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Part memoir, part potted history of civilisation, My Life in Ruins is the account of a life lived in uncovering the past.
Adam Ford is an archaeologist. Not only has he been on expeditions to unlock the mysteries of the past in the Caribbean, British Isles, Jordan, Syria, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Australia, he's also had heat stroke, hypothermia, and dysentery; been chased by camel spiders; walked on by scorpions and pestered by bugs big enough to ride.
In more than 20 years roaming the globe, he's lived in some of the most remote locations in the world and suffered the back-breaking and soul-destroying monotony of shifting tonnes of dirt with a shovel. From Cold War bunkers in England to Bronze Age cities on the Euphrates, remotes caves in the Jordan Valley, shipwrecks in Western Australia and burials in Barbados, Adam has dug, dived, abseiled and trekked his way into history.
The brand new second volume of the biography of one of Australia's richest, most active and most influential men, Frank Lowy - an extraordinary story of challenge and achievement. Depending on the day, Frank Lowy is either the richest or the second richest man in Australia. His story - from refugee to multi-billionaire - has become part of Australian folklore. Now in his mid 80s, Frank Lowy is still a juggernaut.
Since 2000, when his first biography, the bestselling Pushing the Limits, was published, he's kept pushing ahead. Rather than retreating into retirement, Frank Lowy has in fact achieved more in his 'second life' than most do in a lifetime. He has turned Westfield into one of the largest retail property companies in the world, dominating retail in London and Australia. He transformed Australian soccer from an insolvent shambles to a profitable mainstream sport. He created Australia's first foreign policy think tank, the Lowy Institute, which has had an impact on the world stage. When his son faced an incurable eye disease, Lowy responded by establishing an international institute to research the disease.
Finally, he completed some long unfinished spiritual business by finding an extraordinary way to 'bury' his father, while commemorating the half a million Hungarian Jews who perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although he continued to drive Westfield to be ever more profitable, personal wealth was not a motivator in Lowy's second life. It was all about intangible enrichment, of himself and of others.
Covering his successes and failures, the controversies and the triumphs, Frank Lowy: A Second Life gives rare insight into this extraordinary man, his strategies, his pain and his achievements.
A story of courage, unconventionality and lust for life. Vera Wasowski was just seven years old when German soldiers marched her and her family into the Lvov Jewish ghetto in Poland. She watched her father take his own life and her mother accede to sexual blackmail in order to ensure their survival.
After the war, Vera studied journalism at Warsaw University, where she threw herself into the bohemian scene. In 1958, she migrated to Australia with her husband and young son, to escape rising anti-Semitism. There she would carve out a bold career as a TV researcher and producer at the ABC on pioneering programs such as This Day Tonight. It was a wild time for politics, arts and the media, and Vera was at the centre, mixing with the Hawkes in the eighties, and forming a close friendship with artist Mirka Mora. In Vera, acclaimed biographer Robert Hillman captures the fierce and passionate life of an amazing Australian.
The loss of a parent is an experience that we all face without any training - relating to a parent through old age and illness; going through the actual death in different circumstances and whether we can help parents to have a good death; the emotional aftermath - shock, grief, relief, the effect on families; funerals, wills and other rituals; clearing out the house and keeping memories alive; recovery and carrying on with life; the longer-term changes in us and our relationship with our parents...Edited by Sydney Morning Herald literary editor, journalist and writer Susan Wyndham, My Mother, My Fatheris a collection of stories from 14 remarkable Australian writers, sharing what it is to feel loss, and all the experiences and memories that create the image of our parents. Contributors include Helen Garner, David Marr, Tom Keneally, Gerard Windsor, Susan Duncan and Caroline Baum... These stories are intimate, honest, moving, sometimes funny, never sentimental, and always well written.
