Susan was born and raised in Melbourne, living in several different areas throughout her life. Susan studied fine art at Box Hill, Footscray and North Eastern Tafes before going to Victorian College of the Arts to study printmaking. Susan first sought help from a psychiatric ward in 1988 and had numerous stays afterwards. These experiences inspired Susan to become an advocate for female mental illness issues, in particular, the reinstatement of female only psychiatric wards. Susan was commissioned by Victorian Legal Aid to produce a painting for their 30th Anniversary.
Susan is the founder and chairperson of Mixed Nuts Media, a not-for-profit arts and media organisation for people with psychiatric disabilities, run by people with psychiatric disabilities.