(left) Susana Lu Dizon and her partner, Terry O’Neil. (right) Susana Lu Dizon (left) Susana Lu Dizon and her partner, Terry O’Neil. (right) Susana Lu Dizon


SUSANA LU DIZON, fondly called as SUSAN and whose maiden surname is COLUBONG, is from Cavite, Philippines. She is the TEST CENTRE ADMINISTRATOR of the INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM (IELST) AT CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY of the NORTHERN TERRITORY OF AUSTRALIA. How she got this prestigious job in the Public Service is a must to tell because to be a Test Centre Administrator in Australia requires strict necessary requirements needed to administer this intricate job. For Susan, whose personality radiates because of her gentle, friendly and accommodating attitude, along with her loving and caring character traits that endeared her to her many friends in Darwin and beyond, she said she got this job through hard work and sheer dedication to duty.
Whenever I am looking for substantial people with remarkable success to be featured, her name always comes out in list of suggestions. “Fele, we suggest that SUSANA LU DIZON, Test Centre Administrator of IELST at Charles Darwin University must be featured. She has an amazing life story worth telling!”” one of my popular mates in Darwin insisted and the others in our group agreed. “Yea, she is an ideal one to be featured because she is a lovely lady, intelligent and very humble too!” they said in chorus. Their testimony made me reflect and then a firm decision was made.
From that time on, I eagerly searched for her to be featured. Fortunately, she is one of my FACEBOOK friends and she gladly agreed for us to meet for the interview.
The interview was held in HOWARD SPRINGS in the beautiful house of MARGARET “MARGIE” DIZON, her daughter who lives with her partner. It’s located in the middle of a very wide tract of land, with swimming pool and surrounded by plants. I felt and smelt the pure breeze of fresh air all around the place, very peaceful and free from pollution. Susan said she loves the place which is perfect venue for vacation time.
After enjoying our tasty lunch personally cooked by Margie, her sister Cecilia de la Vega, and her family, we proceeded with the interview.
“I’m very honored, Ate Fele, for featuring me. I will cherish
this moment.,” she smiled gently looking at me. I noticed her gentle voice and humility in speaking.” “The pleasure is all mine, Susan, because I’m featuring someone like you who brilliantly succeeded in your career in the Public Service based on your ability and character.
By sharing your secrets of success, our readers in the TIMPUYOG JOURNAL where I write as a TMI GLOBAL AUSTRALIA CORRESPONDENT, and in the PHILIPPINE COMMUNITY HERALD NEWSPAPER or PCHN where I am one of the columnists, will inspire them to live their dreams like you did and succeeded.” I said. After explaining to her that the TJOURNAL, written in English and in Ilocano by seasoned writers in the Philippines and abroad - is published and distributed in then the Philippines, Hawaii, America, Australia, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries with Filipino subscribers. The PCHN, published in Sydney, Australia which spanned for over 2 decades now, is written all in in English by accomplished contributors in all states of Australia. It is published in Sydney and distributed Australia wide and even to subscribers abroad. “Yes, I’ve seen and read them both and they are very good! I like them!”.
“It’s very interesting that you landed in a job as an IELTS Administraitive Officer at CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY. Tell me about IELTS and the job you do”. Her smiling face became reflective. “ IELST means INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM. It is a very important requirement for any job seeker abroad to pass an IELTS TEST in order to get a job permanently. IT IS DESIGNED TO ASSESS THE LANGUAGE ABILITY OF CANDIDATES WHO NEED TO STUDY OR WORK WHERE ENGLISH IS USED AS A LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATION.” she explained clearly and efficiently. it provides a profile of a candidate”s ability to use English. Candidates receive in a Band Score from 1 (for Non user) to 9 (Expert user). IELTS is Internationally recognised and understood giving the candidate a reliable international grade”.
