eyes."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

Sue was firmly bitten by the APPA bug (it got many over the years!) and paid her own way to Perth as a volunteer the following year in 2002.

"In the beginning, she stayed quietly in the background always watching and learning while doing her part," said Awards Event Manager of the time, David Puddefoot.

ABOVE: Things came a long way and yet in many ways, didn't change that much at all! LEFT: An early iteration of the IAP / AIPP APPA print judging configuration. Lose the dividers and swap the notepads for iPads and it's not unlike the modern setup was. RIGHT: The print turnstile of the 1970s closely mirrored the 'jumps' used at State and National Awards up until they ceased running. (SOURCE: AIPP Journal Nov / Dec 2016.)
ABOVE: Moving with the times and the technology at the AIPP Epson Queensland State Awards 2012. (PHOTO: Doug Spowart.)

"My earliest memory of Sue was that she could sense when there was a problem that needed solving and she was the first to put her hand up to get it sorted. Within a couple of years, Sue was an invaluable team member with excellent leadership skills."

- David Puddefoot HonFAIPP APPLM

It's Official - Sue Promoted to Event Team

Sue was formally invited onto the APPA Event Team in 2003, with Richard Bennett (OAM HonFAIPP FAIPP APPLM MPhotogIV) as Awards Chairman and David Puddefoot - in what was to be his second last year as Event Manager.

A handful of AIPP people at the the 2008 APPA wrap-up party in Brisbane. Richard Bennett, Brett Ross, Sue Lewis, Selina Young, Robyn Stewart and Michael Coyne
ABOVE L-R: Richard Bennett, Brett Ross, Sue Lewis, Selina Young, Robyn Stewart (dec.) and Michael Coyne at the 2088 APPA Wrap-Up party, Brisbane. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

In 2005 Sue became the Student Volunteers Coordinator and as other members of the Event Team came and went, she picked up additional skills along the way.

"I took on [departing team members'] roles stepping in to coordinate the volunteers to helping run back of house at APPA; finding the winning entries for [Professional Phtoographer of the Year] as well as helping with print turning, gallery, certificate making, print packing and reporting."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

As a result of her broadening skill set and knowledge, Sue was promoted to Deputy Event Team Manager in 2006 and shadowed then Event Team Manager, Craig Bassett, to primarily learn how to work with exhibition companies on best event floor plans and furniture.

ABOVE: Awards Committee, Event Team and Student Volunteers gathered back of house at APPA 2005. Sue's forerunner in the Event Team Manager role, Craig Bassett, can be seen wearing black, third in from the left. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

Sue began working with Photo Marketing Australia (PMA) to negotiate APPA floor space and position. At the time and for many years, APPA ran in conjunction with PMA, which was a large annual national trade show for all things photography: gear and equipment, product, supplies, education etc.

AIPP APPA set up among Photo Marketing Australia trade show in Sydney 2011
ABOVE: A partial bird's-eye-view of behind the scenes of APPA nested in the PMA trade show, Sydney 2011. Three judging rooms became the norm in 2006 and an additional two rooms added to make five the standard a decade later. (PHOTO: Katrina Ferguson.)
AIPP APPA set up among Photo Marketing Australia trade show in Sydney 2009
ABOVE: APPA from above at PMA, Sydney 2009. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"Behind the scenes of any APPA is a melting pot of problems and issues to solve. To have Sue was a great relief and support...and to have her as a friend even more precious. The time she sacrificed from her family to be at APPA was enormously generous but now perhaps, they can have her back full-time."

- David Puddefoot HonFAIPP APPLM

Many Hats - Sue's Roles Over the Years

Sue started her time with the AIPP in 2001 as a Student Volunteer while completing her Photography Diploma and ended her formal position decades later after retiring as the Awards Committee Event Manager.

Across her time with the Institute, Sue wore a number of proverbial hats in between.

Sue Lewis addressing a room full of APPA volunteers in Sydney 2011
ABOVE: Sue Lewis addressing volunteers at APPA 2011, Sydney. Though known for her contribution to awards, there was more to Sue's time with the AIPP. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

The Queensland Council welcomed Sue from 2006-2008 during which time she focused on awards and educating the state's students on the AIPP.

As Education Liaison Sue travelled from Toowoomba to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Townsville, while advocating for the Institute.

The Pied Piper-style work continued from 2008-2012 with Sue becoming the National Education Representative and literally taking off to meet with students all around the country.

"[Working as National Education Representative] was my recruitment ground for getting volunteers for APPA. It was a very successful time and I built long-lasting friendships from both students who came through and their educators - all over the country."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

"I had my display with APPA prints, Awards books, achievement ribbons and a slideshow to show them what the AIPP was all about and what the benefits of membership were," Sue explained.

ABOVE: Sue Lewis presenting to students at the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE (SQIT) on 22 February 2012 as Education Liaison for the AIPP. (PHOTO: Doug Spowart.)
Sue Lewis and SQIT teacher Rachel Susa after AIPP presentation in 2012
LEFT: SQIT teacher, Rachel Susa, thanking Sue after a successful presentation on site in 2012. Eight students signed up to be members on the spot. RIGHT: Sue mid-presentation (PHOTOS: Doug Spowart.)

"Over the years I've worked with numerous students and volunteers that I hope I've influenced somewhat throughout the journey."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

The original idea of generating student interest and involvement behind the scenes at AIPP Awards can be directly attributed to Doug Spowart, Awards Chair 1991-1999.

"As the Chair of APPA I'd introduced the idea that the back room team could be enlarged to include students from institutions wherever the Awards were being hosted," Doug said.

Awards Event Manager during and either side of Doug's nine-year Awards Chair tenure, David Puddufoot, saw great change across the Awards in his years of Spowart's service:

"In the beginning, behind the scenes was a far easier time. A team of less than ten people could handle the few hundred prints submitted for judging."

"By the time Doug Spowart became the Chair, a larger team was essential," David recalled.

Event team and student volunteers aka 'vollies' dressed in red event t-shirts gathered outside at Luna Park in Sydney 2014 for APPA
ABOVE: Sue Lewis (back row, third in from the right) with the ever-expanding Event Team and Student Volunteers at Luna Park, Sydney for APPA 2014. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"This team concept worked extremely well and although each year new local students would be added, a solid core group emerged who - with previous knowledge of task and APPA Committee members - were invaluable."

- Doud Spowart MPhotog HonFAIPP

Sue herself was one of Doug's 'converts.'

