Founders, Small Steps 4 Hannah
Queensland | 2022 Australian of the Year
Despite unimaginable grief, Sue and Lloyd Clarke are dedicated to educating Australians about the dangers of coercive control and domestic violence. After the murder of their daughter, Hannah, and three grandchildren, Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey, they vowed to end such violence.
Through their foundation, Small Steps 4 Hannah, Sue and Lloyd want to empower victims to speak up, help family members to be aware of those who may be in an unsafe environment and create a safe place for those who need it most.
They have also worked with the Queensland Government to establish the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. The taskforce is transforming the way Queenslanders, and Australians in general, understand domestic violence, while giving victims a voice in court. By advocating for legislative change, Sue and Lloyd hope that the criminalisation of coercive control will become Hannah’s legacy.
Facsimile of Hannah Clarke’s footprints
Sue and Lloyd Clarke had a daughter, Hannah, and three grandchildren, Aaliyah, aged 6, Laianah, aged 4, and Trey, aged 3. Hannah and her children were murdered by their husband and father in February 2020. The children died at the scene but, before she was taken to hospital, Hannah managed to tell the police what had happened. She died later that day.
The Intensive Care Unit usually provides families with handprints of the deceased, but Hannah’s hands were so severely burnt that they captured her footprints instead.
These footprints inspired Sue and Lloyd Clarke, and their son Nat, to establish Small Steps 4 Hannah, a foundation seeking to end domestic violence in Australia and raise awareness about the dangers of coercive control.
We never wanted to be in the national spotlight and be in this situation. But now that we are, can we do something to help? We want people to be aware of what Hannah went through. And if there’s anybody going through similar things, for them to be aware that it can be dangerous and to seek help.
Educating the community
We want to make sure the community gets to know about coercive control. Education needs to be brought in – not just at the state level, but nationally. But we can work on Queensland first, because we are here.
All she ever wanted was to be a mum. She certainly doted on her children and loved them so much. She was a very strong person. She was a warrior.
This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council. Portrait images supplied by the National Australia Day Council.