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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.
The terrorist turned reverend: a remarkable story told for the first timeIn 1978, Evan Pederick, a naive 22-year-old in the thrall of a radical religious movement, Ananda Marga, placed an enormous bomb outside Sydney's Hilton Hotel. It killed three people. A decade later, Pederick confessed to this act of terrorism. But when one of his alleged accomplices was later acquitted, significant parts of Pederick's testimony were undermined and he was accused of being a 'fantasist'. Conspiracy theories flooded in to fill the vacuum. Was it a plot by ASIO, rather than, as Pederick asserted, a plot to assassinate the Indian prime minister? In the absence of a Royal Commission or similar inquiry, mystery continues to shroud the deadliest terror attack on Australian soil. Pederick, an Anglican priest, stands by his confession and testimony. Here is his story, told for the first time. It is an extraordinary tale of guilt, remorse, renewal, and the search for forgiveness.
Out of stockCOVID-19 has resulted in changes none of us could have imagined, but what happens next? If you had asked most people a year ago, they would have told you there was no way that school children could shift overnight to online learning; that it was impossible for banks to offer mortgage holidays; impossible to double unemployment benefits; impossible to house rough sleepers or put a hold on evictions; impossible to offer wages subsidies and definitely impossible to get Australians to stay home from the beach and the pub. But we did it. In Upturn Tanya Plibersek brings together some of the country's most interesting thinkers who are ready to imagine a better Australia, and to fight for it. It is a compelling vision for a stronger economy, a fairer society and a more environmentally sustainable future.