"[Sue] began her studies in photography at TAFE in the early 2000s. As one of her first assignments she made a black and white photograph of a close-up of a very old pair of hands with Rosary Beads and a Bible. Sue put that photo into APPA and received a high award - she was hooked!" Doug said.

Sue Lewis photograph that one a Gold award at the 2013 Australian Professional Photography Awards aka APPA
ABOVE: A Gold-awarded photo by Sue Lewis from the 2013 Australian Professional Photography Awards. One of a few Sue achieved, including a highly-coveted and rarely awarded Gold Distinction with an almost-perfect score of 99. (PHOTO: Sue Lewis.)

"Sue quickly became a key Event Team member and rose through the APPA ranks. Her special skill was the ability to connect with people, work hard and reliably but most importantly, to have fun with those around her via her humour and infectious smile."

- Doud Spowart MPhotog HonFAIPP
Tony Hewitt AIPP Awards Chair thanks Sue Lewis and team at APPA Sydney 2019
ABOVE: Former Awards Chair, Tony Hewitt, thanks Sue, the Event Team and the Volunteer Crew for their behind-the-scenes efforts during APPA in Sydney 2019. The last handful of years before APPA ceased (unknown at the time, 2019 was to be the last), more and more AIPP members and professional photographers volunteered to join the crew and the 'out the back' community spirit continued to develop. Students, as always, remained welcome. (PHOTO: Christopher Ian.)

Sue was the Policy and Planning Delegate for Education from 2008 until it disbanded, and the World Photographic Cup (WPC) Captain from 2017-2020.

World Photographic Cup

The WPC was founded in 2013 by The Federation of European Photographers (FEP) and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to bring people together from all around the world in order to celebrate photographic excellence - regardless of language, culture or geographic location.

Australia won the Cup in April of 2019 - with Sue as Team Captain - after being one of the top three nations thrice prior.

Sue Lewis accepts the World Photographic Cup on the dias for Australia in Norway 2019
ABOVE: Sue Lewis representing Australia in first place on the dias at The WPC in Norway, 2019. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
ABOVE: Back in Australia, Sue Lewis and Kylie Lyons show off the WPC trophy at the AIPP APPA Gala Dinner in Sydney, 2019. (PHOTOS: David Simmonds.)

Later in 2019, during APPA in Sydney, Sue organised a print auction in conjunction with WPC major sponsor, Chromaluxe, and fundraised $13,000 to help get Australian entrants to the 2020 WPC Presentation planned for 23 March in Rome.

The event was postponed due to COVID-19.

(And what became of the $13k raised - that went into AIPP hands and out of Sue's - is unknown.)

Sue, Kylie and fellow AIPP members Shireen Hammond, Damien Bowerman and Mandarine Montgomery were booked to attend the subsequently cancelled WPC event in Rome.

Kylie Lyons and Sue Lewis running the WPC Chromaluxe print auction after hours at APPA in Sydney, 2019. Crowd laughing
ABOVE: Kylie Lyons and Sue Lewis running the WPC Chromaluxe print auction after hours at APPA in Sydney, 2019. A total of $13,000 was raised to help send Aussie representatives to Rome in 2020 (later postponed). (PHOTO: David Simmonds.)
WPC Chromaluxe print auction after hours at APPA in Sydney, 2019. Kylie Lyons holding print
ABOVE: Underway - the WPC fundraising print auction Sue organised at APPA. (PHOTO: Louise Bagger.)

"Sue and I have had a long relationship both professionally and personally," said WPC compatriot and former AIPP President, Kylie Lyons. Sue and Kylie travelled to Norway for the WPC Presentation in April 2019.

"We've shared bedrooms and bathrooms and still, we are friends! I love Sue's no-nonsense approach to everything, her dedication to all she does, and her ability to juggle her personal and professional life successfully," Kylie said.

"Many of my memories of Sue centre around awards: state, national and international...It's a credit to Sue that such a complex logistical task is performed at such high standard as to be almost invisible - the team gliding across the surface but paddling rapidly below."

- Kylie Lyons APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM and former AIPP President
ABOVE: Australia won 2nd place in the WPC 2018. L-R: Felicity Biasi, Allie Lyons, Andie Cheung, John Swainston, Sue Lewis, Keren Dobia and Kylie Lyons. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT: Long-time AIPP colleagues and friends, Sue Lewis and Kylie Lyons, at the 2015 APPA Gala Dinner, Melbourne. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"Sue, thank you for your passion, professionalism and perseverance through thick and thin. You took us to the top of the world in WPC and you've helped hundreds of us in our journey. You will be deeply missed."

- John Swainston HonFAIPP and former AIPP President

Epson State Awards

As well as AIPP National Event Manager for 11 years, Sue took on the equivalent role at a state level from 2011-2019.

ABOVE: Sue demonstrating the print case unpacking process to Queensland Epson State Awards. (PHOTO: Sara McKenna.)
Sue Lewis with Julie Kimpton from Nikon and Bruce Williams from Epson at the AIPP State Awards
ABOVE: Sue busy at work behind the scenes at the Epson State Awards with Bruce Williams and Julie Kimpton from Nikon. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

When AIPP National Office was assigned in 2011, Sue joined the team and with National Events Manager, Kim Harding, spearheaded a united awards system that was consistent in every State and Territory across Australia.

"Sue is just amazing," Kim said. "From the very first moment we met it was instant: we knew what each other was thinking and more importantly, what needed to be done."

"We introduced a State Awards IT system and judging to Tasmania and conducted awards in NT for the first time. We brought all states in line with each other by utilising the same judging system."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

"There is soooo much work that gets done in the background to make the Awards events a success and they certainly couldn't have been done without Sue," said Kim.

LEFT: For many years, the AIPP Epson State Awards wouldn't have gone as well as they did - or perhaps even happened at all - without the formidable trio of Sue Lewis, Kim Harding and Bruce Williams (Epson) at the helm. Photo from 2016. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT: Sue and AIPP member, Scott Dixon, behind the scenes at the WA Epson State Awards 2019. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"With all of her experience, knowledge, time and dedication, she has certainly made the State and APPA awards what they are today. I'm so grateful to have worked with Sue and to have made such an amazing friend."

- Kim Harding, former AIPP National Events Manager
LEFT: AIPP Awards dynamic duo Sue Lewis and an expecting Kim Harding at the 2018 AIPP Gala Dinner Melbourne. Sue and Kim worked together during Kim's time at the AIPP from September 2011 - November 2018. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT (L-R): Kristen Graham, Sue Lewis, Kim Harding and Shaireen Van Tuil at the WA Epson State Awards Presentation Night 2016. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

Not Without Help - A Team Effort

All AIPP events ran collaboratively.

Many hands made for lighter work and indeed, APPA has a rich history of Members and Volunteers who contributed to keep the momentum going.

Too many to name (a privileged problem to have).

ABOVE: APPA Student Volunteers Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 2013. Many hands make light work sorting print cases into their respective state freight cages ready for return postage to entrants. While volunteers work, the annual APPA Wrap-up Party starts elsewhere without them. (PHOTO: Katrina Ferguson.)

"I worked with several APPA Chairs / Awards Chairs, three IT systems, many Committee members, saw the growth and development of hundreds of photographers, and had support of the best sponsors in the photographic industry. I'll miss you all and here's cheers to new beginnings."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

Taking a moment now to send out a heartfelt thank you to aaaalll those who lead the way and contributed in ways both large and small to making AIPP Awards the success they were overall.

Compiling accurate details of names and roles across the decades is a process but the following is known for sure. (NB: Corrections and additions most welcome. Please email me with the relevant details or leave them in the comments section at the end of this post .)

History of Awards Chairs / Chairmen

1977 - 1984Peter Foeden Snr
1984 - 1991Ian Hawthorne (Co-Chaired by D. Puddefoot)
1991 - 1999Doug Spowart
1999 - 2006Richard Bennett
2006 - 2011Peter Eastway
2011 - 2013David Paterson
2014(None appointed)
2015Felicity Biasi (Awards Director)
2016Rocco Ancora
2017 - 2020Tony Hewitt
2020 - 2021Gary Cranitch
APPA team and volunteers gathered in high-vis vests, being addressed by APPA Chair, Davide Paterson.
ABOVE: Awards Chair, David Paterson (back to camera, orange vest) addresses the student volunteers (a.k.a 'vollies') after pack up at APPA in Melbourne 2013. (PHOTO: Katrina Ferguson.)

"I wonder how many APPA Chairs Sue had to put up with?!" wondered 2006 - 2011 Awards Chair, Peter Eastway tongue-in-cheek.

"I learnt very quickly that I was not going to pull the wool over Sue's eyes - ever! When I'd come up with a suggestion for APPA, Sue would look me in the eyes with a wry sparkle and say, "Yes," "No" or - what scared me the most - "Really?" It's hard to imagine how one word can mean so much," Peter said.

Peter Eastway headshot

"Sue, thanks for all your hard work and most importantly, your friendship."


The AIPP's third (in line) Awards Chair was Queensland Photographer, Doug Spowart M Photog HonFAIPP.

He served in the role for eight years with assistance from partner and fellow photographer, Victoria Cooper.

During his tenure, Spowart's mother and long-time workhorse APPA Volunteer, Ruby Spowart MPhotogIII HonFAIPP, continued to contribute - for a period as National Secretary.

LEFT: Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper. (SOURCE: RIGHT: Doug with mother, Ruby Spowart, at their own Imagery Gallery in South Brisbane (SOURCE:

Doug wrote the following on his personal blog in 2012:

"Most of the names and contribution that [the APPA Team of the 90s] made, have now gone. I think of David Puddefoot, Mike Woods, Ian Hawthorne, The 'Godfather' Ian McKenzie, Malcolm Mathieson, Jeff Moorfoot, Ruby Spowart, Victoria Cooper and the [2012] Chair, David Paterson."

"Over time the APPAs have grown beyond our imaginings of the 1990s into the mega even it [was] today."

- Doud Spowart MPhotog HonFAIPP

"We owe these individuals and a host of other Committee Members of that era including: Paul Griggs, Robyn Hills, William Long and Ian Poole for the foundation they helped make so that APPA and the State [Award] events could be what they are today," wrote Doug.

The sentiment from 2012 remains: many thanks to those who contributed to all things AIPP Awards over their 43-year span - including Sue Lewis for her near on 20 years of service.

"Who would have thought a girl from Toowoomba would rise to make such a magnificent contribution to professional photography and APPA in this country and in other places around the world."

- Doud Spowart MPhotog HonFAIPP
ABOVE: In 2012 Sue received the Photo Information Council of Australia (PICA) Gold Tripod Award for outstanding contribution to the Australian Imaging Industry at the annual Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA) awards. Before her, the award - given only as deemed deserved rather than annually by default - had only gone to industry dealers, professional photographers and distributors. (PHOTO: Nev Madsen.)
ABOVE: Industry friends and colleagues gather to congratulate Sue on her Gold Tripod Award in 2012. FRONT (L-R): Jacqui Dean, Sue Lewis, Paul Curtis. 2ND ROW (L-R): Richard Bennett, David Paterson, Michelle Tuddenham, Kylie Lyons, Jan Ramsay, Robert Edwards. 3rd ROW (L-R): Natasha Ward, Ian van der Wolde, Marianne Irvine, Jo Dentrino (nee Mugford), Rob Gatto. BACK: David Watson. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

A Foot in Both Camps - David Puddefoot

Sue learned the proverbial Event Manager ropes primarily from David Puddefoot, who'd been APPA Event Manager for over two decades.

"My fondest memory," Sue said, "Is of David Puddefoot trying to solve the Excel data formulas with his infamous Chuppa Chups while I made up certificates with another volunteer until 1:00am."

"All certificates were handmade in the early days," Sue explained.

"This Awards was quite different from the year before. There was no trade show and the Awards were conducted in our hotel rooms - very different - but I was hooked!"

In some records David is listed as Awards Co-Chair with Ian Hawthorne from 1984 - 1991 (following on from Awards founding father Peter Foeden Snr), however it was a formal title bestowed that differed somewhat from the actual role he played.

ABOVE (L-R): Official / unofficial Awards Co-Chairs, David Puddefoot (SOURCE: AIPP Journal) and Ian Hawthorne (PHOTO: Heide Smith.)

"When Ian Hawthorne became APPA Chair, it was a decision of the National Board that we share the position," David said.

"We were a great team. I'm immensely proud to have my name associated with one of the AIPP's most talented and generous photographers."

"However," David continued, "My main role for more than two decades was as the Event Manager."

So, let the records books note - as detailed by the man himself - David Puddefoot was the first official AIPP Awards Event Manager and held the position from 1984 - 2006.

