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American/Kiwi author, educator and explorer returns to NZ

Author, educator and explorer Jo Patti returns to New Zealand today to tour her new book and give back to the Kiwis who have a special place in her heart.

Author of two books, Kismet, a volume of poetry, and Getting Off The X, a collection of non-fiction stories about risk-taking and getting out of danger - including her own personal story of tragedy - Jo has deep connections with Aotearoa.

“It’s time now more than ever to return to beautiful New Zealand to share perspectives gained from first hand experiences in many different situations and countries. I look forward to catching up with friends and meeting more people throughout the country, as well as seeing if or how New Zealand has changed,” Jo says.

Jo was born into a first generation immigrant family in New Jersey, USA. At high school, she earned several scholarships and graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington D.C. There, she was chosen for a number of special programmes including a course in Psycho cybernetics, a PADI Scuba diving certification and the Philodemic society. She was also the first woman to win the Circumnavigator’s travel grant and was awarded an AUIE fellowship for Tropical Terrestrial and Marine Biology field research and study in Central America.

Jo is also a New Zealand citizen. In 1989, she was employed by Kahurangi National Maori Dance Theatre in Hastings and the sponsorship of Wiremu Te Tau Huata, his son, Tama Huata and other elders gained her family citizenship in 1994.



Jo’s second child, her daughter Sequoia (an athlete adventurer, entrepreneur and writer, who toured New Zealand just last year) was born there, in Napier 1991.

In the mid 1990s, her family returned to NSW, Australia, for her to continue her work in the Gumbayngiir Aboriginal communities and teach at Southern Cross University Coffs Harbour campus.

In 2001, she returned to New Zealand where she received a scholarship and graduated from Massey University with her Post Graduate Degree in Education in 2003, then continued her studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine at the New Zealand School of Acupuncture and TCM in Wellington while it was directed by Adejola Musa Olatunji (Tunji). Jo was asked to become part of the faculty at the Wellington campus, to create a curriculum and help start a program for refugees using auricular acupuncture, in late 2005.

Jo’s work has since taken her all over the world, and her contribution is significant. She’s worked across the globe in education, health, monitoring, evaluation, research and training.

In 2013, Jo suffered personal tragedy, when her son, Denali Schmidt, was killed, along with his father, climbing the K-2 in Pakistan. Neither body has been found, and her daughter, Sequoia has since returned to the site to look for her brother and father.

Now based in Texas, Jo’s book, Getting Off The X was published last year and features people all over the globe “getting off the x” - the common thread that ties all the chapters together.

Getting Off The X means getting out of the line of fire and moving off the target area which can be danger in a physical, emotion or even spiritual sense,” Jo explains of her latest release.
Over the next two months, Jo will tour both the North and the South Island, starting tomorrow in Auckland at Time Out Bookstore.
Jo's book events and signings so far are as follows:
26/5/19 - Time Out Bookstore, 1 - 3pm, Auckland
29/5/19 - Vic Books (Pipitea Campus), 5:30pm - 7pm, Wellington
20/6/19 - Page & Blackmore Booksellers, 5:30 - 7pm, Nelson
8/7/19 - Taradale Library, 6 - 7:30pm, Napier
10/7/19 - Rotary Club, Parnell, 7am, Auckland
10/7/19 - Takapuna Library, 6 - 7:30pm, Auckland
Getting Off The X and Kismet are available online and in venues where Jo will appear.

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