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A Joyful Life : One Woman's Story of Triumph Over Trauma to Build a Life of Hope and Gratitude - Rosemary Kariuki

A Joyful Life

One Woman's Story of Triumph Over Trauma to Build a Life of Hope and Gratitude

By: Rosemary Kariuki, Summer Land

Hardcover | 8 March 2023

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RRP $34.99

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A Joyful Life is the astonishing memoir of Rosemary Kariuki, one of Australia's most beloved Local Heroes. Long before she was advocating for refugee and migrant women just like herself, Rosemary was a survivor like no other.

As a child, she survived the first of many predators in her home. As a teen, she survived the first of three infant losses. In her twenties, she survived years of domestic violence. In her thirties, she survived political unrest and tribal clashes that brought a hammer crashing down on her head.

But what makes Rosemary’s journey so remarkable is not just how she survived, but also how she came to find joy: an infectious joy that she has gone on to share with countless others. From her tough childhood in Kenya, taking care of her fifteen siblings, to becoming the 2021 Australian of the Year – Local Hero through her work as a multicultural community liaison officer for the police in western Sydney, Rosemary’s story is a memoir that will inspire all Australians.

Raw, direct and filled with Rosemary’s warmth and humour, A Joyful Life shows how in the face of incredible hardship, kindness to ourselves and to others can allow us to regain our internal strength and ultimately become the writer of our own life story.

About the Authors

Rosemary Kariuki OAM is the multicultural community liaison officer for the Campbelltown Police, specialising in helping migrants who are facing domestic violence, language barriers and financial distress. In 2021, Rosemary work was recognised with the Australian of the Year - Local Hero and NSW Local Hero awards. Rosemary's own experiences have inspired her to help migrant women connect with a community, combating the isolation that comes with moving to a new country. A documentary about her work, Rosemary's Way, was released in 2021. In 2008, she helped start the African Women's Dinner Dance, an annual event now attended by over 500 African women from all over New South Wales. In 2022 she received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the multicultural community.

Summer Land has authored and ghost written over ten books, spoken at numerous writers' and readers' festivals across Australia, and has had work featured in ELLE Australia, Marie Claire Australia, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, ABC and Mamamia. She is known for her own witty and brutally honest voice as well as her ability to capture others' voices on the page. On top of writing, Summer is a keynote speaker for EQ Minds and an avid fundraiser for the Children's Medical Research Institute.
Industry Reviews
‘[Rosemary] exudes the joy we wish we all had.’ – Lisa Millar, co-host of ABC News Breakfast

'[A Joyful Life is] the challenge set by Rosemary to not be afraid to ask for what you want, to choose to seek joy and to never give up!' – Frances Rush, CEO of the Asylum Seekers Centre

'[Rosemary's irresistible urge to talk to others] helped her overcome her pain and trauma, and without design became a powerful social glue and motivator, powerful enough to mobilise the inner strength of thousands of other women locked in similar adversity.' – Professor Manjula Datta O'Connor, chair of the Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Family Violence Psychiatry Network

‘A powerful and important story from a migrant woman who has used her lived experience to serve emerging communities.’ – Amani Haydar, artist and author of The Mother Wound 

'Rosemary embraces the reader, as she embraces life, with daring, practical action, community, and radical hope. Her journey will inspire you to dance.' – Arnold Zable

'Throughout A Joyful Life, Kariuki channels her pain into empowerment ... to highlight how marginalised women can heal and cultivate lives of hope and gratitude.' – Rayann Bekdache, Books + Publishing

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