Speakers Profile - Kate Holden










Travels From:
Melbourne

Fee Range: B


Kate has been to hell and returned. She grew up as a quiet, bookish student from a loving home in Melbourne, but her dreams of academe vanished when at the age of 24 she walked into a friend's bedroom and took heroin for the first time. Her journey over the next five years took her to dark and dangerous streets where she worked as a prostitute, into grimy boarding houses where she helplessly fell further into addiction, and into luxurious brothels as she began to turn her life around in the most surprising ways. She lost her friends, her job, her home and nearly her life - but never her belief in herself. Kate recovered from heroin addiction and wrote a bestselling memoir, In My Skin, which has been sold around the world and brought her to public attention as a writer and survivor.

Her story is one of endurance, resilience, acceptance and respect for oneself and others. Kate talks frankly about her despair and fear during her difficult years, the impact on her family, the belief in her own dignity that allowed her to survive, and what it means to start a new life out of the ashes of the old. She doesn't believe in rejecting the past, but in acknowledging human frailty and learning from mistakes. Her story is inspirational in its candour, colour, and its depiction of an ordinary girl who underwent extraordinary experiences.

Kate speaks frequently to diverse audiences, from the health, government and corporate sectors. Her humour and readiness to answer all questions makes her a personable and entertaining speaker, and people from all walks of life can relate to her story. Her public talks regularly book out and her fortnightly column in The Age newspaper has brought her a new audience who enjoy her idiosyncratic, thoughtful approach to life. Kate's story will astonish you, it is a story of love, courage and hope even amid the darkest of despair.

In 2008 Kate accepted an Australia Council for the Arts residency at the B. R. Whiting Library in Rome. Kate has recently had her first short play performed and is now a full-time writer of novels, reviews, essays, and a fortnightly column for The Age.

In 2008 Kate accepted an Australia Council for the Arts residency at the B. R. Whiting Library in Rome. Kate has recently had her first short play performed and is now a full-time writer of novels, reviews, essays, and a fortnightly column for The Age. Her new memoir, The Romantic, a sequel to In My Skin was released in October 2010.

The Romantic is the story of one woman?s pilgrimage to discover who she really is. And to learn to like what she finds.