Puddefoot started as a volunteer behind the scenes at the third ever APPA in 1979.

"The person who recruited me was Harry Palmer so I guess he was the first [person in the role]," Puddefoot said. "I was also organised by Ian Howell one year so maybe he was the second."

Sue explained in one Nov / Dec edition of the AIPP magazine, The Journal, that the consolidation of the Merit Awards (the original name for APPA) into a key event on the Institute's calendar can be largely attributed to Puddefoot.

"David was the enduring strength of the Awards...and an extremely efficient organiser who handled the ever-growing task of coordinating the judging process with his dedicated team."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM
ABOVE: Some of the hundreds of AIPP print cases on site at Photography Studies College, Melbourne, ready for breakout in 2016. Running print-based photography awards requires fine organisation at every stage of the process. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

Doug Spowart, Awards Chairman 1991 - 1999 also enthusiastically noted Puddefoot as a major contributor to all things Awards.

"We would have a conversation about resolutions to problemsand enhancements that were sometimes quite radical and then just go and do it...We got on with giving members and the profession the best possible outcome."

- Doud Spowart MPhotog HonFAIPP

Thank you David for the work you did, the drive you displayed, the example you set for Sue, and the Awards legacy you left.

History of Chairman of Jurors

Peter Foeden Snr & Val Foreman(stared 1977)
Michael Wood(for "more than a decade." Exact dates unknown)
Malcolm Mathieson & Robert Gray1993 - 2000
David Paterson2001 - 2011
Ryan Schembri2012
Melinda Comerford & Mark Zed2013 - 2015
Mark Zed2016 - 2018
Robyn Campbell2018 - 2019
ABOVE: Student Volunteers and Event Crew (lead by Awards Chairman, David Paterson, sitting front and centre in light shirt with Sue Lewis immediately behind him) at the end of APPA bump out at the Exhibition Centre (a.k.a Jeff's Shed) in Melbourne 2013 - the same year the APPA Committee restructured to the newly named AIPP Awards Team. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

The AIPP's fourth (in line) Chairman of Jurors, David Paterson, began his tenure the same year Sue first volunteered. The two worked closely together for many years and when asked about Sue, Paterson fondly described her as a matriarchal presence.

"What people quite often don't see is the softer side of Sue - the lady who phones entrants to tell them their entry is too small and helps organise a re-print, or because their mats are the wrong size, has them re-matted. Just a few examples of the extra miles Sue will go to help entrants and ultimately the betterment of APPA."

- David Paterson APP GMPhotog APPL FAIPP HonFAIPP

"We're all richer photographers and people for knowing Sue and for a warm, comforting moment being under her wing," Paterson said.

(He may have also mentioned the colourful language Sue may or may not have used under her breath all those times a Judge or Panel Chair pushed the wrong button in the system.)

ABOVE: Sue Lewis was a matriarchal presence at AIPP Awards. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
ABOVE: Sue Lewis addressing the room at the 2018 AIPP Gala Dinner at the Regent Ballroom. All class and not a word of colourful language to be heard. (PHOTO: Hussein Ghafoury.)

Long-time AIPP Awards judges and entrants (and winners), Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken, concur with the notion of Sue being a matriarchal presence - one they find themselves drawn to annually.

"The APPAs never started for us before receiving a warm and heartfelt greeting hug from Sue," Langford said. "No matter what she was doing...she always had time for people."

"[Sue] made everyone feel valued in the nicest way. That's what made the APPAs special for all those years."

- Mike Langford APP GMPhotog APPL FAIPP

"Because of Sue's love and caring for the event, everything just appeared to fall into place - as if by magic - even though we all knew that behind the scenes there was always the potential for chaos," Langford said.

"Sue drove [APPA] and cared for it. The event was hers and we all loved her for that. We will miss her dedication and passion, but mostly for always being there for us all."

Hear, hear.

"One of my favourite memories [of Sue] came in Perth at a particularly difficult APPA. After judging had completed for the day, there was need to update a couple of [achievement] ribbons. Ever-prepared, Sue pulled out her sewing kit and fixed them up as we chatted...It was so calming after such a challenging day. Always there to the end, Sue never left until everything had been completed."

- David Puddefoot HonFAIPP APPLM

Team Works

Coming from the ranks of Event Team herself, Sue knew the importance of having a group of dedicated workers to depend upon and - where she could bring herself - delegate to.

ABOVE: The final configuration of the Awards Event Team at the 2019 APPA Gala Dinner in Sydney. Combined we had a total of 72 APPAs worth of experience 'out the back.' (L-R): Me, Sue Lewis, Keren Dobia, Felicity Biasi, Rachel Tot and Jan Ramsay. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"I cannot thank my Event Team enough for the support they have given me over the years," Sue said. "Some have come and gone but most have been involved for many, many years."

The final Event Team come the voluntary administration of the AIPP in 2021 evolved to include a core group of volunteers who returned annually to work with Sue and the rest of the famed white-gloved event crew.

ABOVE: Back-to-front split view during APPA judging in Melbourne, 2015. Judges examine a print out the front of the jump while the famed white-gloved print handlers organise and load prints out the back. Judges pictured are (L-R): Kaye Davis, Katrina Christ, Dan O'Day and Nick Ghionis. (PHOTO: Milton Gan.)

Felicity Biasi and I formally joined the Event Team in 2010, followed by Jan Ramsay in 2012, Keren Dobia in 2013, and Rachel Tot in 2014. We worked together back of house each year since.

"Credit must go to [the Event Team] for the countless hours they give of their time. We were always the first to arrive and the last to leave - you're never thanked enough, so thank you."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

Awards Administration person and Minutes Secretary to the Board, Carla Mahony, was part of the Event Team from 2016 - 2018 along with former Board Member, Steve Wise, from 2017 - 2018.

Additional valued members who served on APPA Event Teams over the years prior include:

  • Meaghan Tranquille
  • Brett Ross
  • Marianne Irvine
  • Clare Madden
  • Selina Young
  • Daniel Capobianco
  • Kenny Foo
  • Jo Dentrinos
  • J-F Tranquille
  • Helen Cross
  • Angie Higginbotham
  • Kristy Kucewitz
  • Mandy Rodrigues
  • Eden Connell; and
  • Glen Wilkie.

"The old analogy that APPA is like a duck swimming isn't far from the truth. What happens 'out the back' with the Event Team could be described as an ant's nest of activity that requires managing to maintain the flow."

