Book Launch, Sydney

Sleeping Under the Bridge, a powerful true story where despair finds hope.

At age 16, author Melissa Baker, slept under the Sydney Harbour Bridge after being sexually abused as a child. In the 80s, Human Rights Australia states there were over 3,500 homeless youth in Sydney. Today, whilst abuse has lessened, homelessness is 8 times as worse. David Vernon from Stringybark Publishing writes “Do we have decent safety nets in place to protect our young people now? As I read the ABC news, I don’t see that Mel Baker’s 1980s have gone forever. The past is still with us. Young, neglected people are still hurting. Our homeless problem in Australia is still appalling. Between 2006 and 2016 the homeless rate increased from 45 to over 50 per 10,000 people, at the same time that Australia’s GDP and national wealth have continued to grow. Such economic and social disparity does Australia’s governments no credit, nor those who never have to confront these issues. Mel Baker’s book forces us to look at ourselves and wonder are we part of the problem or part of the solution?”

Sleeping Under the Bridge, published in the USA by Atmosphere Press, is the first book in a trilogy series. This gripping brave story speaks into adults from all walks of life from children that have gone through sexual, physical and emotional abuse and how that affected their internal rhythm. Being trapped in an underworld of shame, Mel experienced more than she bargained for on the streets, including witnessing murders, horrific crimes, cover ups and took a few hits of her own. The other two books continue Mel’s triumphant over despair as she worked in conflict zones overseas, being shot at and nearly kidnapped on the Congo-Zambia border, working with police in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, including Northern Ireland, and then more recently went through trauma and abuse when serving in the Royal Australian Navy. This trilogy of Mel’s lived experiences reflects her life’s purpose, “I’ve had more than 9 lives. I’m alive for a reason, to support and inspire others that there is always hope no matter what life throws at us.”

David went on in his review, “This book confronts us on a personal level, it requires us to wonder if anything has changed? It is a book about hope and how the human spirit holds onto life and deep down knows that with love and compassion, a life worth living can be found. This book is a powerful read.”

Dr Rick Williams review of Sleeping Under the Bridge focuses more on the serious problem Australia faces on early abuse and domestic violence, “With the telling of her story, Mel deserves recognition as one of Australia’s great and courageous citizens. She has shown equal courage in telling this story in later life, and she has done so with a clear perspective and with startling frankness. Her story is a lesson to us all. When good people do nothing against those who do bad, we are in an uncivil society.”

The first book launch will be held at the Pylon Lookout on Sunday 7 August 2022, above where 16 year old Mel laid her head at night. The launch will be raising money for homelessness through the charity StreetHeart. Tickets and details are available on Eventbrite.

promo book launch Melissa Baker

Thoroughbred & Veteran equine program

From 2015, I have had the privilege to be part of an equine program with other military veterans. We had all gone through trauma. We had all lost our confidence. We were all struggling. After meeting with horse trainer and mentor Scott Brodie, on a beautiful private property of Barranca in Kangaroo Valley, learning how to train ex-racehorses, we started to believe we can make it.

Helene & Greg, owners of Barranca, gave us the opportunity of a lifetime. Scott taught us everything he knew and gave us hope. They all gave from their heart and expected nothing in return. They are the heroes of today.

Watch Channel 10 short film that was shot in 2020 on location at Barranca with Scott Brodie & Mel Baker talking about how the equine program has helped many people…


We served our country with honour. We wore our uniforms with pride. WE loved our jobs in the navy, army or airforce, they were our family until the day we were disregarded. The Thoroughbred has been in Australia since 1788. Racing was a role they became familiar with until they were disregarded. Neither fighting machine or racing machine could carry on with their career.

Under the expertise of horse trainer and mentor, Scott Brodie, the military veteran and ex-racehorse met for the first time. They discovered through their trauma, pain and struggles that they could have a future and indeed help one another from conflict to hope.

This is our story of how the TVWA began towards thoroughbreds helping veterans helping thoroughbreds.

Purchase your copy today. All money raised goes towards helping the Thoroughbred & Veteran Welfare Alliance (TVWA).



Apple iBooks:

The Healing documentary – coming in 2021

Click on picture to go to The Healing website

Transforming the wall

transforming the wall

When life piles up against you and no easy answers arise, it seems so difficult to find one’s path again. My mind runs a million miles an hour, searching for a solution; to untangle the fragments, only to be trapped in the wall.

I decide to end it. The mess grows stronger, the entanglement more entangled along with the sweeping darkness. ‘I cannot grasp a single more moment like this’, I fear.

And yet solutions are right in front of me. What if it is not about untangling my fragments of life? It is about starting anew – transforming my mind from black & white to colour; from shallow murky waters to the deepest of clear blue seas; from the mud to solid ground.

I go to bed knowing I need to do better in finding my way.

I awake refreshed, even on 6 hours, I opened by eyes as the sun started to appear above the horizon in the cold morning air. I look out of my window upon the fresh new world to see the colour, the beauty; this moment in time.

I see clearly now, the key to my puzzle of which I raised as an off shoot comment to a friend yesterday “one thing I cannot do, I am hopeless at, is maintenance”. I am failing miserably at it, always have, but recently I’ve been drowning in the pressure as it builds up more and more with everything else. I think I have always seen maintenance as a physical thing like cleaning, sorting etc – all the boring things, but it is more than this. It is maintaining life too – my health, my balance. To maintain life itself, I must maintain the very fabric of living!

Maintenance, such a drab, a word I must reframe! To transform, to be transformative – now that is a whole new beginning.

– Mel