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Talking Deadly: Ten Doors Down

Talking Deadly: Ten Doors Down

Indigenous
Talking Deadly

Robert Tickner will discuss his new memoir Ten Doors Down: the story of a federal minister’s remarkable reunion with his birth parents.

1 / 1 event in this Indigenous series
Wednesday
26 February 2020 6pm to 7pm

Price

General Admission: Free
State Library Friends Members: Free

Location

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia

 

Talking Deadly

Ten Doors Down: the story of an extraordinary adoption reunion

Robert Tickner had always known he was adopted, but had rarely felt much curiosity about his origins. Born in 1951, he had a happy childhood — raised by his loving adoptive parents, Bert and Gwen Tickner, in the small seaside town of Forster, New South Wales. He grew up to be a cheerful and confident young man with a fierce sense of social justice, and the desire and stamina to make political change. Serving in the Hawke and Keating governments, he held the portfolio of minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Among other achievements while in government, he was responsible for initiating the reconciliation process with Indigenous Australians, and he was instrumental in instigating the national inquiry into the Stolen Generations.

During his time on the front bench, Robert’s son was born, and it was his deep sense of connection to this child that moved him at last to turn his attention to the question of his own birth. Although he had some sense of the potentially life-changing course that lay ahead of him, he could not have anticipated learning of the exceptional nature of the woman who had brought him into the world, the deep scars that his forced adoption had left on her, and the astonishing series of coincidences that had already linked their lives. And this was only the first half of a story that was to lead to a reunion with his birth father and siblings.

book cover of ten doors down

This deeply moving memoir is a testament to the significance of all forms of family in shaping us — and to the potential for love to heal great harm.

Robert Tickner grew up a country boy on the New South Wales mid-north coast and became an Aboriginal Legal Service lawyer and an alderman of the Sydney City Council. In 1984 he won the federal seat of Hughes, and in 1990 he became the federal minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. He is Australia’s longest-serving minister in that role, and served in a period of great reform during the Hawke and Keating governments. He then became CEO of Australian Red Cross and led the organisation for a decade from 2005 to 2015.

 


 

 


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