A wee bit about me…

Love is...

My name is Susan Dustin Hattan-Aldous; my friends call me Dusty. I have lived and worked abroad for nearly 40 years, mostly in Thailand, until COVID-19 sent me to back to Australia.

In 1977, I began a life-saving journey into full time, non-salaried volunteerism. What initially was a series of idealistic, compassion-based endeavors soon transformed into a passionate lifestyle! Over the decades, I have taken part in tens of thousands of caregiving activities throughout Australia, South East Asia, and North and Latin America. Refugee camps, mental wards, substance abuse rehabs, prisons, juvenile detention centers, under-funded hospitals, educational institutions, slums, emergency shelters, and medical missions have been but a few of the backdrops for the unfolding of what I can only term as sacred ground for birthing miraculous love.

Conducting my days on a shoestring budget in trying situations has been highly challenging, but never boring!  Much to my surprise though, no matter where, to whom, or how much I have given of myself, a joyful life purpose and a hard won arsenal of optimism have unfolded in ways I would have never expected. 

If you care to know more about my experiences, take a peek at my writings under “Optimism in Action” on the homepage. I’d love to hear what you think, also about your way of being in this wonderful world!

Susan Dustin “Dusty” Hattan (Aldous)—An Arsenal of Optimism © June 2015


  1. Hi Dusty! A friend we have in common (Martha Cobbs) shared your link with me. Would love to contact you. I’m leaving you my email. Would love to chat with you. TX!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Zoe,
      There may be stories of motherhood in the future, but the rest is my daughter’s story, not mine to tell. Regarding talking about anyone else’s mental health, even my father and grandfather, I have done so anonymously for their part. I try to be very mindful to not put my words to other’s stories unless it is already in the public domain or without identifying them. Never at anyone else’s expense is my motto. My daughter, her kids, are very young early stage works in progress. At 60, I still am too, or so it seems, ha! All I know is, it falls on me to break the cycle, and that is a huge struggle to say the least, but one worth fighting for.


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