Vale Tuesday Udell

Tuesday UdellJust before Christmas we heard the sad news that our former Chair, Tuesday Udell, had finally succumbed to the cancer.  It was five years and nine months since she was first diagnosed, and in that time she lived life to the fullest.

Tuesday had joined the Walking SA Board the year before, in 2017.  Tuesday served as Chair from 2018 to 2022, for much of the period undergoing treatment.  At times committee meetings were scheduled around treatment sessions.  Tuesday loved walking, and despite her illness she managed to organise and participate in walks, both for Walking SA and with her many friends.  She also kept up her relentless advocacy.  If not for her, the State government would not have developed and adopted the South Australian Walking Strategy, 2022-2032.

Tuesday began her working career in computer science, but after deciding that she wanted to do something that would be more meaningful for her, she undertook a course in nutrition.  This eventually led her to work for the Heart Foundation, where she quickly established herself nationally as an advocate for physical activity as well as healthy eating.  She was, for example, a driving force behind two important publications used throughout Australia: Good for Busine$$: The benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly, and Streets for People.

Her passion and tireless activity were recognised by Walking SA with the 2022 Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution, and by the Public Health Association, with the Basil Hetzel Leadership in Public Health Award.

But for the many who gathered at her memorial service, Tuesday was simply a force of nature, inspiring some many of us to be more active in so many ways, even when she herself was battling cancer.  As a neighbour commented, “she taught me to live”.

Ian Radbone, friend and Walking SA Walking for Transport committee member

It was such sad news to hear of Tuesday’s passing, a vibrant and dynamic person taken from us all too soon.

It has been a pleasure to work with Tuesday on the Walking SA Board and to learn from her no nonsense, authentic, strategic, let’s get it done approach.  Her time as Chair was well spent.  It  saw a time of strong growth and renewed focus with the  completion of the first South Australian Walking Strategy, 2022-2032, the 2021-2025 Walking SA Strategic Plan and a greater focus on advocacy in the walking for health, transport and liveable communities space .

Although we needed little reminding of her impact on so many, Tuesday’s  memorial celebrated the highlights of a busy and purposeful life.  Truly an inspiration.  On behalf of the Walking SA community, I offer sincere condolences to Tuesday’s family and remember her always as a lifetime friend of Walking SA.

Rod Quintrell, Chair, Walking SA