For almost three decades, Jean Calder has been working with children with disabilities in Lebanon, Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
In 1981 Jean Calder left a comfortable life in Queensland and a respected academic career to work as a volunteer in Lebanon. When the war broke out and many foreigners fled, Jean stayed and cared for a group of children in Beirut. They spent weeks sleeping on floors, sheltering under a hospital staircase and being held at gunpoint. Three of these children wood change the course of her life forever.
Jean has made her home in the Gaza Strip, where she deals each day with the ongoing fighting. Yet for the last ten years she has built up a rehabilitiation program that has improved the lives of hundreds of children with disabilities. In 2005 her outstanding work was recognised when she received our highest civilian honour, the Companion of the Order of Australia.
In WHERE THE ROAD LEADS Jean shares her life story and offers a rare insight into the daily existence of people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Motivated by a passionate desire to help those around her, Jean brings hope to people living in some of the most dangerous areas of the Middle East.
Living and working in a war zone means danger is a constant presence and daily trials can include air strikes, fighting and hostage threats. As she paints a picture of her daily life, Calder also delivers a clear and concise history of the complex Israeli/Palestinian conflict... This is an inspiring read, and it seems only fitting that she was awarded Australia's greatest civic honour, The Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) - Courier Mail