9 episodes

We all have a reason to live, even when life seems to make us think otherwise. Inspiring, raw, and at times shocking, Jas Rawlinson's 'Reasons to Live' shines a light on the extraordinary stories of everyday people who have overcome extreme adversity, and gone on to chase their dreams.

Reasons To Live Jas Rawlinson

    • Society & Culture

We all have a reason to live, even when life seems to make us think otherwise. Inspiring, raw, and at times shocking, Jas Rawlinson's 'Reasons to Live' shines a light on the extraordinary stories of everyday people who have overcome extreme adversity, and gone on to chase their dreams.

    Kevin Hines on Living with Bipolar Disorder: "I've never suffered a day in my life"

    Kevin Hines on Living with Bipolar Disorder: "I've never suffered a day in my life"

    Hey all!
    As many of you know, earlier this year I was very blessed to be given the opportunity to interview Kevin Hines (international suicide prevention speaker and award-winning filmmaker) for the 2nd volume of my book series, 'Reasons to Live: One More Day, Every Day.' If you've already checked out my new book, you'll be able to read a snippet of this interview in the book, however, I also wanted to release the raw audio file as there was so much great content that I think would really be of interest to those passionate about mental wellness.

    Although this recording is unfortunately not to the quality of most of my podcasts (due to some tech difficulties that came on the day with a last-minute location change), there are still plenty of fascinating discussions throughout this episode that are worth listening to. So I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes listen into our published interview!

    In this episode, we discuss:

    • How Kevin positively manages his bipolar, and why he doesn't see it as something to 'suffer' from
    • Why Kevin admitted himself into psychiatric care earlier this year & how he had skyrocketed into such severe mania, that he - at times - couldn't even recognise his wife
    • How caregivers can better care for their own mental health while looking after their loved ones (like Kevin's wife Margaret)
    • His thoughts on lived-experience organisations who censor survivors voices
    • And whether there's any validity to the idea that talking about suicide increases suicidality

    To find out more about Kevin and Margaret Hines' life-saving work, head to: http://www.kevinhinesstory.com/
    Purchase a copy of 'Suicide the Ripple Effect' at: http://www.kevinhinesstory.com/suicide-the-ripple-effect

    • 49 min
    Surviving & Thriving After The Sex Industry - Part 2 w/ Genevieve Gilbert

    Surviving & Thriving After The Sex Industry - Part 2 w/ Genevieve Gilbert

    When Genevieve Gilbert came to Australia to study, she pictured a life of education, and exciting opportunities... Instead, she found herself buried in student debt, and barely able to afford food, let alone her mounting bills.

    With the rising pressure of finding a job, Genevieve entered the sex industry in a bid to survive. Her plan was to stay a few weeks, pay her bills, and then leave. 8 years later, she was still there, and barely clinging on to her mental health and will to live.

    In part two of this insightful chat, Genevieve shares about how she finally exited prostitution, after many attempts during her 7 years in the industry, as well as how she went on to become the CEO of Pink Cross Australia (a NFP organisation which assists Australians within the sex industry, to find alternative employment).

    Note: Whilst not every person within the sex industry will face abuse or mental health issues, research over the past several decades has shown clearly that the majority of those within prostitution want immediate assistance with exiting. I believe Genevieve's voice deserves to be heard.

    (Please accept my apologies for the lower audio quality in this episode - it was filmed away from my usual location in 2018.).

    You can find out more about Pink Cross Australia at www.pinkcross.org.au

    • 43 min
    Lured to Pakistan & Held Captive: Lara's Story

    Lured to Pakistan & Held Captive: Lara's Story

    "I was ashamed of going all that way, to end up in this situation. I was mortified. Sajjad cancelled my flights, and once my passport lapsed, I was stuck in Pakistan... That's when the violence and sexual assault and starvation began... He locked all my clothes away, and I very rarely went out. At one stage, I didn't leave the house for 8 weeks." - Lara Hall

    On the 22nd January this year, my phone pinged with a message request. Checking my Facebook, I found a message, from a woman in Canada, who had come across my profile, while searching for anti-trafficking organisations in Australia.

    Reaching out, she asked if I would be willing to support a petition created by her friend Lara - a young Australian lawyer, who in 2018, had been held captive in Pakistan for many months, by a man who had spent half a decade learning all her vulnerabilities, her childhood traumas, and mental illness... and then using those vulnerabilities, to groom her into becoming his victim.

    In 2018, after spending more than five years speaking via phone and video chat, Lara decided to take Sajjad up on his offer to attend his brother's wedding with him in Pakistan. It was meant to be a 30 day visit, and a chance to discover, if their friendship could be something more...

    Instead, Lara discovered that everything Sajjad had promised her, was a lie.