A very Australian story of heroism and healing. In 2004 Garth Callender, a junior cavalry officer, was deployed to Iraq. He quickly found his feet leading convoys of armoured vehicles through the streets of Baghdad and into the desert beyond. But one morning his crew was targeted in a roadside bomb attack. Garth became Australia's first serious casualty in the war. After recovering from his injuries, Garth returned to Iraq in 2006 as second-in-command of the Australian Army's security detachment in Baghdad. He found a city in the grip of a rising insurgency. His unit had to contend with missile attacks, suicide bombers and the death by misadventure of one of their own, Private Jake Kovco. Determined to prevent the kinds of bomb attacks that left him scarred, Garth volunteered once more in 2009 - to lead a weapons intelligence team in Afghanistan. He was helicoptered to blast zones in the aftermath of attacks, and worked to identify the insurgent bomb-makers responsible. Revealing, moving, funny and full of drama, Garth Callender's story is one of a kind.
In 2013, Australian Tom Denniss became the fastest person to circumnavigate the world on foot. His epic journey lasted nearly two years, and for each of the 622 days it took him to run around the planet, Tom completed the equivalent of a marathon or more. Based on distance alone his feat was an extraordinary act of endurance, but along the way Tom also survived a near-death experience on an ice cliff as he was running over the top of the Andes, was chased by dogs, snakes and suspicious border police, narrowly avoided lethal cars and buses, suffered in 60-degree heat and sub-zero blizzards, tore through 17 pairs of runners, and raised tens of thousands of dollars for Oxfam. He also experienced an amazing diversity of scenery, culture, food and people as he traversed New Zealand, North and South America, Europe from the Atlantic to the Bosphorus, and Australia from Fremantle to Sydney...The World at My Feet is his account of an incredible 26,232 kilometre run, and a vivid insight into an adventure of truly global proportions...
Saeed gives a compelling account of his life through revolution and war, love, camaraderie, immigration, the hardships and sacrifices which stretch far back into his past, like footprints on his long and extraordinary journey.
After the 1979 Revolution in Iran, as a young political activist campaigning for freedom and democracy, he was hunted mercilessly by the militia and the Islamic Regime. Unable to complete his schooling, his months in exile exposed him to an education of a different kind. Ultimately though, it was his experience of war which irrevocably changed him as a man. Enlisted to fight in a war he did not believe in, for a government he opposed, the horror and shock of active military service burned away the last vestiges of youthful naievety. Saeed’s ambitions in his home country were blocked at every turn on ideological grounds. Despite the odds, he eventually completed his tertiary education and went on to become a competent engineer in Iran, but his past political involvement continued to undermine his career prospects. Disillusioned with the injustices at home, he turned his attention outward and finally migrated to Australia.
This engrossing story is also full of brilliant moments of insight into the complex psychological traumas in his dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder born from the death of a friend and harsh realities of war. He reveals his astonishing courage to face and eventually overcome the cruel demons of war which had plunged him into a world of shadows. An account that enchants and inspires.
Saeed has presented his views on national television as well as publishing articles which provide a candid and poignant insight into the contemporary political and social issues which confront ordinary Australians... ordinary people in an extraordinary country we all call home.
'I was prime minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience. Three years and three days of changing the nation. Three years and three days for you to judge.'
On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot. The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia's 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time. It was to last three extraordinary years.
This is Julia Gillard's chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like - in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media - to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future.
This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose - from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party. Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. In the immediate aftermath of the leadership, here is her account, of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister, her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means - and what it takes - to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.
With new material and fresh insights, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia's first female prime minister.
Gynaecologists Catherine and Reg Hamlin left Australia in 1959 on a short contract to establish a midwifery school in Ethiopia. Almost 50 years later, Catherine is still there, running one of the most outstanding medical programs in the world. Through this work, thousands of women have been able to resume a normal existence after living as outcasts.
The Hamlins dedicated their lives to women suffering the catastrophic effects of obstructed labour - a problem easily dealt with in the developed world by assisted delivery or caesarean section, but disastrous without medical intervention. The awful injuries that such labour produces are called fistulae, and until the Hamlins began their work in Ethiopia, fistula sufferers were neglected and forgotten - a vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity and degradation.
