Paula is fiercely honest: a writer, businesswoman and a self-proclaimed warrior. Unafraid to speak up on the issues she feels most strongly about – the systemic sexualisation of teenagers and girls and violence against women.
With a remarkable career, establishing the first of three successful businesses at 21, Paula discovered along the way, a great talent for public speaking, writing and helping others be the best they can be.
Her life wasn’t all bright-lights and beautiful people. She was sent to boarding school at eleven, never to live at home again, and the victim of a serious sexual assault as a teenager contributed to a decline into hard drugs and alcohol that almost destroyed her.
Paula says she lived a double life: one of a successful entrepreneur, the other a woman in deep pain relentlessly trashing her body, like the worthless object the rape had taught her it was.
In 2020 Paula completed her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland with the first draft of her memoir gaining First Class Honours.
An excerpt from Bitches, Bikes and Honey’s
In that diary entry, I asked myself, ‘Why do grown men like me?’ A question I now know is not a normal question for a young teen. The burden of that question defined my early life and fuelled some terrible choices that took me from an untroubled child building huts in our hay shed to a junkie who could score hammer off the streets of Cabramatta with the lift of an eyebrow.
This memoir is a disrobing of sorts. I rip open my blouse revealing my identity through the words I have scraped from my well-worn notebooks and clawed out of the dark hollows of my memory. An account that I am thankful to have lived through, in all its hopeful and messy glory.
Maybe if someone had given me this story to read as a young woman, the shame wouldn’t have cut so deep, nor my decisions been so dangerous.