Dame Susan Devoy DNZM, CBE is a former world squash champion, former member and Chair of the Halberg Trust, and held the role of Race Relations Commissioner from 2013-2018.
A role which had an uncompromising effect on Dame Susan and enabled her to see a side of New Zealand that is not commonly seen. Susan draws on this experience to share insights into the issues around diversity and inclusion, intolerance and prejudice - how can we as individuals and organisations take responsibility for positive change.
Susan was ranked Number One in the world continuously from 1983 until her retirement in October 1992, when she achieved her fourth World Women's Squash Championship. She has, remarkably, won the British Open Squash Championship eight times, the last in April 1992 when she was delighted to regain that title having lost it the previous year.
Susan was named New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year in 1985, 1987 and 1988. A Member of the British Empire and Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her achievements in squash, in 1998 Susan became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit - the youngest New Zealander since Sir Edmund Hillary to receive such a high accolade from the Queen.
Her long-time association with the Halberg Trust was fuelled by a vision for better outcomes for people with disability. The trust runs the country’s major sports awards with the mission of raising funding to give disabled young people sporting opportunities. For similar reasons she has played an active role as a member of the Sustainability Council and has in the past been the patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Association.
From 2000 to 2003 she was the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of Sport Bay of Plenty. Dame Susan served as a board member of the Auckland District Health Board (2000-2003) and as Chairperson of the BNZ partners, Tauranga (2011-2013). She is currently a trustee of TECT (Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust).
Dame Susan is an entertaining and motivational speaker, who speaks with warmth and conviction. She draws on personal experiences from both on and off the court and shows the professionalism that ranked her the world's number one squash player for almost a decade.
She was really down to earth and her topic was relevant. ... keep reading NZ Post
Great. [Susan's] contribution has helped substantially in ensuring the effectiveness of the programme and for this we are grateful. [Her] presentation benefited the audience greatly.
Dame Susan perfectly rounded off a full agenda of panel discussions and presentations with a very frank and humorous response to questions about her life which kept those present captivated. - The New Zealand Debt Capital Markets Forum