The Susie Elelman collection comprises twenty-one (21) objects associated with Susie's participation in the Miss Northern Beaches and Miss New South Wales competitions, and in the national final of the Miss Australia Quest 1973. The collection includes a tiara, a sceptre/trophy, and a series of scrapbooks compiled by her mother, Annemarie. The collection is supported in the Museum's Archive by a selection of audio-visual material and paper-based ephemera which documents Susie's experience as a participant, and state winner, in the Miss Australia Quest.
The Miss Australia Quest (from 1992 known as the Miss Australia Awards) ran continuously from 1953 to 2000 and was arguably the longest running, most popular and most successful charitable enterprise in Australia's history. The first documented nationwide contest to identify Australia's ideal woman was held in 1907, however the first official use of the title 'Miss Australia' is more generally thought to have been used in relation to 'Miss Australia 1926' - Beryl Mills from Western Australia. Further contests were held in 1927, 1937, and from 1945 until 1950. From 1954 until 2000 the Quest ran primarily as a fundraising event for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association (ACPA), and is estimated to have raised over $90 million for people with cerebral palsy. Over its lifetime, the Quest reflected many of the changes that took place in Australian society and culture: the changing role and perceptions of women; changing perceptions of people with disabilities; the influence of migrants and 'New Australians'; and the presentation of Australia and Australians overseas.