Member Feature: Joni Leimgruber

Editor's note: Each month we'll be featuring a member of the illuminate community so that we can all get to know our writers better. We're excited to "meet" all of you and cheer you on with your writing goals. Give a warm welcome to Joni, our featured member this month.


Who I Am:

I live just outside Sydney in the beautiful Hawkesbury region with my husband and our three children. Having journeyed through depression, marriage breakdown and restoration and some of the other curve balls life can throw, I'm passionate about cheering others on and encouraging them to embrace themselves and their story.

What I Write About:

The words which have shaped me as a writer were penned by the late Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

As kids, we were raised on this quote and in a world of fear and uncertainty, I believe it is as vital as ever.

I'm midway through writing my first book - 'Haven: encouraging empathy, empowering action' - which is exciting! Here in Australia we've struggled (and in many cases, failed) to be the safe haven so many are needing.

In an effort to climb into the skin of those who've come to Australia seeking safety (refugees, asylum seekers etc.), I set about getting to know them and their stories, and to find ways that we as individuals can improve the situation. The book is scheduled for release in late 2019.

My Favorite Piece of Writing By Me:

Here is an excerpt from "Her Story: The Tragedy of Her Lost Story" (click here to read the whole post):

I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw her. Between photos of stylised homes and pouting selfies, she lay there in the ocean and there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. There was nothing I could do to stop the closing of her book, the ticking down of her time, the coming of her end too soon.

But she made it so far, I kept saying. She made it so far.

She left her home, her bed and kitchen. She left her community – family and friends left behind perhaps. She travelled over land for who knows how long, through who knows what trials. And she made it to the shore.

She made it so far.

Where You Can Find Me Online:

-My blog, Words By Joni:
-On social media:

Sarah Hartley