'The thought began to form in my mind that many people would have a powerful story to tell about a turning point that led to them finding their purpose - their passion.'

When historian Mary Ryllis Clark came across her copy of Austrian philosopher and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl's A Man's Search for Meaning, she was struck by the idea that 'the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose'. This propelled her on a journey to seek out and interview those individuals whose stories had inspired her.

Historian Henry Reynolds could not keep silent about the racial injustice he witnessed in Australian life, and it changed the course of his career. Whistleblower Andrew Wilkie made the brave decision to tell the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Actor Jack Charles's discovery of the Malumani healing program, developed by a fellow survivor of the Stolen Generation, set him on a path of self-discovery. Anthony Bartl, who has no use of his limbs, was not expected to survive after a terrible accident, yet he has travelled widely and is an inspiration to people living with a disability.

From Julie Spriggs, who became the seventh physiotherapist working in Ethiopia, treating tuberculosis, to Gia-Yen Luong, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who is committed to raising the standard of education in state schools in Australia, the 25 individuals in this collection all share a moment that changed the course of their future, sparking them to live a life of passion and purpose - and in turn enriching the lives of others.

With a foreword by Brenda Niall, this collection brings to life stories of triumph and tragedy, hope and survival. Other contributors include Robyn Davidson, Gillian Triggs, Inala Cooper, Anna Funder, Peter Doherty, Allan Fels, Fiona Patten and Elizabeth Chong.