Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

A Mother’s Story by Rosie Batty and Bryce Corbett

A profoundly moving  and inspiring memoir from Australia’s domestic violence crusader and former Australian of the year, Rosie Batty.



Rosie Batty knows pain no woman should have to suffer. Her son was killed by his father in a violent incident in February 2014, a horrendous event that shocked not only the nation, but the world. Greg Anderson murdered his 11-year-old son Luke and was then shot by police at the Tyabb cricket oval. Rosie had suffered years of family violence, and had had intervention and custody orders in place in an effort to protect herself and her son. She believes the killing was Greg’s final act of control over her.

Since the events of last February, Rosie has become an outspoken crusader against domestic violence, winning hearts and mind all over Australia with her compassion, courage, grace and forgiveness. In the wake of the tragedy, Rosie’s advocacy work has forced an unprecedented national focus on family violence, with the Victorian Labor government establishing Australia’s first royal commission into family violence, and committing a further $30 million over four years to protect women and children at high risk of family violence. The then Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay called it ‘the Rosie Batty factor’. In January 2015, Rosie was named Australian of the Year, 2015.

‘This highly emotional book … She suffers but she is not a victim. Batty is comforting and terrifying. She is protector and avenger… She has moral authority and dignity … compelling.’ ABR

Review from Harper Collins


March 3, 2016 Posted by | Biographies | , | Leave a comment

My journey by Jim Stynes

‘If you let go of fear you can do anything – you can chase the things you really want to do and live the life you were born to live.’

Jim Stynes never took the easy road, on or off the field. He loved a challenge. He pushed himself, and worked hard to help others realise their potential.

In June 2009, Jim was diagnosed with cancer and given nine months to live. The diagnosis caught him by surprise – he was 43, healthy and fit – and he didn’t have time for illness. He was a busy father, husband, brother, mentor, businessman and president of Melbourne Football Club.

Knowing his odds weren’t good, Jim gave his all to trying to beat the disease. He embraced life, and made his journey public. His ability to use mind over matter, to never give in, to overcome pain, to believe in himself and his will to succeed gave him two extra years on the prognosis. He defied expectations time and time again.

Unflinching in its honesty, this is an extraordinary insight into a man who lived fearlessly, with a vision for how to achieve the best life possible. Jim Stynes’ legacy is an inspiring story about getting the most out of every single day, whatever you do.

February 10, 2013 Posted by | Biographies | , | Leave a comment

MICKY O by Michael O’Loughlin with Jim Martin

Determination. Hard work. And a little bit of magic!

MICKY O is the extraordinary story of a kid who combined his talent with sheer determination to become one of the greatest AFL players of the last two decades

When Michael O′Loughlin was drafted by the Sydney Swans at just 17 years of age, he was the no. 40 selection and the last player picked. Back then he could not have imagined the extraordinary future that awaited him. That future included numerous awards and accolades, the respect and admiration of fellow players, a huge number of personal supporters, and a record-breaking 303 games in the red and white.

This is the candid and inspiring story of Michael′s upbringing in a tough area of Adelaide, one of six kids to Muriel, from the Narunga Aboriginal community on the York Peninsula, and Alex, from another indigenous community near Murray Bridge. Guided clear of trouble by his parents, and demonstrating from an early age a natural sporting ability, Michael′s talent as a footballer was spotted in 1994 and his long and successful association with the Sydney Swans began.

By 2009, Michael had broken the Swans′ games record. He had kicked more goals for the club than anyone except the legendary Bob Pratt. He played more finals for the Swans than any other, and became one of just three Indigenous players in the history of the sport to reach 300 games.


September 7, 2012 Posted by | Biographies, Boys' read, Good Sports | , | Leave a comment

The Liam Jurrah story: from Yuendumu to the MCG by Bruce Hearn MacKinnon

I’ve never seen any player have this much impact on any club in such a short space of time……he electrified everyone. Jim Stynes

Known as the ‘Warlpiri Warrior’, the ‘Jurrahcane’ and ‘Cougar’, Liam Jurrah is a rising star of the AFL, known for his startling displays of skill, artistry and the ‘deadly’ impact of his football ability. But despite Liam’s prodigious talent, he is a relative newcomer to the AFL.

This book tells the incredible journey travelled by Liam, a Warlpiri man, from the remote Aboriginal desert community of Yuendumu to the MCG, as the first fully initiated Aboriginal to play football at an elite level.

