The memoir of a courageous woman on a quest to find love and places to belong.
Accidental Aid Worker is the travel memoir of the adventurous Sue Liu who stumbles into voluntary aid work in the wake of the 2004 tsunami during the civil war conflict in Sri Lanka. She teams up with a tour guide, a Catholic priest and a community of refugees and so begins a ten-year obsession with helping people in need. Through tragic events, Sue meets the larger than life Geraldine Cox and spreads her generosity to help orphaned children in Cambodia.
This is a moving and real account of one woman's drive to survive and support others, while masking battles of her own. Along the way, Sue loses her grip on life and embarks on a harrowing journey through mid-life crisis, disconnection and chronic depression. She is forced to face inescapable truths about herself in order to navigate her way to the woman she really wants to be.
Sue shares her most vulnerable moments with warmth and bare honesty, alongside epic travel adventures and quirky tales involving; priests, nuns, a rabbi, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, a tuktuk accident, refugees, orphaned children, surgeries, fishing for marlin and at times, spontaneous singing and dancing with children.
This heartwarming and thought-provoking story will make you laugh, bring you to tears, inspire a thirst for travel, a yearning to give back and pause for thought about what really makes us all tick.
"Thank you for your generous, and indeed very special and personal gift of your biography, Accidental Aid Worker. Indeed, I have just commenced reading the early parts of this epic memoir, which touches many sensitive aspects of your life, with which I can identify. This unique journey is indeed rich with memorable characters and events and also with your sensitive reflections. I am certainly looking forward to travelling on this journey in your book as each chapter unfolds. My deep appreciation is with you for this generous gift. Best wishes in all your future endeavours and warmest regards."
- Professor Dame Marie R Bashir AD CVO
This is the tale of a woman who bravely opens doors and thus has astounding adventures and enlightenments. All in the context of what can only be called an adventure story and an extraordinary life. – Thomas Keneally
This amazing woman has lived four lifetimes of an ordinary woman and, in doing so, has made a huge difference to many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives… All I can say after reading Sue’s story is, ‘What a woman!’. She shows us how one person can make a difference in this world, and I am in awe that she has been able to accomplish so much. An inspiring book. – Chris Gibbons, supported by Di Morrissey
Accidental Aid Worker is an epic memoir, which touches many sensitive aspects of life, with which we all can identify. This unique journey is indeed rich, with memorable characters, events and sensitive reflections. – Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO
This poignant travel memoir, Accidental Aid Worker details the adventures, challenges, doubts, and tribulations Sue experiences as she finds herself immersed into the humanitarian and development world. The book extends far beyond the aftermath of the tsunami though. Through her experience in Sri Lanka, Sue finds she has a passion and skill for community work. Sue is also a woman of the world, with skills in demand by corporations. The pressures of humanitarian and corporate work, including the physical and mental stresses thrown up when doubts surface about the worth of one’s work and life, are a compelling theme of Accidental Aid Worker. It is a brave and honest book. - Robyn Hutchinson
What an amazing, honest, heartfelt, humorous and courageous book Sue. I am so proud of you for what you have achieved, endured, and overcome, both in your life in general, as well as in the writing and publishing of this part of it. You are truly an inspiration, as are the eclectic bunch of fellow “givers” that you have come across and formed relationships with over time. You all, both individually as well as together, help to reaffirm my idealistic faith that, for all of the greed, hatred, corruption and plain nastiness that we see in the world, there is also plenty of altruism, love, kindness, and simple goodness. – Lyn
That sprit and energy is what drives so many. I found myself fascinated by how someone who was a ‘normal’ non-aid person got involved in the whole affair. I was endlessly amazed at the determination you demonstrated to help people and it was a good reminder that that spirit and energy is what drives so many of the people who donate to these emergencies. – Nate Rabe
I just finish Accidental Aid Worker. Much enjoyed, thanks for the journey. Renewed faith and hope for human decency in a cold world. – Dennis
I just finished your book about an hour ago, it was one of those books where I had only a few pages to go but I did not want to keep reading as I didn’t want the journey to end. Thank you for this amazing journey and telling your story. - JS