Catherine and Reg have successfully operated on almost 30,000 women, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, the hospital they opened in 1975, has become a major teaching institution for surgeons from all over Ethiopia, Africa and the developing world. Since Reg's death, Catherine has continued their work.
As well as being made a companion of the Order of Australia, being awarded the ANZAC Peace Prize and the coveted Gold Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons, Catherine was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. The Hospital by the River is Catherine's story. Set against the vivid backdrop of Ethiopia, it is a moving and utterly compelling account of an extraordinary life.
Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church, distills his own life-tested experiences and Biblical truths that will enable readers to discover what it means to live with eternity in mind. What would happen if one of Christianity's most respected leaders shared everything he has learned about finding God in life's difficulties and living an extraordinary life? Brian Houston has done just that. Live Love Lead is a collection of tried and proven principles based on powerful biblical truths and life tested experiences that will enable you to unlock your personal vision, find God in your difficulties, access the power of God's name, and discover what it means to live with eternity in mind. This book will benefit not only seasoned believers, but spiritual seekers longing to uncover the secret to living a more fulfilling life.
Every day across Australia, specialist emergency physicians do extraordinary things under immense pressure. The stakes are high; everyone gets pushed to the limit. Lives are saved, patients die. Some staff manage the stress, others burn out. The ED demands a lot of its practitioners. They have to work through whatever medical emergency they encounter: a man who has been trapped in a rubbish compactor, a teenage girl in anaphylactic shock, a woman howling in labour while behind the curtain another life is coming quietly to an end. The doctors must deal with high emotions, battle the constant patient backlog and make clear, considered, life-or-death decisions in an often chaotic environment. These are the doctors' stories from the front line. All royalties from the sale of this book go to support the work of the ACEM Foundation.
A brilliant, hilarious memoir from a master storyteller. The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret's son, Lev, and the death of his father were good years, but still full of reasons to worry. Lev was born in the middle of a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Etgar's father became sick. And Etgar has been constantly tormented by nightmarish visions of the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, anti-Semitic remarks both real and imagined, and, perhaps most worrisome of all, a dogged telemarketer who seems likely to chase him to the grave. Emerging from these darkly absurd circumstances is a series of funny, touching ruminations on everything from his three-year-old son's impending military service to the terrorist mindset behind Angry Birds. The Seven Good Years is a tender and entertaining tale of a father bringing up his son in a country beset by wars and alarms. Told in Etgar's inimitable style, this wise, witty memoir is full of wonder and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humour. Moving deftly between the personal and the political, the playful and the profound, it reveals the human need to find good in the least likely places, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of our capricious world.
Rod Laver's memoir is the inspiring story of how a diminutive, left-handed, red-headed country boy from Rockhampton became one of Australia's greatest every sporting champions. Rod was a dominant force in world tennis for almost two decades, playing and defeating some of the greatest players of the twentieth century. In 1962, Rod became the second man to win the Grand Slam - that is, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US titles in a single calendar year. In 1969 he won it again, becoming the only player ever to win the Grand Slam twice. His book is a wonderfully nostalgic journey into Australia's sporting past, from the early days of growing up in a Queensland country town in the 1950s, to breaking into the amateur circuit, to the extraordinary highs of Grand Slam victories. Away from on-court triumphs, Rod also movingly writes about the life-changing stroke he suffered in 1998, and of his beloved wife of more than 40 years, Mary, who died in 2012 after a long illness. Filled with anecdotes about the great players and great matches, set against the backdrop of a tennis world changing from rigid amateurism to the professional game we recognize today, Rod's book is a warm, insightful and fascinating account of a great sportsman and a great Australian.
Jeremy Oxley was diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 22, at the height of his fame as singer of the popular band Sunnyboys. Terrified and in denial, he tried to hide his diagnosis from family, band mates and friends, who attributed his erratic and sometimes terrifying behaviour to drug and alcohol abuse.
Following harrowing experiences with the woeful mental health services of the day, Jeremy took himself off his prescription drugs and self-medicated with alcohol, gradually alienating friends and family alike till he became a hermit living in a small town in New South Wales, shut off from any kind of life or support.
