Long-term Leura Gardens Festival volunteer remembered

Locals gather at the unveiling of the Sue de Brett Memorial Garden.
Locals gather at the unveiling of the Sue de Brett Memorial Garden.
Sue de Brett enjoying a coffee break while volunteer gardening in the Mall.

Sue de Brett enjoying a coffee break while volunteer gardening in the Mall.

The rain stopped and the sun shone long enough earlier this month for the dedication of Sue de Brett's memorial garden bed in Leura Mall.

Around 35 Leura locals attended the unveiling of the plaque in the newly planted bed outside the Wayzgoose building and mural walkway.

Sue de Brett (1953-2021) was remembered for her tireless contributions to Leura community activities including its longest running festival.

The popular six-day Leura Garden Festival involving 400 volunteers and 10 open gardens has been raising money annually for Blue Mountains Anzac Memorial Hospital since 1965.

Festival president Brooke Broughton recalled his delight as a new member of the committee in 2012 when he learned that Sue de Brett had also volunteered her services.

He had worked with Sue professionally in the 80s and early 90s and "I knew very well what a great asset she would be to the festival".

"She joined our committee and was soon very busy working on our marketing and promotion ... and introduced us to social media, a somewhat alien concept for some of us on the committee."

Lachlan Hart (Birches of Leura), Brooke Broughton, Bruce Hart (Birches), Kerry Brown and Nick de Brett.

Lachlan Hart (Birches of Leura), Brooke Broughton, Bruce Hart (Birches), Kerry Brown and Nick de Brett.

In 2016, Mr Broughton and Ms de Brett became president and vice-president respectively of the LGF.

"Sue was always looking at ways to improve the Festival and had an innate sense of what we should or should not do," Mr Broughton said. "Her organisational skills were unmatched."

Leura Village Association (LVA) secretary and Mall gardener, Kerry Brown, said: "Sue's organisational skills were supported by her grace and humility. People liked working with her."

Ms Brown noted that "Sue was also a terrific gardener. The memorial plaque is perfectly placed amongst the Mall gardens that she helped rejuvenate as one of the LVA volunteer gardeners and outside the historic property she helped to save as one of the Friends of the Wayzgoose building."

Sue's husband Nick de Brett thanked everyone for this tribute to his beloved wife.

The plantings and plaque were supplied and installed by Birches of Leura.

Sue de Brett (nee Bellamy) was born in Worthing, England, in 1953, the third of three sisters. A qualified medical secretary, she visited her sister Ann in Australia on a working holiday in the late 70s where she became an executive assistant to a Macquarie street surgeon before meeting and marrying Nick de Brett. They moved to the Leura in 2011.

Sue de Brett is survived by her husband Nick, step-children Sarah and Simon, older sisters Ann and Elizabeth and their children.