Forest Hermit to Professor, It’s Never Too Late to Change | Dr. Gregory P. Smith


From TEDx Talks: “Completely disillusioned with a society that rejected him, Gregory P. Smith walked into a rainforest near Byron Bay and became a hermit for 10 years. He exited the forest, on the brink of death and still haunted by personal demons, to eventually gain a Ph.D., become a university lecturer in the Faculty of Business, Law, and Arts and become an ambassador for Australia’s ‘forgotten children.’ This incredible story is a personal testament to ‘never giving up.’ Dr. Gregory P. Smith is a survivor, an academic, and a social researcher. Homeless for much of his adult life living as a recluse in a forest near Byron Bay, he now has a Ph.D. in Sociology and teaches at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia. In 2018 he published his memoir ‘Out of the Forest’ with Penguin Random House and has been the subject of two Australian documentaries. His profoundly touching and uplifting memoir is at once a unique insight into how far off track a life can go and a powerful reminder that we can all find our way back. Gregory is heavily involved in advocating for the vulnerable and disadvantaged and continues to be the patron of a number of charity organizations while also consulting with several specialist services and agencies. Currently, Dr. Smith is engaged as a consultant and program evaluator in the Premiers Priority Project to reduce rough sleeping in NSW, Australia by 50% in 2025 and zero by 2030.”

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