    Within weeks, her documents were taken, her flights cancelled, and it was at this point, that Sajjad's abuse turned from mental, to physical. Lara's clothing was taken from her, she was kept confined to the house, and during this time, she was beaten, starved, raped, and denied even the simplest of human rights.

    It is an absolute miracle that Lara eventually escaped, let alone, make it home to Australia. But what is even more amazing, is the voice that this young woman has become for other grooming and trafficking victims, and the work she is now doing to ensure no other victim is ever left to fend for themselves, the way she was.

    In this chat, we also talk about Lara's advice to other young women who may be planning to meet an online partner overseas, and how they can avoid becoming a victim like she did.

    I'm so proud to bring you this chat, and I hope you find Lara's story as inspiring, as I do...

    IMPORTANT AUTHOR NOTE FROM JAS: I support and commend Lara Hall for her bravery in sharing her story and advocating for change. However, due to serious allegations that have come to light since this interview, I am no longer able to support Wilson Chowdhury or BPCA.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Tackling child sexual exploitation - Glen Hulley (Project Karma)

    Tackling child sexual exploitation - Glen Hulley (Project Karma)

    Content warning:
    Please be advised that today's episode discusses topics including human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and suicide. If anything from today's chat brings up feelings of distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

    As a former police officer and private investigator, Glen Hulley has seen a lot of awful things in his lifetime. However, nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to witness on a seemingly ordinary night in 2013.

    As Glen sat in a Cambodian bar, enjoying a drink while on holiday, he was approached by a local who asked him if he was interested in paying for sex with a local. Declining, Glen thought that would be the end of it. The man then turned to him, and in a quiet voice, asked if he would be interested in a 'younger' prostitute... specifically, a child.

    Although horrified, Glen was curious to investigate whether these claims were legitimate, and on a whim, decided to play along. What he discovered, not only shocked him to his core but also changed the entire direction of his life.

    Some months later, Glen sold most of his belongings and moved to South East Asia to do whatever he could to fight child trafficking. Eventually, this led him to create Project Karma, a not for profit who work alongside - and educate - South East Asian Governments, Police, and Communities, to identify vulnerable children, rescue and rehabilitate victims, and catch perpetrators.

    As you'll learn in our interview, there are some key things that set Project Karma apart from other anti-trafficking organisations.

    Glen Hulley is one of the bravest people I know, and I'm proud to bring you this chat.

    To find out more about Project Karma and lend your support, visit: www.projectkarma.org.au

    • 56 min
    Surviving & thriving after leaving the sex industry w/ Genevieve Gilbert

    Surviving & thriving after leaving the sex industry w/ Genevieve Gilbert

    When Genevieve Gilbert came to Australia to study, she pictured a life of education, and exciting opportunities... Instead, she found herself buried in student debt, and barely able to afford food, let alone her mounting bills.

    With the rising pressure of finding a job, Genevieve entered the sex industry in a bid to survive. Her plan was to stay a few weeks, pay her bills, and then leave. 8 years later, she was still there, and barely clinging on to her mental health and will to live.

    In part one of this insightful chat, Genevieve shares about her childhood in Quebec, what lead her to Australia, why so many people (particularly women) end up in the sex industry due to poverty, issues with receiving adequate support to exit, and her thoughts on the media's constant message of sex work as an 'empowering and safe choice.'

    Note: Whilst not every person within the sex industry will face abuse or mental health issues, research over the past several decades has shown clearly that the majority of those within prostitution want immediate assistance with exiting. I believe Genevieve's voice deserves to be heard.

    If you enjoy this chat, make sure you stay tuned for Part 2, where Gen shares how she eventually left the industry, and how she not only survived, but thrived - founding Pink Cross Foundation Australia, to help other women and men who are seeking support to exit the industry.

    You can find out more about Pink Cross Australia at www.pinkcross.org.au

    • 36 min
    Miss Natalie - LGBT Musician & Advocate

    Miss Natalie - LGBT Musician & Advocate

    "I've had guys offer to pay me money to kiss my girlfriend or ask for a threesome...we get treated like we're 'live p**n' or something. I wish they'd see that we're just normal people..." - Miss Natalie

    Growing up in a Christian family, Brisbane Singer Miss Natalie always believed she would one day 'find a nice Christian boy' to marry...

    However, her world changed when she discovered at age 15 that she was in love with her best friend...a girl.

    In this chat, Nat talks about her journey to accept herself, how music and performing became her solace while experiencing school bullying, the time she lived in her car in Sydney, and the reality about the harassment she often experiences from men when out in public with her partner...

    Now a well known Brisbane singer and performer, Nat is passionate about showing other LGBT+ youth that it's possible to chase your dreams, and above all, to understand the importance of allowing your past experiences to fuel you to a brighter future, rather than to destroy you.

    • 58 min

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