SA­ROO’S AMAZ­ING JOUR­NEY

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LOOK LOCAL - Ju­lian Wright

SA­ROO Bri­er­ley is no stranger to travel .His as­ton­ish­ing life story is tak­ing the world by storm af­ter a suc­cess­ful book A Long Way Home and now mul­ti­ple award-nom­i­nated film Lion, which chron­i­cles his sep­a­ra­tion from his fam­ily dur­ing a 1600km jour­ney by train as a five-year-old from his home town in In­dia, east to Cal­cutta where he lived on the streets.

Then there was the al­most 10,000km to Tas­ma­nia af­ter he was adopted by Sue and John Bri­er­ley, and the thou­sands of kilo­me­tres more through­out Aus­tralia pro­mot­ing the book and film.

Of course, there are also the 15 trips back to In­dia to visit his birth mother af­ter he tracked her down in 2008 us­ing Google Earth and vivid mem­o­ries of his old home.

In Perth, where adop­tive mother Sue and Sa­roo an­swered ques­tions at sold-out pre­view ses­sions, he told Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group it was just the be­gin­ning for him.

“For me this is just the start,” he said. “I have so much on at the mo­ment.

“It’s all pre­lim­i­nary at the mo­ment, but I’m writ­ing a pre­quel book.”

For Mrs Bri­er­ley, tour­ing Aus­tralia is an op­por­tu­nity to get peo­ple think­ing about adop­tion.

“Adop­tion got to a point that it was more com­mon in the 1980s than it is to­day,” she said. “I think there were only four chil­dren adopted into WA last year, it has just vir­tu­ally ground to a halt.

“And that’s part of the mo­ti­va­tion for me to go on this tour be­cause Aus­tralia needs to start think­ing about adop­tion again.

“It’s too easy to get bogged down in other is­sues of the time. We need to talk less about Trump and more about adop­tion for kids who need a fam­ily.”

Mrs Bri­er­ley said the film-mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence did of­fer her the op­por­tu­nity to spend time with big names and wit­ness a for­mer US pres­i­dent cry.

“We went to New York for the US pre­miere of the film and the peo­ple were lovely,” she said. “They wanted to know about it, they were fas­ci­nated by the story and ea­ger to see it.

“When we saw the screen­ing, we had Bill Clin­ton sit­ting be­hind us with ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Har­vey Weinstein and they were both snif­fling away.”

While Sa­roo will con­tinue to be in the spot­light with up­com­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, his adop­tive par­ent is look­ing for­ward to get­ting back to a “nor­mal” life.

Lion is in cinemas now.

Sue and Sa­roo Bri­er­ley, whose life story has been turned into the film Lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.