Written by the man whose family provided a home for Liam when he first moved to Melbourne, this is the story of how Liam learned about life in the ‘big smoke’, his time at Collingwood and his recruitment by Jim Stynes and the Melbourne Football Club. Along the way the book describes how the author and his family came to understand and treasure the richness of Liam’s Warlpiri culture.

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Biographies, Boys' read, Indigenous People | | Leave a comment

No time for fear: how a shark attack survivor beat the odds by Paul de Gelder


These three words – the mantra of the Australian Army – resonated with Paul de Gelder the first time he heard them.  Paul chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a hoodlum teen and his drug-and-alcohol fuelled stint working in a strip club to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the defence forces.

But trouble hunted him down in the form of a brutal shark in February 2009.  Paul lost two limbs, and his career as a daredevil navy clearance diver was flung into jeopardy.  Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him, Paul left nothing to chance in his recovery.  He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge, and amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed.  His inspiring story takes ‘never say die’ to a whole new level.

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Biographies, Survival | | Leave a comment

The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do


The laugh-out-loud, reach-for-your-hanky story of one of Australia’s best-loved comedians.

The Happiest Refugee is Anh Do’s debut in the book world and a bruisingly honest depiction of his life to date. The story starts with Do’s parents meeting and falling in love in war-torn Vietnam, and tracks a young Anh as he and his family journey from their homeland to a refugee camp in Malaysia and finally Australia. Do takes us through the pleasures and pitfalls of growing up in Australia as an outsider. One of the things that particularly stands out about his attitude to life is just how unconditionally grateful he is to have experienced everything—even the bad. This book is about war, escape, pirates, love, courage, racism, alcoholism, comedy, tragedy, and, above all, hope. The way Do approaches his story is witty, charming and heart-warming, and just when you think you’re about to die from laughter, he wrenches your heartstrings so hard that within an instant you’re on the brink of crying The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life story of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination – a big life with big dreams. Anh’s story will move and amuse all who read it.

Written by: Bookseller+Publisher magazine

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Biographies, Humor | | Leave a comment

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic



The title of this book, Life Without Limits, is a play on “Life without limbs”: Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. Mixing autobiography with reflections on positive thinking and faith in God, he challenges readers to rethink the notion of limits and confront their own. Nick is honest about his struggles, especially as a teenager desperate to be like everyone else, and is blessed with the ability to laugh at himself. This  book combines personal anecdotes with motivational musings on the importance of faith.

The Saturday Age, March 12 2011 

Watch this YouTube clip to learn more about Nick’s story:

March 15, 2011 Posted by | Biographies | , | Leave a comment

International Women’s Day: Great Biographies


the Hospital by the River


Until Catherine and Reg Hamlin began their work in Ethiopia,sufferers of fistulas (caused by obstructed labour) were neglected and forgotten. A vast group of women facing a lifetime of incapacity and degradation  have been helped by Catherine Hamlin at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. A truly amazing woman.

Christian College staff and students have been generous in their donations to this wonderful cause, and Mrs Jan Strauch has been our motivation and inspiration in these donations.

Black Chicks Talking


Black Chicks Talking is a compilation of interviews with five women, interviews during which they reveal memories of their pasts as well as their future aspirations. These women’s personal stories reveal a wide range of emotions. Experiences such as losing siblings and children to foster homes, and living with alcoholism and domestic violence bring forth tears, while childhood antics, travelling tales and general ‘gabbing on’ lighten the load. Each woman’s story does, however, reveal a pride for heritage, although this is heavily laced with the sense of searching for a lost culture.

Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi

Like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi has become an iconic figure. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, since 1988 she steadfastly opposed Burma’s brutal military regime. She was first placed under house arrest in 1989 and she faced separation from her husband and their 2 sons, physical and psychological harassment, an attempt on her life and witnessed the massacre of scores of her followers.  Aung San Suu Kyi was finally released from house arrest on November 13, 2010. The role that Aung San Suu Kyi will play in the future of democracy in Burma remains a subject of much debate.

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Biographies, Indigenous People | , , | Leave a comment

Maybe Tomorrow by Boori (Monty) Pryor

My PicturesBoori was born and lived amongst his fellow people in the Aboriginal camps.  He made his way through life doing many of the things white man took for granted.

He encounters many barriers and learnt to overcome these in order to deliver his message of reconciliation, respect and tolerance.

Boore leaves the reader with considerable hope for the future.

This book shows us that no matter what our background is, we can strive to overcome many hardships.

Genre: Indigenous Australians and Race Relations.

D. Staggard

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Biographies, Indigenous People | Leave a comment