The memoir of a courageous woman on a quest to find love and places to belong

aaw-3d-cover-newAccidental 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.

Accidental Aid Worker was launched on 1 November 2015. It is a self-publishing project by Sue Liu and Zulu Communications. 

Professor Marie Bashir said...

Accidental Aid Worker is an epic memoir, which touches many sensitive aspects of your life, with which I can identify. This unique journey is indeed rich with memorable characters, events sensitive reflections.

Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO

Thomas Keneally said...

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

Read more comments from readersswooshAuthor Talks 2019

  • Wednesday 20 February – Bodhi Books and Gifts, Newtown – 7pm
  • Wednesday 13 March – Australia China Friendship Society, CBD – 12pm
  • Thursday 28 March – Avalon Community Library – 6pm
  • Thursday 16 May – Rockdale Library  – 6pm
  • Monday 20 May – St Ives Probus Club – 11am
  • Wednesday 22 May – Campsie Library and Knowledge Centre – 6:30pm
  • Thursday 30 May – Blacktown Library -6pm

Refugee Week 16-22 June

  • Tuesday 18 June – Ryde Library – In Focus talk – 6:30pm
  • Thursday 20 June – Sutherland Library – 6:30pm

Her spirit and positive attitude shines through

Sue’s message is that out of every story of pain and suffering, there is light. Library members and guests were drawn into the events of the traumatic 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami at Sue Liu’s compelling talk. The impact of the tsunami was the turning point that made her think of her moral responsibility as a human being to help others. In her book, Accidental Aid Worker,(reviewed in the February Newsletter), she tells the story of how one person can make a difference. Although it became overwhelming, her spirit and positive attitude shine through.

Jessica Stewart, Jessie Street National Women's Library

The audience loved her story

Sue Liu gave an interesting and inspiring talk about her journey to Sri Lanka and her transition from carefree traveller to aid worker,  the wonderful people she met along the way, and their lasting effect on her life. The audience loved listening to Sue’s story and we hope she continues to tell it whenever possible.

Robin Sharpe, Shoalhaven Libraries Nowra.

An excellent speaker

Sue Liu spoke at Mosman Library in October, 2016, about her book, “Accidental Aid Worker”. She was a most personable and relaxed speaker, who engaged her audience immediately with her warm, friendly manner. I think Sue would be an excellent speaker for any group, whether it be school children, a community group, or a writers’ festival.

Jane Roughley, Mosman Library

Exceptionally interesting talk

As an attendee at the recent talk by Sue Liu at the Tura Marrang Library, I am pleased to provide this testimonial. Sue’s talk was exceptionally interesting, sharing with the audience her initial background in marketing, snippets of her travels to over fifty countries, and her desire to assist her friends in Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day tsunami, which acted as a catalyst for Sue to write a book titled ‘Accidental Aid Worker’. She discussed the therapeutic value of this new direction in her life and captivated all in the audience with anecdotes of her subsequent adventures. I would highly recommend anyone interested in aid work, travel or in fact self-publishing to attend one of her talks.

GJ Maher

An inside view of life and experiences

I attended Sue’s launch of the 3rd reprint edition of Accidental Aid Worker, before a large audience at Sydney Mechanic School of Arts in September 2016. She was extremely courageous as demonstrated in both her book and at her talk, allowing her peers, colleagues, friends and a number of prominent members of society an inside view of her life and experiences. Her story captured the mind and heart of many people, one of these was Professor Dame Marie Bashir. Professor Bashir supported Sue’s efforts as demonstrated in her speech at the launch. She spoke of her admiration of Sue’s courage and bravery or not only by detailing her personal journey on paper, but for the work and commitment she put into her “Aid Work”. She also was extremely impressed with  Sue’s work and contribution internationally as solo Australian female.

Gail Carmody

An inspiration to everyone she meets

What can I say about Sue Liu – what a dynamo! She is an inspiration to everyone she meets. Sue came into Ulladulla Library on Friday 14th October 2016 like a breath of fresh air. Her talk was thoroughly captivating and inspiring. Everyone that attended the session left with a new commitment to helping others. I highly recommend Sue as both an author and motivator. If you have the opportunity, add Sue to your speaker list.

Vikki Hoskins, Shoalhaven Libraries Ulladulla.

Spellbinding

It was a pleasure to have Sue speak at Temora Library. The audience of 20+ people were spellbound, and their level of interest in Sue’s talk was evidenced by the number of questions, and continued discussion after the session had formally ended.

Eileen England, Temora Library

Story shared with humour and love

Sue Liu generously brought her life experiences to the people of the Bega Valley Shire and shared them with audiences in Bermagui and Merimbula. Sharing personal experiences, especially those around personal or community crises can be difficult but Sue shares with humour and love knowing that her experiences help others with the twists and turns of their own lives. Sue’s talk adds an extra dimension to her book and is professionally delivered with some amazing photographs of her journeys. Highly recommended!

Scott Baker, Bega Valley Shire Library

Visit the author talks and speaking page for further detailsswooshWorkshops 2019

  • Saturday 22 June – Castle Hill Library – details TBC
  • Saturday 21 September – Chatswood Library – details TBC

Topic: Author profile, book brand, marketing and self-publishing essentials.

All writers who aspire to publish work need to be business aware and marketing savvy. Self-published author and marketing professional Sue Liu delivers insights into the realities and expectations of authors when considering traditional and self-publishing.

Nice mix of what needs to be done and the personal journey

Loved it. Sue presented with such enthusiasm and verve. A nice mix of what needs to be done with the personal journey.

Alice

Step-by-step and practical

Well prepared and executed with enthusiasm. Easy to follow step-by-step guidelines on how to. Practical work handouts and very useful. A very constructive and helpful talk – Thank you Sue. Loved it.

Gwen

Valuable and practical information with humour

Sue shared a lot of valuable and practical information about writing and publishing a novel, It was very informative and delivered with humour and enthusiasm. Definitely recommend it.

Maree

Inspirational journey

Really enjoyed learning about your journey. It was inspirational.

Caroline

Informative, hard-hitting and refreshing

Fantastic workshop, really informative, great energy and great to hear the nuts and bolts of marketing from a professional who has worked in the industry – so it’s not vague but real, hard-hitting in a positive way and direct. Really refreshing.

Kate

Very useful information on the marketing of books

This session provided very useful information on the marketing of books. I had no idea of the complexity and detail involved in launching a book not having researched the business aspect before.

Margie

Real steps and grassroots information

Inspiring, real steps to self-publishing. Grassroots information, honest and realistic. Very enjoyable workshop.

Althea

Enthusiastic and realistic approach

Sue’s enthusiastic and realistic approach to the writing journey from start to bookshelf is infectious.

Annie

Realistic advice

I enjoyed this session. Sue is so enthusiastically engaging! She is realistic and does not have “stars in her eyes”. We heard the good, but also the downside. Sue is a good presenter, She’s so honest about her own journey.

Anne

READ MORE about Sue’s workshop and what you’ll learn 
Contact Sue for interviews, author talks, and workshops at libraries,
secondary schools, community and business groups.
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