Refugee Council of Australia
Elisa calvet b s nuoqdmuvc unsplash
Home > Resources > Books > Adult nonfiction > A Joyful Life: One Woman’s Story of Triumph Over Trauma to Build a Life of Hope and Gratitude

A Joyful Life: One Woman’s Story of Triumph Over Trauma to Build a Life of Hope and Gratitude

Smiling woman in colourful headgear and top with planets scattered on background width=

Year: 2023
By: Rosemary Kariuki, Sumer Land
ISBN: 9781741177886


A Joyful Life is the astonishing memoir of Rosemary Kariuki, one of Australia’s most beloved Local Heroes. Long before she was advocating for refugee and migrant women just like herself, Rosemary was a survivor like no other.

As a child, she survived the first of many predators in her home. As a teen, she survived the first of three infant losses. In her twenties, she survived years of domestic violence. In her thirties, she survived political unrest and tribal clashes that brought a hammer crashing down on her head.

But what makes Rosemary’s journey so remarkable is not just how she survived, but also how she came to find joy: an infectious joy that she has gone on to share with countless others.

From her tough childhood in Kenya, taking care of her fifteen siblings, to becoming the 2021 Australian of the Year – Local Hero through her work as a multicultural community liaison officer for the police in western Sydney, Rosemary’s story is a memoir that will inspire all Australians.

Raw, direct and filled with Rosemary’s warmth and humour, A Joyful Life shows how in the face of incredible hardship, kindness to ourselves and to others can allow us to regain our internal strength and ultimately become the writer of our own life story.


Be a champion for refugee rights

Join our mailing list and be the first to receive active resources. We need you to show Australia cares about refugees.


  • Category

  • Topic