Extraordinary Humans is the latest series from Business Chicks that brings you the stories and people you might not have come across until now. Our promise is that life won’t be the same after you’ve heard from them, and that it’s a very select group of humans that we label with such a title. They’re extraordinary and they’re memorable and they’re coming to your screen soon.
Sandra Pankhurst has lived an extraordinary life, well … many extraordinary lives. And her story is the subject of the internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning book ‘The Trauma Cleaner’, by Sarah Krasnostein.
Sandra, who born ‘Peter’, was adopted into an abusive family and completely excluded; relegated to a backyard shed. In his teens he escaped and married young, but soon realised that it wasn’t possible to continue his life as a husband and a father. He left to become Sandra – a drag queen, sex worker and a gender reassignment patient in the 70s, when society rarely used the word transgender.
With an enviable work ethic, Sandra went on to become Australia’s first female funeral director, a trophy wife and a local government candidate. In her work, she saw a gap in the market and is now CEO of one of Australia’s most successful trauma cleaning businesses. Sandra has a next level ability to relate and connect to people in difficult situations – people in trauma – and transforms the filth and squalor of murder, suicide, drug dens, crime, and mental illness with no-nonsense practicality and genuine compassion in equal doses.
Sandra shares her story without filter; she is endearing and captivating and despite all she’s been through looks at life with a refreshing optimism. Her story reminds us that there is always an after, that there is always a next chapter; join us to hear from this extraordinary human whose life has led her to many places on her journey to find her place in the world.