Hope springs from Flourish Australia’s free virtual International Women’s Day lunch

Flourish Australia

Hear how Sam Bloom’s inspiring recovery story became an international best-selling book and movie when she joins Flourish Australia’s International Women’s Day virtual lunch.

Flourish Australia CEO Mark Orr said Sam’s story of recovery after a life-changing accident and the hope she found in caring for a frail magpie chick, will be inspirational.

“Sharing our stories is powerful. We know that hearing Sam’s story will bring hope to many people who really need it,” said Mr Orr. “We have seen, again and again, how life changing it is for a person with a lived experience of a mental health issue to have one of our team members, who can genuinely empathise with what they are going through, come alongside them on their recovery journey.”

Flourish Australia supports thousands of Australians who experience complex mental health issues and is dedicated to supporting them to live ordinary, even extraordinary lives. With Australia’s largest peer workforce, the organisation understands the power of sharing lived experiences.

In keeping with this year’s International Women’s Day theme – #ChooseToChallenge, Flourish Australia have invited Sam to share her very personal journey, making her way back from the brink of defeat, to the restoration of hope, laughter in her home and smashing personal goals.

A keen surfer, Sam’s life changed in the blink of an eye when an accident on a family holiday left her completely paralysed from the chest down. She faced a gruelling physical and mental recovery, but found hope while caring for a frail, injured magpie chick.

“Though I didn’t realise it at the time, Penguin and I were keeping each other alive,” Sam shares. “Caring for her helped me to feel useful again when I had lost all sense of self and no longer thought of myself as an independent person or capable mother.”

As part of her recovery process, Sam took up paracanoeing and went on to win two Australian titles in the sport. She eventually reconnected with her love for the ocean and made a triumphant return to surfing, winning gold medals at the World Para Surfing Championships in 2018 and 2020.

Sam’s lived experience inspired an international best-selling book called Penguin Bloom by New York best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive, and a major motion picture of the same name, now in cinemas and starring Naomi Watts as Sam.

To hear first-hand, how Sam turned her life around, register now for FREE and join Flourish Australia on-line, with your lunch, on Wednesday 10 March at 1:00pm


You can read many more inspiring recovery stories, as shared by people who have experienced mental health issues and turned their lives around, on Flourish Australia’s website: www.flourishaustralia.org.au

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