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Conquering Clouds
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Author Bio

Adventurer at birth. Aviator for 46 years. Author first published 2018.  Same year piloted her hydrogen balloon at night along the snow-covered Swiss Alps at age 75. Landed in Italy.

A pioneer – numerous FIRSTS throughout her corporate and aviation life. 

Her ballooning has taken her throughout Europe, Canada, USA, New Zealand and Japan where she has accumulated numerous fun stories of flights and landings.

A mother of two sons who both flew balloons in their earlier years. Her two grandchildren find her sharing of the mystic amusing.

She lives near water, collects Native American art, potted plants and teapots.   

Conquering Clouds

By Ruth Wilson

RRP: $24.95
ISBN: 9781922594648
This title Coming Soon
DATE: 1st Mar 2022
Ruth, for the purpose of her life experiences, has chosen the sky as her playground...

Ruth E Wilson, Australia’s first champion balloonist, was born during World War II as the illegitimate daughter of a mining family, from where she escaped the confinement of the two-room, fibro garage known as home when secretly she entered and won a local beauty contest aged 17. Married by age 20, she was initially content to follow her husband’s career, taking her from Sydney across to the American country clubs, to the enigmatic culture of Japan, where she fell afoul of the Japanese Yakuza. But conventional female roles proved too confining for the restless soul of this determined adventurer.

Years later, and after learning of a dark family secret, Ruth discovered the world of ballooning and a new passion fired within her soul. Challenges at each turn made those early days worth every small triumph as Ruth became known quickly as one of the early pioneers in Australian ballooning.

To this day, she is still one of the world’s elite female gas ballooning competitors.

Conquering Clouds is an inspirational journey of rising above a devastating loss while soaring upward to achievement.  It is a reminder of our universal quest for freedom, love and fulfilment and the unique tale of adventure in which a young girl’s dream to leave darkness behind is achieved through her sheer, indomitable force of spirit.

“A glorious story of passion and pain written with honest truth and a simple reality that invites us mere mortal readers to indulge in a life to share her pain and feel her elated freedom of her spirit as this passionate woman writes in her words and with her raw talent to achieve another milestone of her courage and fight for freedom from her demons…one of the greats in the history of this country…A triumph!” Bianca, Indiebook reviewer.

A Life of Notable Firsts - Ruth E Wilson
1959, Age 16: First female to play the Last Post on Anzac Day at her hometown, Bowen North Queensland.
1960, Age 17: Crowned the First Queen of the Coral Coast.
1973, Age 30: First Australian winner Squash Championship Kobe Japan.
1976, Age 33: First female balloonist in New Zealand.
1977, Age 34: First commercial ballooning company established and managed by a sole female pilot in Australia.
1979, Age 36: First National Champion of the Australian Open Hot Air Ballooning Championship.
1981, Age 38: First Australian female to compete in World Open Hot Air Ballooning Championship in USA.
1983, Age 40: First Australian female to compete in World Open Hot Air Ballooning Championship in France.
1987, Age 44: First Australian female to compete in World Open Hot Air Ballooning Championship in Austria.
1988, Age 45: Created & managed one of the major Bicentennial Celebrations, the Trans-Australia Ballooning Challenge; a 16 day fly/drive expedition from Perth to Sydney.  Participants from 23 countries flew 78 hot air balloons.
1989, Age 46: World Record Night Sky Jump from her hot air balloon.
1995, Age 52: Responsible for pioneering media campaigns to Introduce Antioxidants, Omega Oil supplements to the Australian public.
1999, Age 56: First and only Australian female to compete as Pilot-in-Command in the prestigious gas balloon race, Gordon Bennett Cup, from Albuquerque USA.
2002, Age 59: Chief Operations Officer ARC Centre for Quantum-Atom Optics at the Australian National University – Pioneering Centre for this science.
2018, Age 75: First Australian female pilot-in-command to cross the Swiss Alps and the Italian Dolomites in a hydrogen balloon

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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