- David Paterson APP GMPhotog APPL FAIPP HonFAIPP
Sue Lewis and Meaghan Tranquille and AIPP APPA event team members Melbourne 2012
LEFT: Sue Lewis and long-time Event Team member and AIPP Honorary Life Member, Meaghan Tranquille (nee Sims). (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT (L-R): 2012 APPA Event Team in Melbourne. Jan Ramsay, Kim Harding, Mark Schoeman, Eden Connell, Kenny Foo, Sue Lewis and me. (PHOTO: Dan Ferguson.)

"What an incredible contribution you've made to APPA and the AIPP. Congratulations Sue!"

- Meaghan Tranquille HonLM
ABOVE: APPA Event Crew out the back in Melbourne 2018. Nikon sponsored massage therapists to offer volunteers some welcome respite. (PHOTO: John Swainston. ORIGINAL CAPTION BY JOHN: "The spirit of the AIPP: our wonderful APPA volunteers. No, not all of them but every one deeply valued by all of us. Your generosity, professionalism and enthusiasm are priceless."

"The time spent as part of the [Sue's] team is one of the highlights of being in the AIPP."

- John Ansell APP MPhotogII APPLM
Sue Lewis gets a Nikon-sponsored massage out the back at APPA Sydney 2019
ABOVE: Sue attempts a moment of respite behind the jumps at APPA in Sydney 2019 (though doesn't actually look all that relaxed!) (PHOTO: Louise Bagger.)
Two photos. Left: a group of happy APPA volunteers in Melbourne 2012. Right: Sue Lewis and Brett Ross looking at the back of a camera at APPA 2010.
LEFT: Event Team and Student Volunteers with Sue (back row, third in from the left) celebrating another successful APPA at the Gala Dinner, Melbourne 2012. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT: Long-time Event Team member, Brett Ross, with Sue Lewis back of house at APPA Melbourne 2010. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"It was fun, hard work, lots of laughs and more pizza than anyone could count. Thank you [Sue] for going from student to organiser and taking APPA such a long way behind the scenes and out the front...Thank you for the years and years - did I say years?! - of sheer hard work. APPA won't ever quite be the same without you."

- Maryanne Irvine HonLM

As it turned out, there never was another APPA following Sue's retirement.

Due to COVID it was cancelled in 2020 and again in 2021 when the AIPP went into voluntary administration immediately following the APPA entry deadline in November.

ABOVE: A brief highlights reel from what turned out to be the last APPA ever. 2019 in Sydney. (VIDEO: Bruce Moyle of Joffre Street Productions.)

On Her Merits - Sue Lewis Master Photographer

Aside from all Sue achieved with and for the AIPP, it's important to note she's an accomplished Master Photographer in her own right.

"With all the work Sue does for the AIPP, she still manages to take and enter photos into APPA and is a Master of Photography [with one Gold Bar]."

- David Paterson APP GMPhotog APPL FAIPP HonFAIPP

Unlike for many, a Gold award (that scoring between 90 - 94) did not evade Sue. In fact, she received three over the years, including a coveted Gold Distinction with an almost perfect score of 99 (if you don't mind!).

Award winning photos of the elderly by AIPP Master Photographer, Sue Lewis
ABOVE: Two of Sue's award-winning images: her Gold Distinction on the left, and Gold award on the right (PHOTOS: Sue Lewis.)

"Portraits were always my passion. I have a history in nursing so I had access to a lot of people who I had built up a very strong rapport with and would allow me to take photographs of them."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM (SOURCE: The Toowoomba Chronicle)
Sue Lewis with AIPP APPA travelling exhibition, Toowoomba, in 2008
ABOVE: Sue Lewis with the AIPP APPA travelling exhibition at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba, featuring her Gold Distinction photo (top) that received a near-perfect score of 99. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

You may take the person away from the Awards...but you can never take the awards away from the person.

Farewelled But Not Forgotten

Black and white.

Bundy and Coke.

AIPP Awards and Sue Lewis.

Some things just go naturally hand-in-[white-gloved]-hand and for some 20 years, the latter was most certainly true.

Photos of Sue Lewis working behind the scenes at the AIPP photo awards
ABOVE: Literally and figuratively the face behind the Awards for some two decades, Sue Lewis. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

Given Peter Foeden Snr was fondly dubbed the AIPP Awards founding father, it's only fitting and fair then to dub Sue Lewis the AIPP Awards grande dame.

Sue nurtured and developed the Awards system - cradling it into the digital age and taming the internationally renowned beast it became - for an extended period of time and in a way no one ever will again.

AIPP legends Sue Lewis and Peter Foeden Snr
ABOVE: The colloquial mother and father of the AIPP awards. L-R: Sue Lewis with Peter Foeden Snr at APPA 2017 in Melbourne. (PHOTO: John Swainston.)

"I've been part of the Awards since 2001 and it's been some of the best years of my life working with amazing photographers, sponsors and volunteers. It's been my utmost pleasure being part of one of the best awards systems in the world. I'll miss you all but it's time to pass the baton."

- Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM

Sue went on to be the Perioperative Services Manager at the Toowoomba Surgicentre, working closely with the Executive Team and Clinical Staff. And thriving in another leadership and management role.

Sue's also proudly a hands-on grandmother to grandson, Henry.

Sue Lewis, We Salute You

Sue Lewis, Suey, Shih Tzu, Sue - we virtually stand and salute you for your immeasurable contribution 🙌🏼 💐.

You're an AIPP and APPA legend forevermore.

"'Thank you' will never seem enough to repay and share the gratitude we all feel for the immeasurable contribution you've made to the AIPP Awards. Your passion, leadership, patience and dedication were a shining light for us all to follow and have given us a road map as we strive to continue evolving the awards and build on the foundations you were so integarl in establishing. Thank you and best of luck with your future endeavours."

- Tony Hewitt APP GMPhotogIPB APPLM FAIPP FNZIPP HonFAIPP HonL, Awards Chair 2017-2020
Sue Lewis and Tony Hewitt in front of AIPP APPA media wall 2018
ABOVE L-R: Long-time AIPP awards stalwarts, Sue Lewis and Tony Hewitt, at the APPA Gala Dinner in Melbourne 2017. (PHOTO: Naomi Pommeral.)

Good Time Photo Gallery

Sue Lewis and Peter Foeden Snr at AIPP APPA 2018
ABOVE: Two key players in the inception and development of all things AIPP Awards, Sue Lewis and Peter Foeden Snr, at the APPA Wrap-Up party in Melbourne 2018. (PHOTO: John Swainston.) RIGHT: Sue presenting at the Gala Dinner the following evening. (PHOTO: David Simmonds.)

