Bligh made history when she became the first woman to lead a party to victory in a State election in Australia. Through the Wall: Reflections on Leadership, Love and Survival tells her story. Instant collector’s items, signed copies are now available for sale.
This is an uplifting memoir of resilience and strength .
Anna Bligh knows something about hard knocks and high walls.
As The Courier Mail reported, an abusive father who belittled women and a secret pact with her mother inspired the young Anna Bligh to push herself, study and achieve.
Writing frankly about her childhood, Ms Bligh reveals the complex relationship she had with her alcoholic father and the role it played in her life.
The former Queensland Premier said her father’s abuse against her and her three siblings were not physically violent, but devastating nonetheless.
“He would taunt and humiliate us until we broke into tears, make us do and redo jobs until we argued or sobbed,” Ms Bligh wrote. “His attacks would find our vulnerabilities with military precision. His temper was always on a short fuse and its unpredictability was a source of terror.”
But Ms Bligh said it was her mother who did her best to shield them from her father’s “psychological warfare” and in doing so would cop the brunt of his anger. As her father would belittle the idea of women seeking to further their education, her mother would encourage her in secret to find ambition and further her education.
“She would often tell me that I had to be able to make my own way in the world and I should study hard to guard against becoming trapped like her,” Ms Bligh said.
“My father’s constant disparagement of the education of girls was incentive for me. Proving him wrong became another powerful driving force for me to study and do well.”
Anna Bligh spent over 17 years in the rough and tumble of the Queensland Parliament (seven of them as either Deputy Premier or Premier). In 2011, she led Queensland through the devastation of floods and Cyclone Yasi.
She lost the 2012 State election and Anna stepped down to start a new life, only to find herself diagnosed with cancer.
Writing with her trademark humour about the challenges that public and private life have thrown her, Anna reflects candidly – as a wife, mother, daughter, friend and political leader – on the lessons of leadership, resilience, community and family.