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This inspirational story is proof that when you have dreams and ambitions

and you make a commitment to never give up on believing in yourself, amazing things can happen.


Joileen was born in Murwillumbah in New South Wales, Australia and had a life full of diverse experiences. 

After an inauspicious and abusive early life, she managed to forge a 30-year hairdressing career, married and had three children, and is now the proud grandmother of six delightful grandchildren.


Joileen’s attributes her resilience and strong desire to fulfil her long held aspirations, as fundamental in enabling her to endure and overcome her early life of abuse and shattered dreams. Her father was an unskilled labourer hence he moved his family from place to place in search for work. Her early years were spent living a nomadic lifestyle and as a consequence, developed no attachments or friendships during her formative years. After attending twenty odd schools, she was forced to leave school at age 12 years to begin her working life. 


Joileen credits her love of books and stories with helping her through the many days of quiet desperation she was forced to endure over the first 19 years of her life. Joileen fashioned dreams in her mind and formed ambitions for the future which she carried like jewels throughout her life. She often felt an alien in her abusive environment, with a deep sense of not measuring up because of her lack of education. Her belief that she did not belong was ever present. Feeling unloved, and without a voice for much of her early life Joileen kept the mental images of becoming somebody worthwhile alive in her long-held dreams.  

Hers is an inspirational story of how she was able to transcend feelings of abandonment and betrayal over so many years to eventually become the person she believes she was meant to be. Joileen writes with unbridled honestly about the flawed individual she believed herself to be – revealing her struggle with self-doubt and low self-esteem. 


She describes how she transitioned from a life of abuse and despair to a place of self-acceptance and self-realisation. We witness how early self-preservation strategies such as reading helped her through the hardest times.  Then how later she sought, unsuccessfully, the answers through religion. Joileen eventually developing a spiritual mindset which enabled her to finally understand her place in the scheme of life and to realise the fulfillment of those long held dreams. 


Joileen says, “After a period of ill health where I had time to reflect on many of my life experiences I decided to write about them; to demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the struggles and challenges many of us face.” Her story is in some ways a story of self-creation, of finding a way out of self-doubt to arrive at a place where she feels she no longer has a need to prove her worth. She knows her life journey, with its many twists and turns, has led her to where she is meant to be.


‘I read Joileen’s book and was transported back in time. To early Australian fruit picker days, to balls and outback Aussie.


But most of all I learned that even with the harshest of childhood experiences you can still become and fulfil your dreams. You can be a person to be proud of and show that strength can come from pain and suffering.


I feel inspired and transformed by this book and I know many others will also. Written expertly and with a flow that mesmerises the reader.


Highly recommended


Fiona Dardenne


'Wow - after reading this book I just wanted to give Joileen a big hug for being such a brave, wise woman. So many tribulations and such an awesome ability to stay focused on the present moment and have faith in a better future.


No victim here - a ‘must read’ book - an honest, open account of Joileen’s incredible life. There is a very important message in this book too - we do have choices about our responses to life’s challenges. Thanks too Joileen, for reminding me and sharing how much our work, values and lifestyles have changed in just a few generations.' 

Jenny Clairfayt

Counsellor & Trauma Therapist


I admire your courage and how you have used these misfortunes – not only to strengthen your character but, also to let go of the past, to move forward and enjoy all that is good in your life.  As hard as it was to relive these events- in sharing your pain you have shown that by forgiving and letting go of all the resentment and bitterness that we can get better.  In John Shipp’s words 


“ Let your past make you BETTER, not bitter”.  


Jolieen, your actions have put power into these words and you can now take control of your life. Thank you – you have already made a change in my life.

Rosalind Reichle

Dip of Teaching and Grad Dip of Library Studies.
Teaching for 40 yrs


‘With candid honesty, Joileen, processes her life in this inspirational autobiography. In her gritty and candid account, Joileen describes her journey and ultimately challenges the notion that we are defined by our past.


Although much of her life was marked by destabilisation, abuse, and isolation; Joileen engages in honest self-exploration and details how she overcame self-beliefs that had held her back. Her journey illustrates and gives encouragement that we are not our past; that we can create our own path and even reach places of gratitude and forgiveness.      