"You'll be forever in my heart and mind. As you know, I started APPA (the Merits) all those decades ago and did your job for many years in a very primative way. Much to your credit, the operation is now world-class! More importantly, I could and sense the love and respect your team has for you. You are a gem! And I just admire you."

- Peter Foeden Snr, founder of AIPP Awards
AIPP APPA event team and volunteers working hard in their accommodation, 2008
ABOVE: Key team members enjoying after-hours downtime after a big day out the back of APPA in Brisbane 2008. L-R: Daniel Capobianco, Meaghan Tranquille (nee Sims), Trent Corbett, Nathan Oxley, Sue Lewis, Craig Basset and J-F Tranquille. Trent and Nathan from IC One Two were the duo responsible for digitising and designing the new judging software system introduced the year prior, in 2007. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
AIPP Awards Team photo at APPA Melbourne 2018
ABOVE: APPA Awards Team at the Gala Dinner in Melbourne, August 2018. L-R: Mark Zed, Robyn Campbell, Steve Wise, Sue Lewis, Bill Bachman and Tony Hewitt. (SOURCE: Bill Bachman.)

"Sue was undoubtedly the heart, lungs and central nervous system of the AIPP Awards program for most of her 20 years of service. Let's just say the surgeons [she went on to work with] have been very busy since she retired, but the prospects for the patient are excellent, thanks in no small part to the structure, systems and goodwill she left behind. Thanks for everything Sue - you're one of a kind."

- Bill Bachman APPLM AAIPP
AIPP APPA Event Team photo duo from Gala Dinners
ABOVE: APPA Event Team 2015, Melbourne. L-R: Sue Lewis, Rachel Tot, Keren Dobia, Jan Ramsay (front), Carla Mahony, Katrina Ferguson, Jo Dentrinos. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT: The bulk of the Event Team at the APPA Gala Dinner in 2018, Melbourne. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
AIPP APPA breakout at L&P Digital Photographic Sydney 2009
ABOVE: APPA breakout at L&P Digital Photographic, Sydney 2009. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
AIPP APPA behind-the-scenes team photo Sydney 2019
ABOVE: Awards Committee, Event Team, Event Crew and Student Volunteers all working together at bump in for APPA 2019, Sydney. (SOURCE: Bill Bachman.)
AIPP APPA Awards Committee (sans Robyn Campbell) 2019
ABOVE: AIPP Awards Committee 2019 (missing Robyn Campbell). L-R: Tony Hewitt, Gary Cranitch, Sue Lewis, Bill Bachman. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
AIPP Event Team members (missing some) Sydney 2019
ABOVE: Crew of Sue. L-R: Felicity Biasi, Jan Ramsay, Sue Lewis, Keren Dobia and Rachel Tot getting ready to tackle the day from out the back at APPA Sydney 2019. (PHOTO: Felicity Biasi.)

"While most of us are out partying on the nights between APPA days, Sue's pitter-pattering on her keyboard...she works until her head hits the pillow. If you ever think you rack up some steps during APPA, never challenge Suey to a battle...she's ten steps ahead of you, but will allways have your back. Here's to plenty more room parties and laughter that echoes through the halls!"

- Rachel Tot, APPA Event Team 2014-2019
Sue Lewis take 'a million' steps during APPA
ABOVE: Sue was always on the move, having fun, and taking 'a million' steps at APPA. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Sue Lewis AIPP APPA Event Manager preparing for Professional Photographer of the Year judging
ABOVE: Collating results and preparing for the Professional Photographer of the Year (PPY) closed judging process. APPA Sydney 2019. (PHOTO: Bill Bachman.)
Nikon Event Crew crew with Sue Lewis in 2015
ABOVE: Nikon Event crew with Sue Lewis in 2015. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Phone photo of a group of friends out at a restaurant. Sue Lewis and AIPP friends
ABOVE L-R: Sue Lewis, Mandarine Montgomery, Paul Hoelen, Kylie Lyons and Mercury Megaloudis. Note Sue's two phones. For years there she carried her personal phone AND an AIPP phone with her constantly. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Smiling AIPP friends with and of Sue Lewis
LEFT: Sue Lewis, Keren Dobia and Felicity Biasi at the WPC presentation in 2018. (SOURCE: Felicity Biasi.) RIGHT: Sue Lewis, Kim Harding, me, and Rachel Tot being photobombed by white-gloved volunteers out the back of APPA in Melbourne, 2015. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Photographers and Epson crew at Epson State Photography Awards
ABOVE: David Glazebrook, Sue Lewis, Tania Niwa, Kim Harding and Bruce Williams at the AIPP Epson State Awards. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Behind the scenes at AIPP APPA 2019
ABOVE: BEHIND the behind the scenes of APPA 2019, Sydney. L-R: Gary Cranitch, Sue Lewis, Tony Hewitt. (PHOTO: Bill Bachman.)
Photo duo of fun times and silliness at AIPP APPA with Sue Lewis
LEFT: Lots of fun and games with APPA friends and colleagues over the years. L-R: Queenslanders Sue Lewis, Jo Dentrinos and Brett Ross. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.) RIGHT: Celebrating at the 2007 APPA Gala Dinner, Melbourne. 2007 was my first APPA, as a student volunteer. (SOURCE: Katrina Ferguson.)
Sue Lewis and friends at a wedding
ABOVE: Kylie Lyons, Felicity Biasi, Sue Lewis and Jacqui Dean and APPA friend Jo Dentrinos' wedding in 2016. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"Sue, you've been the backbone of APPA and I can't imagine how we are going to manage without you."

Photo duo of Sue Lewis and AIPP print cases en masse
ABOVE: Print cases, print cases and even more print cases. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Photo duo of Sue Lewis with AIPP APPA friends
ABOVE: Sue Lewis with AIPP Event Team members and friends. L-R: Meaghan Tranquille, me, and Jan Ramsay. (SOURCES: Sue Lewis + Jan Ramsay.)

"There are a handful of people you meet in life who shine brightly in every way. Our Sue is one of these amazing humans who is so honest, incredibly hardworking, a tower of strength, speaks positively and is inclusive to all. It was an honour to work on the APPA Event Team with you for 8 years. Sue, you are a point of light."

