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Ten Doors Down


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The story of a federal minister's remarkable reunion with his birth parents.

About the Author

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.


"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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