Joileen's story is gritty, real and empowering.  A must-read.’

Dr Carla Schlesinger



‘I have just finished reading an autobiography by Joileen Mischel. What a story. How brave of you Joileen. It just proves how strong some of us is to overcome years of childhood mental and sexual abuse. You are a wonderful human being.'

Mick Lawson

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‘IJoileen Mischel’s book ‘Broken Past Heals Dreams’ had me captured from the first page. I felt her pain during the many years of hideous sexual abuse by her ‘father. Later in the book, I rejoiced for her about her achievements and the personal work she undertook to overcome her childhood trauma. This is truly an inspirational story and a must-read.


Pixie Bayley


Thank-you Joileen for YOUR story told with Eloquent Honesty and Grace with a powerful message in your words. The reader will know that even though Bad things happen to Good People when you don't use your experiences as an excuse and let the resentment and Hate own you, the bad does not consume your personality and life.


You have shown that with taking charge of Oneself and owning Only your Reactions and Actions, it will inspire others to find Their Joy, Their People, Their Dreams and by walking to their own drum, still be at peace with themselves and in Rhythm with Those and the Path they choose for themselves.

Penelope North

 Naturopath and Herbalist


‘Joileen has had a very full and challenging life.  Despite years of sexual abuse as a child, she does not consider herself a victim.  She has met life’s challenges head-on and demonstrates remarkable insight into her own strengths and weaknesses. 


It’s often distressing to read this book and I found her descriptions of the childhood abuse particularly upsetting.  I may not agree with every decision Joileen has made in her life, but I admire her honesty and courage to write this autobiography.  As she says, she put her head into neutral and got on with it.' 

Pippa Kay



‘I finally completed Joileen’s autobiography!  In fact, after a false start I started again - and I'm glad I did. I had no idea of Joileen’s " real story" and the extraordinary challenges she had to face. 


She really is a testament to living your dreams and rising above adversity.  Joileen writes with an easy style and great poignancy and yet without vindictiveness. I found myself experiencing a mix of emotions, including frustration, bewilderment and outright anger but in the end, it is the triumph of Joileen’s spirit that shines through and she should be gloriously commended for that.


God bless you, Joileen and may your future be one of ongoing joy and abundance.’

Dr. Rosie Howard

General Practitioner


‘What an amazing book you have written. I finished it a while ago and have been thinking about it since. You are an incredible woman. Thank you for sharing your story.'

Cathy F.

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‘Life is about stories. Some stories need to be told – and
Joileen’s story is one of those. Broken Past Heals Dreams, is Joileen’s life story about her challenges and triumphs, told with an admirable openness, honesty and wisdom. I read Broken Past
Heals Dreams
, in a day - I could not put it down. I highly recommend reading this masterfully written story.'

Viv Capes


Joileen, I read your powerful inspirational book. Congratulations! As the sayings goes; "To understand one, one must walk in their shoes" Great read!'

Romy Romana Kitak

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Joileen Mischel - Speaker

Sharing my story of sexual abuse and adversity, demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit and shows others there is hope after traumatic experiences. My passion is to support people who have been victims of abuse and by speaking publicly I hope to encourage many others to believe that it is possible to move forward.



Life is not always as we would wish it to be. Sometimes life can seem unfair and it is often hard to avoid feeling victimised by life circumstances. To what extent do you discount your personal desires and potentials because of endless doubts and insecurities you feel after negative experiences? Although my past was at times fraught with negative experiences, I want to prove to the world that it is possible to create positives from our past challenges.


If you enjoy hearing interesting, positive, uplifting stories about real people, my story will hopefully inspire you to believe in life after abuse. I tell my story to demonstrate how I overcame adversity and sexual abuse trauma to come out the other end whole and inspired to share my message with the world. I am passionate, enthusiastic, and determined to show that each crisis creates an opportunity to bounce forward and create the life we desire.  I have proven that you can reach your goals which you believe you deserve. You become the person you are meant to be.


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