Susan further explained that IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, United States and United Kingdom. it is recognised by professional bodies and other government Agencies. More that 1.4 million people a year take the test. A candidate can choose between the Academic Test or General Training version of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections. The test has 4 sections: 1) Litening (4 Sec, 40 questions 30 mins) 2. Speaking - 15 mins. , 3) Reading for Academic or General Training - 3 sections - 40 questions 60 mins. 4) different for Academic or General Training, 2 pieces of writing 60 mins.
“As to Levels and Scores - In Multi Level, a candidate get a score between 1- 9 Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IIELTS score of 6 or 7. Test takers are graded on their performance in the test using scores from 1 to 9 each part of the test : Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. Your results from the 4 parts then produce an over all Bar Score. This unique Band System measures 3 scores in correcting manner whenever and wherever the test is taken. It is Internationally recognised and understood giving the candidate a reliable international ----------”. Among the many other duties that I have as a Test Centre Administrator, I am Coordinating the test dates, Managing more than 20 Staff in the office, Examiners, Markers, Test Invigilators, I administer the IELTS TEST in the Northern Territory during scheduled times of the test. It is a very demanding task that needs expertise in managing the exam. It’s very exhausting but very satisfying when many of the candidates passed the test”. Susan spoke eloquently and with confidence.
In order to know more about this gentle, charming and humble Public Service Officer of the Northern Territory and why she was selected to become an ADMIN officer with difficult reponsibilities, let us briefly look at her life history.
SUSANA LU DIZON was born in Cavite City, Philippines, on 27 July 1950. Her parents are LU YOK ING from China with the English name LORENZO age 79. Her Mom, now deceased, was 44 when she died. Susan adored both of them as good parents. Her siblings are: Juanita, Benito, Eusebio, Conchita, Juliana, Julieta Joya, Jose, Zenaida and Felicitas. Although her family is big they are united as one and they love and care for each other. Based on her resume, Susan studied from Primary to High School in ST JOSEPH COLLEGE in Cavite. She also worked at SM Makati as Sales Assistant when it first opened in 1983. She lived with her first partner, DAVID DIZON, in the Philippines when she was 15 and David was 17 and got married when they reached the legal age. Unfortunately, after 14 years, the marriage didn’t work due to irreconciliable differences.
Susan’s 3 children are MARGARET “MARGIE” LU DIZON, Director of MIGRATION ORPORATION AUSTRALIA, MARIA CECILIA de la VEGA, ALSO A MIGRATION AGENT, and DANA ROSE DIZON, MIGRATION OFFICE ADMIN. Susan’s 3 children are all successful professionals.
Susan came to Australia in 1984 as a tourist to visit her sister, Zenaida, and when she came back in 1988 she met KYM, an Australian, who became her second husband of 18 years. Susan became permanent resident in Australia in 1990. Like the saying, in life there are no guarantees; her marriage which lasted for 18 years ended. Although sad, she did not lose hope that one day GOD will send the right man for her who would appreciate her real worth. She was comforted by close relatives and friends and predicted that the next one would be the ‘MR RIGHT” which would happen in GOD’s own time. Susan and Kym had a divorce; and all her friends understood the situation she was in. They believe that she would win in life because of her sterling virtues and character.
Susan graduated in College at CHARLES DARWIN UNIVERSITY and finished BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN 1997. She was greatly commended by the higher ups for being a very dedicated and a competent worker. After graduation she volunteered to work at CDU and due to her unique dedication to duty, good performance and impressive character, finally got a permanent job as IELTS ADMINISTRATOR in 2000 up to the present time. She is also a NT COMMISSIONER OF OATHS since 2005 up to the present whose duty is to sign Statutory declarations and other documents.