Jan Ramsay, APP MPhotog + Event Team 2012-2019
Crew briefing by Sue Lewis at APPA 2018
ABOVE: Sue Lewis briefing Event Crew back of house at APPA Melbourne, 2018. (PHOTO: Katrina Ferguson.)
Fun with Sue Lewis at APPA
LEFT: Silliness with Ian van der Wolde. RIGHT: Student Volunteers celebrating with Sue at the AIPP APPA Galla Dinner, Melbourne 2019. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"You've done an amazing job in your time [Sue] and we're forever indebted to you. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with you over the years."

- Ian van der Wolde APP MPhotogIV APPLM FAIPP HonFAIPP
Professional photographers with Sue Lewis on a pier by the beach in Perth 2010
ABOVE: Sue Lewis (centre) with fellow photographers on a research visit to the Perth Awards in 2010. L-R: Robyn and Andrew Campbell, Janie Boyd, Adam Finch and Kylie Lyons. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"Thank you so much Sue for your years of dedication to APPA. The Event Team are always the first there and the last to leave - you all put in so many long hours and we appreciate it."

- Robyn Campbell APP MPhotogIII APPL
Sue Lewis with the all-female APPA event team 2015
ABOVE: The last the leave the Melbourne Exbition Centre at APPA 2015. Sue Lewis at the Event Team. L-R: Carla Mahony, Katrina Ferguson, Kim Harding, Sue Lewis, Keren Dobia, Jan Ramsay, Rachel Tot, Jo Dentrinos. (SOURCE: Katrina Ferguson.)
Trio of photos of Sue Lewis with photographers in front of the Epson media wall 2016
ABOVE: Sue celebrating with colleagues and friends at the WA AIPP Epson State Awards 2016. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Sue Lewis, Michael Coyne, Selina Young funny photo at APPA after party 2008
ABOVE L-R: Sue Lewis, Michael Coyne and Event Team member, Selina Young, at the APPA Wrap-Up party Brisbane 2008. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Two photos of AIPP members and friends at the APPA after party 2008 Brisbane
ABOVE: Merriment at the APPA Wrap-Up party Brisbane 2008. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)
Sue Lewis and friends representing Australia in the Photographic World Cup
LEFT: Sue Lewis with the World Photographic Cup trophy. RIGHT (L-R): Matt Biasi, Kim Harding, Sue Lewis, Peter Lyons, Felicity Biasi and Kylie Lyons. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"[Sue is] quick with a sly joke but will give you the shirt off her back. She's a great leader - bringing out the best in her team - and a team player."

- Kylie Lyons APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM
Sue Lewis with APPA photo by Kris Anderson on APPA gallery wall
ABOVE: So meta - Sue Lewis with Kris Anderson's silver distinction award-winning illustrative image glorifying APPA, hung on the gallery wall at APPA 2016. (SOURCE: Sue Lewis.)

"'Thank you' doesn't feel sufficient. APPA (and the State Awards too) have been a well-oiled machine and I suspect it's you back there with the oil can making it so. You've set an amazing example for the people that'll come after you. They have big shoes to fill."

- Kris Anderson APP MPhotogI
Sue Lewis, Katrina Ferguson and Keren Dobia at AIPP APPA Gala Dinner 2018
ABOVE: An emotional Sue Lewis at the 2018 APPA Gala Dinner while watching long-time Event Team members, myself and Keren Dobia [both pictured right with Sue], accept the Claude McCarthy Award for outstanding contribution to the industry and Institute. (PHOTOS: David Simmonds.)

"There'll be such a hole with you gone Suey. It'll never be quite the same without you; without your passion and commitment, energy, knowledge, work ethic, experience, enthusiasm and multi-tasking mastery! None of us will ever truly know the extent of what you've given. You're an incredible woman and an exceptional example for us all. Thank you for everything you've done and all that you are."

-Katrina Ferguson APP AAIPP Claude McCarthy Award
Professional headshot of Sue Lewis

More APPA History

For more APPA history, see the extensive Nov / Dec 2016 Journal article detailing the 40-year anniversary of the Awards as written by Sue (and edited by Peter Eastway).

Historical information is also detailed in Paul Curtis' book A History of Professional Photography in Australia.

Sue Lewis and APPA history in Paul Curtis' book
ABOVE: A page from Paul Curtis' book on the history of professional photography in Australia.

Share and / or Comment

Thanks for staying to celebrate the service and achievements of Sue Lewis APP MPhotogI APPL HonLM.

If you knew Sue or ever entered the AIPP State or National Awards (APPA) and would like to leave a word of thanks or general well wishes, please comment where prompted below ✅.

If you know anyone who'd be interested to read this article and / or leave a comment for Sue also, please share using one of the icons below or by sharing (copying and pasting) the post's link:

If you have any additions or corrections to make to the historical information in this post, please email me the details or include the relevant information in the comments section below.

Thank you kindly 😃.

Share Post




Comments Expand -
  1. Happy belated Birthday Sue.

    For me you were an integral part of the awards and great guidance throughout my time in the institute, as I started as a print handler back in my first years and gradually became a judge and later a scrutineer for a small time. I hope you are still enjoying your Black Swan print 🙂

  2. Happy belated birthday Sue. Having been a part of the back house crew a couple of times, I got a glimpse of you racking on 10’s of thousands of steps, buzzing all over the venue for days on end putting out spot fires and keeping the awards on track. Sue, thank you for doing this many many years not only during APPAs but in months of prep beforehand and also all the state awards too. I do miss the AIPP and APPAs so much. I think the industry was very fortunate to have you for so long doing so much. I’m sure your efforts helped keep APPA and the AIPP alive longer in some very trying times. Once again Happy Birthday I hope life is treating you well.

  3. Wonderfully written, Katrina; thank you for this wonderful dedication to all of the amazing things Sue Lewis did for our photography community. Sue, you are a legend. Your tireless work before, during and after APPA each year, as well as your ability to power through some extremely stressful times, is admirable. Thank you for all you have done for AIPP members over the years. Much appreciated!

  4. Happy Birthday Sue and thanks Kat for your amazing article. I loved my time as an APPA crew member and always marveled at how Sue could magic away problems like an APPA fairy godmother. I was drawn to the crew like a magnet, and Sue (and Kat) were a big part of that so thank you, for your contributions which of course are far more epic than we can imagine, and for being a great leader behind the scenes.

