Hope Springs From Flourish Australia’s FREE Virtual International Women’s Day Lunch 2021

Join us to discover the true story behind the movie Penguin Bloom, now in cinemas, and #ChooseToChallenge the stigma surrounding mental health as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 together with something really special!

Flourish Australia knows that sharing stories of hope can be life changing. Join us via Zoom to hear how Sam Bloom’s inspiring recovery story became an international bestselling book and movie when she joins us as guest speaker.

Flourish Australia is dedicated to supporting people who experience complex mental health issues to live ordinary, even extraordinary lives. We have built Australia’s largest Peer Workforce, to provide one-to-one mentoring for people, by people who have walked in their shoes.

To inspire hope and challenge stigma in the community, we bring to light many remarkable stories of lived experience, resilience and recovery – as shared by the people we support and some of our wonderful team members.

This year, to commemorate International Women’s Day, Flourish Australia invites one all to share in one such story – in the form of a FREE Virtual Lunch experience with Sam Bloom on Wednesday 10 March at 1:00pm.

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.

Flourish Australia places a high value on lived experience,” Mark Orr says. “We understand the power of sharing our stories and know that Sam’s will bring hope to many people who really need it. We have seen again and again how life changing it is for someone with a lived experience of mental health issues to have one of our team members, who can genuinely empathise with what they are going through, come alongside them on their recovery journey.”

Albeit an unusual companion, finding someone to share the journey was a turning point for Sam. 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.

"In an incredible twist, at the time Sam left for Italy to represent her country at the 2015 World Championships in Italy, her cherished ‘Penguin’ chose to return to the wild for good."

Sam’s lived experience inspired an international bestselling book called Penguin Bloom by New York bestselling 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 here

For more information about Sam, visit http://sambloom.com.au.