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Heather Ellis is an Australian author of two travel memoirs: Ubuntu: One Woman’s Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa (Black Inc., 2016) and Timeless On The Silk Road: An Odyssey From London to Hanoi (Phonte Publishing, 2019 - released 8 April 2019)

Ubuntu details Heather's motorcycle journey from south to north Africa from 1993 to 1994. Timeless On The Silk Road details her motorcycle ride along the fabled Silk Roads of antiquity in 1997. Both memoirs are filled with 'survival-against-the-odds' adventures that unfold as deeply spiritual journeys of personal growth that resonate with all who read her books.

Heather's background includes time as a child living on a sheep station in Australia’s outback where she learnt to ride a motorcycle, made friends with the local Aboriginal children and developed a love of the desert. Years later, while working as a radiation safety technician at a uranium mine in the Northern Territory, for no apparent reason, Heather voiced her ambition to travel the world by motorcycle. First Africa, then Central Asia and has plans to ride the Americas and beyond in later years.

When Heather reached London, she worked as a motorcycle courier and a year later in September 1995, was diagnosed with HIV when she had a test as a requirement for a three-month Russian visa. It was before effective medications were discovered: a time when death from AIDS was inevitable. But she refused to relinquish her travel plans and rode from London to Vietnam along the fabled Silk Roads of antiquity. A year later, she arrived in Cairns, north Queensland, near death with AIDS. But was saved as scientists had recently discovered a new generation of medications.

Three months later Heather enrolled in a Bachelor of Journalism, and after graduation, worked as a journalist for News Ltd and in communications for international development agency Plan International. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of International Development and a Master of Arts (creative enterprise).

Heather is also a motivational speaker and is the current Chair of Positive Women Victoria, the only community-based organisation specifically funded to support and advocate for women living with HIV in Australia. She lives near Melbourne, with her three children and is writing her third bood, a novel. And she still rides motorcycles.






heather ellis


Heather Ellis


Heather Ellis