British mother Rosie Ayliffe thought her 21-year-old daughter, Mia, would be safe travelling around Australia on a gap year. But Mia wanted to extend her visa and in order to do that needed to find 88 days of work on a farm - a requirement that would lead to catastrophic events. Four short days after Mia moved to a hostel in Queensland to take a job on a sugarcane farm, she was brutally murdered.
Faced with every parent's worst nightmare, Rosie travelled to Australia to retrieve Mia's body. From the moment she landed, however, she started to hear stories about the terrible treatment of young workers like Mia - stories of exploitation, sexual harassment, rape.
Mia was Rosie's only child and she brought her up as a single parent. Her death was traumatic and life-changing. In Rosie's memoir, she describes movingly how she has found the strength to come to terms with devastating loss, drawing on inspiration from her daughter's short life. She also explains how she has become the driving force behind an international campaign to press for change to the 88 days system.
Part expose of the dangers facing backpackers in Australia, part call to arms, ultimately Far from Home is an inspiring and heartfelt story of a mother's love for her daughter and her fight to protect others from suffering a similar tragedy.
Rosie Ayliffe is the mother of Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was killed at Home Hill Hostel in Townsville, Australia, in 2016. She is a former teacher, travel writer and journalist.
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