A Sunnyboys fan, Mary Griffiths was a nurse who had been widowed for five years with young twin boys. After being shocked to discover how Jeremy was living, she and her sons determined to find him and help him. At their first meeting, Mary was able to see through Jeremy's illness and recognise signs of the sensitive, beautiful and frightened man within. Her boys instantly loved him and he in turn was immediately calm around them.
Jeremy's willingness to get well under Mary's guidance was driven by a deep desire to have the things we all mostly take for granted: a loving family, security, and control of his health and life. Slowly, painfully, but together, Jeremy and Mary put everything into reclaiming his life and building a family.
That struggle is told here for the first time by Mary and Jeremy, whose distinctive voices trace Jeremy's remarkable journey from darkness to the light, and from the depths of despair to hope and love. It will move and inspire all who read it.
'It's a tough business raising young men.' For too long, Helena, a mother of four boys, has allowed her eldest son to call the shots. Even though Joey - an early school leaver teetering on the wrong side of the tracks - no longer lives in the family home, she does his washing, cooks his meals, hands over money for his groceries and spends her nights driving him around town with rap music shaking the car. Helena thinks she's found the answer for Joey after hearing charismatic youth worker Bernie Shakeshaft speak on the radio about 'the shed', a welding project helping struggling teenagers get back on track. On impulse, Helena decides to volunteer but, despite her encouragement, Joey refuses to be involved. Over the next few years, Helena watches and learns as Bernie teaches the young men to involved to 'man up'; and, with Bernie's support, Helena begins to heal her relationship with her son. Wild Boys explores the challenges of 'tough love' from a mother's perspective and offers an intimate insight into reconnecting teenagers with their families and communities.
Fear Drive My Feet is Peter Ryan's enduring account of his time patrolling isolated regions of New Guinea during World War II. Far from his fellow Australians and with Japanese forces closing in around him, the eighteen-year-old Ryan endures the hardships of the jungle, overcoming loneliness, fatigue and fear with quiet courage. He finds beauty in the rugged mountain landscapes of New Guinea, and admires the charm and resourcefulness of its people. Rarely out of print in the past four decades, Fear Drive My Feet is a classic memoir of the war in the Pacific, a major work of Australian war literature. For the work he describes in this book, Peter Ryan was awarded the Military Medal and mentioned in dispatches.
A gentleman off the field and a brute on it, John Sattler was one of the most feared players of his era. He was equally renowned for his toughness and courage: famously, he played 77 minutes of the 1970 Grand Final with a shattered jaw, leading the Rabbitohs to victory over Manly. Here for the first time he tells his story in his own words and in his own style: honest, uncompromising and direct. It's the story of a boy from the bush who led the Pride of the League back to its rightful place at the top of the Sydney premiership. Along the way, Sattler toured with the Kangaroos, played in four winning Grand Finals and survived a near-fatal car crash. While he later built a new life for himself as a proud Queenslander, Sattler will always remain a South Sydney legend and an icon of the game. '
In the high-stakes world of Formula One, only the fastest make it to the top. Few know this better than Australian Formula One legend Mark Webber. His career in F1 stretched an incredible 12 years, saw him earn 42 podium finishes and triumph in nine races, including twice-winning the crown jewel of F1, the Monaco Grand Prix. But the road to the top of F1 racing is long and full of deadly twists and strange turns. In his long-awaited Autobiography, Webber tells the incredible true story of the small town pizza delivery boy who climbed the apex of the world's most dangerous sport. With startling candour, Webber takes us on a thrill ride through the highs and lows of his amazing career, detailing the personal struggles that drove him, revealing the truth at last behind his rivalry with Red Bull Racing teammate Sebastian Vettel, and allowing us access-all-areas into a very private life played out on the public stage. Filled with anecdotes about the great drivers, epic races and characters of Formula One, Mark Webber: Aussie Grit is a fascinating account of a life in the cockpit of an F1 rocket and the inspiring, no-punches-pulled story of a great, gritty Australian.