“How do you cope with such a very demanding job, Susan? Do you love it or hate it? YES or NO?” I kidded her. “Oh, I love it!” she butted in quickly. “Every test is challenging. I like dealing with people and customers’ service. I love challenges, I don’t go away from them but face them bravely and that’s how I succeed” she laughed. “Courageous girl you are! Winners are mostly courageous that’s why you did! Weaklings don’t have a place where firm, decisive and right decisions are to be made!” I patted her shoulder and she enjoyed what I did. “Usually, women with gentle and humble looks, like you have, are shy and prefer to avoid difficulties”. I tested her. “Not me, I face challenges courageously and never run away from challenges.” We laughed nodding both our heads together.
“Now comes a challenging question, Susan, how about your love life at present, did your friends who predicted MR RIGHT to come along in GOD’s own way, come to your life and when? You have the right to remain silent, if you choose not to answer the question!” I laughed quite loud while finishing my sentence. “Oh, I’m glad you asked that, Ate Fele, he actually did!” she joined me in laughing. “GOD is good; I met a nice gentleman, TERRY O’NEIL, 67, a Civil Engineer at WATERFRONT CORPORATION at the ITALIAN CLUB during a ROCK AND ROLL SOCIAL DANCE, a monthly celebration. This is a monthly gathering for all who are interested in dancing and music. When we first danced, he didn’t know how to dance, I noticed his hands are very soft like a baby’s hands. We liked and appreciated each other very much and after sometime, he became a good dancer and he became my good partner. The audience look at us with approval and delight every time we dance at any Ceelbration including your GALA NIGHTs and BEAUTY PAGEANTS sponsored by the Filipino Club Darwin Inc. to raise fund for the orphans in the Philippines. This dance hobby turned into a romantic moment for us and we knew then that we were right for each other. AND SO IT DID. We have been living together for some years now and we are very happy and contented as a couple. Life is good and GOD is good!,” she exclaimed. We again laughed with gusto! I started to like the lively interview!
When asked about her trials in life, she answered “LOTS OF THEM! I was only 14 when my mother died and I was left with a Nanny. I am the eldest and had to help all my siblings in the family. We lived with a Step Mother and my Dad was old and frail. Also I had many trials in my life including marriage problems in my past 2 marriage relationships. Now, I was greatly rewarded for being a good enduring wife with the coming of TERRY in my life. I love him for being so gentle, loving, understanding and generous. I can’t ask for more, Ate Fele, he is the real love of my life. And finally, I can say that life is worth living for me”, her eyes were flowing with joy.
During the interview, Susan’s demeanor was completely satisfying. She said that GOD is her life. “With all the difficult challenges I had encountered I found myself clinging to GOD, much closer to Him, found great comfort, guidance, protection and love. My failed marriages brought me closer to GOD, learned to enjoy reading the Bible, do different services in the Catholic church to serve Him in gratitude for His many blessings to me, success in my chosen job, my children who are all successful in their chosen careers, an inheritance from my rich father who owned half of the market area in Cavite. This enabled me to help poor relatives in their needs. I have opened an account purposely to help them.“ She mentioned about the Philippines as a very beautiful country but sadly poverty is rampant. As a dual citizen, she has some investments in the Philippines and she is able to help those who need or ask for help.
When asked to comment on her goals in life, she answered with a gesture of joy and deep gratitude “I feel I have achieved so much in life, thank GOD, and I”m happy and contented that my children have succeeded in their so much in life, thank GOD, and I”m happy and contented that my children have succeeded in their own chosen carreers. I want to retire with grace, happiness and dignity: dance and travel with Terry, have more cruises with him to relax and enjoy life.!” I was delighted to hear about her goals in life, for this is the direction Roman and I have followed - to enjoy and relax while we still can. LIFE IS TOO SHORT to waste it, rather, it must be enjoyed to the fullest possible extent.
After hearing those words a MESSAGE from SUSANA LU DIzon, which she declared so sincerely and earnestly, I said to myself” NO WONDER, SHE SUCCEEDED IN LIFE! GOD HAS GIFTED HER WITH A GENTLE, LOVING, AND COMPASSIONATE HEART.!”

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