by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Click here to view past issues
Campus News : CONNECT:UOW July 2012
12 CONNECT :UOW JULY 2012 CONNECT: ALUMNI AUTHORS FROM HEARTACHE TO HAPPINESS DR MICHAEL DAVEY Bachelor of Science (Honours) 1996 PhD (Chemistry) 2000 Former UOW researcher Dr Michael Davey has laid bare the story of his harrowing early years in an inspiring book that has earned widespread praise and been a top seller in ABC bookshops. In Journey of Hope, Dr Davey takes readers on a journey from an extraordinarily tragic childhood of physical and sexual abuse to a successful adult life as an educator, husband and father. Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, who is the director of the Beyond Blue organisation that works to overcome the effects of depression and related mental disorders, said: "I commend Journey of Hope to you for all its rawness, emotion and importantly, awakening." Speaking at the book's launch, NSW Parliamentary Speaker and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock said: "Michael's book should shock and horrify us, but despite the difficult issues it raises, the reader is uplifted and inspired by his story of hope and courage. The simple, beautiful prose intersperses tragedy and suffering with humour and resilience, and is a delightful work of profound significance." The book tells how as a child Michael was physically and sexually assaulted while in foster care and spent time in four state-run institutions. His biological father kidnapped him from his foster parents when he was nine, to return to the family home in Sydney. But that was anything but a happy homecoming. His mother was a violent schizophrenic who rejected him and beat him mercilessly for years. Not surprisingly, Michael struggled at school where he was labelled a juvenile delinquent. He left home, aged 15, to work in the Royal Australian Navy, spending 10 years in the RAN as an aircraft engineer. His life then began to turn around. After the Navy he gained his Higher School Certificate at Nowra TAFE and enrolled in a Science degree at UOW, graduating with Honours in 1996, followed by a PhD in Chemistry through UOW's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute. He then found his true vocation as a teacher, working at Nowra Christian School and Nowra Anglican College. Although he was awarded a scholarship to study medicine in the first intake of students in UOW's Graduate School of Medicine in 2007, he quickly realised that he should return to teaching. Now aged 54, Dr Davey is a popular science and maths teacher at The Illawarra Grammar School. He has been married for more than 30 years and has two adult children. His self-published autobiography tells the story of his journey from a childhood that he says was "virtually obliterated" to a happy and successful adulthood. "You see, by all accounts I wasn't supposed to have any prospects for my future, given what had happened in my childhood," he writes in the book. "My chances of being an alcoholic, drug addict, a homeless and destitute person or something just as devastating were high. "Also, as a parent I had a high probability of being an abuser myself. Instead, I'm happy to say, I broke the cycle." Yet Dr Davey spent many years fighting depression, anxiety and panic attacks, with the help of professional counselling. Dr Davey said he was able to turn his life around because of his capacity for love and forgiveness, a result of his Christian faith, and his realisation that his mother's behaviour was caused by her schizophrenia, resulting from severe post-natal depression. Journey of Hope is available Australia-wide in ABC and Dymocks book stores. RS WRITING FROM EXPERIENCE BRIAN HORAN Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Physical Geography 1981 Graduate Diploma in Education 1983 Graduate Diploma in Arts (European Studies: French) 2002 UOW alumnus Brian Horan has drawn from what he has learned in a quarter of a century educating teenagers to write a novel designed to encourage and motivate young people. New Windows of Opportunity (published by the Global Publishing Group) is described as a novel designed to inspire teenagers and young adults to discover their passion and purpose in life and realise their potential. The story is centred on four characters, their choices in life and the factors behind their choices. The UOW Arts graduate, who spent 24 years in state and private schools as a teacher and careers counsellor and two years at Mission Australia working with unemployed youth, says he has based his novel on his professional encounters with teenagers and young adults over the years. "I have seen many individuals rise out of their disadvantaged circumstances and the ashes of their past to go on to live fruitful and fulfilling existences," Brian said. "These testimonies, along with my study of personal growth principles, were the motivation for the book." Brian has established a private careers consultancy business based in the Illawarra called eCareers Academy, with clients ranging from high school and university students to people re- entering the workforce and corporate employees in transition. He is also the founder and CEO of a corporate training organisation, Empowering Training Solutions. Brian remains a strong supporter of UOW, and has volunteered to promote his old university on recent trips to Canada and France, encouraging students to consider Wollongong as a Study Abroad option. As an Illawarra community member, he is also involved in UOW's Networking After 5 activities and Entrepreneur Club events. For more information on the book, visit www.NewWindowsOfOpportunity.com NH Dr Michael Davey, and the cover of his autobiographical book, Journey of Hope. Brian Horan with his book, New Windows of Opportunity.