  5. I don’t believe I have ever met someone that worked as hard as you Sue both on and off court. It astounded me how you managed to build your career, take care of your family, achieve and exceed personal goals whilst selflessly volunteering for all those years.
    A natural leader, Sue you put your own needs aside to focus on the people and the cause that was APPA.
    Words are not enough to express that gratitude we all feel so I wish that each of us will honour you by living out the values you have shown us: self-discipline, resilience, patience, positivity and a relentless need to improve…just to name a few.

    You are a star Sue, in all that you do, making a big impact along the way.

    Thank you

  6. Thank you Sue! You are truly one of a kind. Your commitment, hard work, passion and care is what made the awards system in Australia stand out in the world! Happy Birthday xxxx

  7. Sue Lewis #iconic #thegoodoldays The AIPP would not have been the same without you. Thankyou for your hard work and dedication

  8. Being a newbie to photography I went and volunteered at my first photography awards back in 2009, Sue and the team were sorting prints upstairs at L&P photographic, volunteering at the Australian Professional Photography Awards was the best thing I ever did when I started out doing photography.
    Over the course of the awards I got to know a few photographers and was able to immerse myself in the world of photography.
    Sue always had time for everyone and her knowledge about the craft was amazing.
    I learnt so much from Sue and every year I went back I made more friends and learnt new skills.
    Sue you truly are an amazing person, leading the team of volunteers at the photography awards and other AIPP events.
    Thank you so much you have been a great friend.
    Happy Birthday 🥳

  9. Loved it when there was an APPA stuff up, usually matts opening, and I’d I get a courtesy call from Sue to drop into PSC to see the carnage…LOVED IT because I’d get to see her and all the backroom goings on…we all miss our AIPP and its citizens !!

  10. Epic beyond words, on so many levels.
    Katrina. You have a passion and a gift for writing and journalism – this piece is monumental!
    Sue, what an absolute legacy you have left. There are not enough words to express the influence and effect you had on so many people. This timeline is inspirational and such an important record and historical piece.
    My warmest wishes to you.

  11. One incredible woman. A true leader. Always stayed calm under so much pressure, was so super patient, honest and gave and gave and gave. It was an honour to work you on the APPA team. So many great memories and belly ache laughs. You are certainly one of a kind and I’m so blessed to call you a friend.

  12. You were an inspiration to us all, Sue, and no doubt still are to many others. Happiest of birthdays, now and in the future.

  13. Happy birthday Sue, you sure were the glue that held everything together, a true superstar behind the scenes. I hope you have a fantastic day xx

  14. Beautifully written Katrina. Sue WAS APPA. Without her contribution it would never have been a successful event. She was the heart, glue, the sanity. Thanks for getting this published and out there.

  15. Dear Sue, what a great testimonial and so well deserved. There is no doubt that your dedication to the AIPP, APPA, the WCP et al demonstrated an amazing contribution to photography and photographers both here and abroad and is greatly appreciated and will always be.
    You touched the mind and souls of so many of us that you will always be in our hearts.
    And with all the words that have been said it still amazing how just one look and we both knew exactly what each other was thinking.
    Have a great birthday Grandma, love you heaps.

  16. What a wonderful woman, photographer and friend! I often reminisce on APPA days and think of your hard work, dedication and passion for photography, and the photography community. Many late nights spent with you and the team chatting, laughing at the many pj wrap parties over the years.
    Such a wonderful legacy and celebration of you Sue!
    Happiest of birthdays! X
    So well written Kat

  17. Sue is an amazing, intelligent, organised, fabulous, wonderful woman. How could APPA have existed without her dedication and hard work. We all love you Sue and the APPA team. Katrina is an example of the training you gave to carry on the good work but alas not under the AIPP banner. It saddened me so much that things ended so abruptly. A big thanks from me to you dear Sue. You were the star of APPA. Love to you for a very happy birthday.


  18. What a wonderful article! Thank you so much Kat for gathering all the information and getting it out in the world! She definitely deserves a standing ovation and loud applause for all her years of dedication and I’m so sad she wasn’t able to receive that 😔

    Sue is such a powerhouse of a woman. She always went above and beyond at awards and put her whole being into everything she did. She truly was the absolute best person for the job and they wouldn’t have run without her.

    I remember my first time meeting Sue at my first awards (QLD 2013) as a student and was immediately pulled into the Aipp and APPA world! She was always so kind and welcoming to new volunteers and you could always go to her with a question. I have the best memories of my decade of volunteering and miss my appa family so much!

    Happy Birthday Sue, you are such an incredible person and greatly missed! You deserve all the recognition for all that you did for so many years!

    Alycia xx

  19. Looking back it is hard to imagine an APPA without Sue. Passionate, Dependable, Tireless and outright Amazing, she was the glue that held it all together. The difference she made goes far beyond APPA, within the hearts and minds of all those lucky enough to work with or around her. Her influence can no doubt be found in all manner of places, and wherever those who were in her midst have gone on to. Other organisations, competitions, groups and communities are benefiting from the impact she had on us all.
    Thanks you Sue … you were and alway will be a ‘Very Special a Human Being’, and I, amongst no doubt many others, count myself blessed to have worked with you.
    Happy Birthday

  20. It was an absolute honour to have worked alongside Sue as member of the Awards Team and also education team where we went out to all the photographic colleges / unis / institutions promoting the AIPP and APPA.

    We shared many beautiful memories together and the endless practical jokes we played on the team that made it onto the Awards night video. There were so many funny moments that even till this day I get a good laugh thinking about them.

    Your cheerfulness and dedication to the Awards Team is what made the APPAs / State Awards great! We were one huge happy family!

    I wish you all the best in your current and future endeavours and thank you for being such a wonderful kind hearted person.

    For old times sake, here is a quote from one of the funniest nights we shared with you and the team creating photographic masterpieces using pots and pans.

    “Hello, ladies, look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash and switched to Old Spice, he could smell like he’s me. Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady. I’m on a horse.”

  21. Sue you’re a legend! You were an inspiration to me and others for many years and always lead by example. You showed us what hard work was, purely for the passion of photography. I loved every minute of my days working with you and miss it all dearly.
    I love that Katrina has pulled this together for you and captured so many wonderful milestones.
    When I think of the past, I smile because you are in it, my friend.

  22. An incredible woman to know, an inspirational woman to work with and the truest friend you will ever find.
    Many a laugh shared with you, way too late at night, sitting on couches and floors, dressed in comfies, snacking on anything we could find.
    The best invite only PJ parties around.
    Grateful to have shared in your AIPP history and honoured to be part of your future.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *