Sam Bailey is a farmer, pilot, husband and best-selling author. He has achieved all of those from a wheelchair….and has an incredible ability to take an audience on the journey of his life. The story of Sam and his wife Jenny was featured in an episode of Australian Story on the ABC. In 2006, they published the book, Head Over Heels.
From a childhood growing up in the Australian bush to a car accident in the outback that turned his life upside down and its aftermath, Sam tells his story in his own down-to-earth laconic style that captures the great Australian spirit of ‘having a go’.
He relates how he beat the odds to fulfill his life-long dream to be a farmer, learning to ride a four wheel bike; devising a hoist to get into farm machinery and ultimately learning to fly an ultralight.
Sam then found his soul mate in former Tamworth-based ABC radio Rural Reporter, Jenny Black – who he proposed to “live" on regional radio. The real-life proposal jammed the phone lines and the fax ran out of paper.
Their story appeared on ABC TV’s Australian Story in 2000 with an overwhelming response and was published in April 2006 in their book ‘Head Over Heels’.
Today they live and work together on their beef cattle property in North West NSW, in between travelling the country telling their story and giving inspiration to others.
They are also working towards their next big goal – Sam becoming the first quadriplegic in the world to fly a helicopter and flying into schools to inspire children to fulfil their own dreams and goals.
The project, called Helifirst, will be launched later this year. It’s sponsored by one of Australia’s largest public companies, the Commonwealth Bank.
“I watched this magic happen in an audience recently. The words in Sam’s presentation (he calls it “a few yarns strung together") resonated deep within them and cut through into their behaviour. People openly shared that they experienced more access to their potential, family, dreams, participation and to romance in their relationships. Men and women alike were profoundly moved by this young farmer’s courage, humility and plain speaking. Some Aussie males even commented to Jenny that THEY could marry her husband!!!
It was clear that these effects would last well beyond the conference room.
Sam has a special gift which needs to be shared around this great country of ours. He is deservedly one of an elite group of people chosen to be an Ambassador for the Australia Day Council and I would thoroughly recommend him for any audience, as his message transcends occupations and reaches into peoples’ humanity."
Australia’s most engaged female speaker
"Sam Bailey was the perfect choice for our guest speaker at the Business Awards. Moree has gone through some tough times recently with 2 of the biggest floods is 36 years ravaging our town last November and February. His story made us realise that when you get knocked down like that the only way is up. His zest for life is contagious and after hearing his story you realise his life is still full of daily battles but that doesn't stop him from living it to the fullest. Not only do Moree have a lot of respect for Sam, after Friday night, Jenny Bailey was put on a pedestal of her own, what a wonderful human being she is. Thank you all for allowing us to hear and feel their experience."
Moree & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry