Carrie Bailee - Flying on Broken Wings (Affirm Press)

Sunday 17 May 2015
36 Fraser Street, Clunes Victoria 3370

Sunday Selections Author Talk with Carrie Bailee

A Free Event

2-3pm @ The Warehouse

Flying on Broken Wings

A Journey of Unimaginable Betrayal, Resilience and Hope.

Carrie Bailee fled Canada and came to Australia when she was twenty. Once here she was assisted by a number of Australian women, and was ultimately encouraged to apply for refugee status in order to stay in this country. So began her battle to be granted asylum in Australia. Carrie stood before the Refugee Review Tribunal and revealed the dark underbelly of child sexual abuse and organized crime rings in our privileged, first-world neighbourhoods.

This is the story of one young woman’s heroic journey to survive, escape and soar above her shocking childhood experiences, and her powerful struggle for freedom and a beautiful life in Australia.

‘Moving, inspirational … Unforgettable! A compelling story of hope. I urge you to read this book.’ – Sigrid Thornton

Carrie Bailee currently lives in Melbourne with her two daughters. She is a spoken-word performer, poet, blogger, advocate and motivational speaker. Carrie tells her story to honour the capacity of the human spirit to rise above trauma. Her intention in publishing her memoir, Flying on Broken Wings, is to bring awareness to the fact that the severe abuse of children and organized criminal rings exist in our own backyards. Most importantly, to share her message of hope and resilience by transforming the victim trauma story, and speak to the possibility of what can be achieved when we have inner drive, a sense of worth, and the love and support of others in our lives.

Review by Tim Nolan

I read Flying on Broken Wings in one night. It is a harrowing and uplifting journey through unimaginable trauma and a testament to astonishing resilience. And not just the brutal resilience of someone with an iron will and the determination to survive, but the much more uplifting resilience of someone with a spirit, or soul, that would not be brutalised, even when so many of her experiences would have suggested that hopelessness or violence were the only sane options. Although it is tough going at times, and I think there may have been whole pages where my jaw was clenched and I wasn’t breathing properly, if at all, Flying on Broken Wings really is a beautiful book.

The story is shocking, but the message is about how the past does not have to define us. Even when that past is unimaginably horrible, it is possible to move towards healing and find a way to be a loving partner, parent and person.

Reading this book, I was struck by how lucky I am to be able to choose the authors that come to Clunes for the Sunday Selections author talks, and how lucky we all are that Carrie Bailee has agreed to come. Carrie’s story is about a vile aspect of society that we should be aware of, a very vulnerable group of victims we should never silence, but it is also about what she has achieved and what she is trying to encourage others to do as well. I am very proud to be bringing Carrie Bailee to Clunes. The book is inspiring and I am sure the session will be a memorable experience.

Note: This is one talk where I really encourage people to get hold of the book and read it before the event if possible. Parents, please be really mindful of the contents of Carrie’s story before deciding to bring children or young adults along.

Tim Nolan is a teacher working with Year 9 students, a Booktown volunteer and the curator of the 2015 Sunday Selections.