“We run a business that relies a lot on our local community,” Sue says of Castle Hill’s Robert Cliff Master Jewellers, a company founded by her husband in 1984 and which has become a prominent company in the region. “I believe that you take and you have to give back — you help me, I’ll help you.”
And helping out isn’t something she does just for the sake of it. For Sue, there’s a personal story behind her generosity. “My father died very suddenly when I was 12,” she explains. “When he died we went into liquidation. In those days a widow couldn’t rent because they saw you as a bad risk. Within 10 days the landlord said to my mother, ‘You have to get out’.”
The grieving family moved in with relatives in December and two days before Christmas there was an event which was to have a lifelong impact on Sue.
“There was a knock on the door and the lady said, ‘This is for Mrs Tooker. Merry Christmas!’” The visitor had delivered a box of Christmas treats from the Smith Family. “It was a huge box,” Sue says. “It had food and gifts for my brother, who was 19, and I, and they were perfect. I will never forget that.”
It was the moment, Sue says, which inspired her to always do what she could to help others. “They didn’t have to do that,” she says, and explains that she is dedicated to helping out in the Hills district, an area which she says has always been very good to her family.
For anyone interested in volunteering in local organisations, Sue says the best place to start looking for opportunities is the local papers. “Watch your local papers, listen to your community radio, go to the council to find out what’s happening,” she says, and explains that the easiest way is to simply turn up and help out where needed. “Everyone can do something. It doesn’t take much and you’ll get a lot more out of it than you’ll ever expect.”
It’s important to Sue that her work benefits the children of the area and that her own children and grandchildren also learn to be generous and considerate citizens.
“Take them with you,” she says to parents and grandparents. “Make them feel a part of it, that’s how these things continue. Otherwise it will stop and we will become very insular. We’re all family. We don’t have to like each other but when the chips are down we have to get together and help each other.”

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