Author Talk: The Power of Connection and Community

With warmth and bare honesty, Sue Liu delivers an inspiring talk about the power of connection and community, sharing tales of natural disasters, personal tragedies and hilarious happenings from her life, as detailed in her memoir, Accidental Aid Worker.

She falls into aid work, after impulsively deciding to volunteer and galvanize her community to help refugees in war-torn Sri Lanka after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. This was the start of an over 12-year obsession with helping people and supporting children in Cambodia, refugees and vulnerable people in Australia, as a volunteer.

It’s a truly remarkable life journey and one that has inspired many. Sue captivates and engages audiences of all ages in her dynamic, thought-provoking talk, prompting people to consider their choices at life’s crossroads, what their moral responsibility is to help others, and how to get involved with causes and communities.

Accidental Aid Worker is Sue’s first book, which she launched in 2015. The third reprint of the book carries accolades from Tom Keneally and The Honourable Professor Dame Marie Bashir. Buy your copy here 

Engrossing and emotive talk

Sue Liu kindly accepted an invitation from St Ives Probus Club to talk about her life, and in particular her Aid Work. Club members were enthralled with her emotive talk and saluted her bravery, her energy, and her compassion for people who found themselves in dire and tragic circumstances. Sue illustrated her talk with small excerpts from her book and a powerpoint presentation. Members had many questions for Sue, the hallmark of an engrossing talk.

Di Goodsir - St Ives Probus Club

Engaging the community

We had the pleasure of having author Sue Liu come to our library on Thursday 28 March 2019. Her talk really brought to life everything she has been through from her passion for travel to the decision to volunteer overseas and beyond. Her accounts of assisting her friends in Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day tsunami and also mentoring and supporting people in Cambodia really struck a chord with the audience. She inspired us to think differently about volunteering and I know a couple of people I spoke to are excited about a project they’re embarking on.

Jane Park, Coordinator - Avalon Community Library

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.


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

Contact Sue for interviews, author talks, and workshops at libraries, secondary schools, community and business groups. 



  • Wednesday 20 February – Bodhi Books and Gifts, Newtown – 6:30 for 7pm at 375 King Street
  • Wednesday 13 March – Australia-China Friendship Society  – 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

  • Wednesday 5 June – Merrylands Library – 6pm
  • Tuesday 18 June – Ryde Library – In Focus talk – 6:30pm
  • Thursday 20 June – Sutherland Library – 6:30pm


  • Thursday 15 August – Lane Cove Library – 6:30pm
  • Thursday 19 September – Kogarah Library – 6:30pm

October-November -December 

  • Monday 28 October –Bradford Probus Club – West Pymble
  • Wednesday 27 November –‘Not So Young Club – Inner West Council –  Rozelle
  • Thursday 5 December – Randwick Library – 6:30pm

2017- 2018

  • Thursday 19 April – Lunch Hour Talks – Jessie Street National Womens’ Library, City of Sydney Library, Customs House
  • Friday 10 February – Rotary Club of Sydney Cove
  • NSW Mid-North Coast Tour  Kempsey to Evans Head – Kempsey Library,  Bellingen Library, Grafton Library, Iluka Library, Casino Library,  Lismore Library, Evans Head Library –POSTPONED 
  • Monday 20 March – Author Talk – 9:30am – Wollongong U3A
  • Friday 28 April – Author Talk – 10:30am – Leichhardt U3A 
  • Friday 8 September – Talk and opening of the Rozelle Street Library – Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre 
  • 4 Feb – Book club meeting – private event
  • 9 Feb – Book club meeting – private event
  • 2 March – Guest speaker: Woollahra Library volunteer’s meeting – hosted by Woollahra Municipal Council – private event

 June 2016 – NSW Author talk – including Riverina Regional Library and Albury Library (NSW) tour – 6 – 9 June

  • 2 June – Author talk – Travellers’ Tales – Leichhardt Library
  • 6 June –  Wagga Wagga City Library
  • 7 June – Coolamon Library, Cootamundra Library, Temora Library
  • 8 June – Bland Library

9 June – Corowa Library, Mulwala Library, Albury City Library

  • 3 September – Kiama Library
  • 7 September – Paddington Library
  • 14 September –  hosted by Balmain Probus Club
  •  20 September –  Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts – with The Honourable Professor Dame Marie Bashir
  • 10 October – Mosman Library
  • 10 November – Turramurra Library

NSW South Coast Tour  13 – 19 October – Nowra to Merimbula – see photos here 

  • 13 October – Nowra Library
  • 14 October – Ulladulla Library
  • 15 October – Batemans Bay Community Centre hosted by Batemans Bay U3A
  • 17 October – Merimbula-Tura Marrang Library
  • 18 October – Bermagui Library co-hosted by Bermagui U3A
  • 18 October – Narooma Library
  •  19 October – Moryua Library

Contact Sue for interviews, author talks, and workshops at libraries, secondary schools, community and business groups.