SITTING in the living room of Suzie-May Camm's Mt Morgan home today, it was hard to believe the composer was just weeks away from her trip to a radiation soaked Chernobyl.

The 1986 Chernobyl accident was the worst nuclear power plant incident in history, with more than 115,000 people evacuated from the reactor area.

On April 10, 30 years on from the Chernobyl tragedy, the mother of five will board a plane to the Ukraine before she heads to Europe to view the performances of her own composition dedicated to those affected by the disaster.

While she is there, Suzie-May, who is also completing her PHD, will visit the Vesnova Children's Asylum to assist in developing a music therapy program for children left with serious health problems and "extreme" deformities from the radiation.

"This city hasn't been touched for 30 years...I guess I was interested in using music as a sign of respect and remembrance and education to those affected in this human tragedy," Suzie-May said.

"And there are around 200 to 300 of these children's homes in Belarus...who were really hit worse than Chernobyl."

Music had been a huge part of Suzie-May's life since she was nine, when she first picked up a violin.

She went on to study music at the University of New England, University of Ballarat, Melbourne University and University of Queensland.

Suzie-May was living in New South Wales and teaching at a conservatorium until she decided the weather wasn't for her, and made the move to Mt Morgan last year.

"My husband Pete was a house dad and I said, 'That's it, it's too cold here and I want to be home with the kids', and so we switched," she said.

"We love the small communities."

When she returns, Suzie-May will begin work for Orchestra and Choir in dedication to the victims of September 11.

 

In comparison:

It will be a bit of a climate change for Suzie, what's it like here and there?

Chernobyl

Weather: Six degrees, partly cloudy with winds of 12km/h

Population: 500

Mt Morgan

Weather: 27 degrees, with showers and winds of 26km/h

Population: 2,925



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