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Ten Doors Down

The story of an extraordinary adoption reunion

Robert Tickner



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Scribe Publications
04 February 2020
The story of a federal minister's remarkable reunion with his birth parents.

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.

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.

Imprint:   Scribe Publications
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   360g
ISBN:   9781925849455
ISBN 10:   1925849457
Pages:   256
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert Tickner grew up a country boy on the NSW 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.

Reviews for Ten Doors Down: The story of an extraordinary adoption reunion

Tickner's sensitive portrayal of the woman at the heart of his story is a powerful refutation of an inhuman system that doomed generations of single mothers (described as of low intelligence if not actually retarded by doctors) and their children (the so-called clean slates ) to the unimaginable misery of forced adoptions. Hundreds and thousands of families were touched by these policies. This moving memoir tells the exceptional story of one of them. FOUR STARS --Julia Taylor, Books+Publishing An emotional and deeply personal account of the complexity of family and the need to understand your origins. A great Australian story, which leaves the reader feeling positive about the triumph of humanity. --Anthony Albanese This book confronts aspects of our shared historical past, some of which are horrible and shameful. I wept in parts. I felt sad and angry in other parts. But this book is also about happiness and hope. It is a story all Australians should read. --Professor Mick Dodson, AM Magnificently moving. You won't be able to put it down. A testament to a mother's love-and a son's--full of heart, truth, and power. The final pages will break you. --Nikki Gemmell Ten Doors Down is a memoir on the significance of a mother's care and the power of familial love...Ten Doors Down is an emotional and deeply personal story, and Tickner's insights into family are moving and uplifting. --Georgia Brough, ArtsHub Optimistic and uplifting...a moving story, and told with economy and great focus. --Debra Adelaide, The Age

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