top of page

The Power to Rise Above

by Dr Vanessa Atienza-Hipolito, Founding Member, The Brilliant Foundation

BRISBANE, Queensland 10 September 2022 – It is an extra special day that I am soft launching my third anthology book at the Logan Writers Festival in Brisbane today led by editor and Ozark Press publisher Sandy Davies.

I am deeply honoured and humbled to contribute to this collaborative book together with 29 other authors who shared their vulnerable stories of trauma, abuse, bullying, discrimination, harassment and humiliation. This is a collection of powerful stories which I pray will help and serve others to find The Power to Rise Above.

It was day 5 of my 14-day quarantine due to Western Australia's public health close contact mandate last January 2022. I received an email from Sandy of Queensland. She is my co-author in the #1 Amazon best-selling book ‘Courage and Confidence’. We have yet to meet in person but were keeping in touch and preparing for our book launch in March 2022. In her email she was creating an anthology book project, inviting me to collaborate with her.

According to her email:

The concept for the book was born pre-COVID when I was in a toxic workplace where a female manager bullied a young woman in her twenties. In supporting my workmate I discovered here I was in my fifties and had never really shared my story of being bullied and bruised for nearly the entirety of grade 7.

Suddenly my bullied workmate didn’t feel alone or isolated. And she loved that someone like me (vibrant, positive, strong) had had that experience but still became me. At that moment The Power to Rise Above project was born.

The purpose is for young people in similar situations to what each of us has faced hearing from women who in adulthood found a way to rise above their bullies, trauma, discrimination or previous pain to thrive. The intention is for young people to reconnect with their inner strength, have hope, accept themselves, feel empowered and know that they are not alone. And also for adults struggling to work through and release that past trauma to know that they are enough and they will get through.

Each contributor is a woman who is inspirational simply by being.

Contributors are women from across the globe who are living their best lives either as entrepreneurs, artists or public servants. And all are women who experienced bullying, loss, discrimination, anxiety or trauma. Others are from various cities in Australia, Jamaica, The Netherlands, and across America including Hawaii, New Zealand, Guam and Indonesia.

The purpose is to make a difference and instil hope."

After reading her email, I immediately replied and called her on the same day.

After a long conversation, both of us were very excited for each other regarding this book project. “I do not know what is happening right now, Sandy. If you asked me before Christmas or after quarantine isolation, I would have said ‘NO’. However, since I am on day 5 of isolation having nothing else to do, you have given me a reason and purpose during the remaining days of my isolation.”

Sandy’s invitation came at a more opportune time giving me goosebumps all over, a feeling of tingling on my spine and butterflies in my tummy. It was a happy feeling of being aligned and connected to this book project and which I will always remember for the rest of my life.