Actor Rodger Corser rose to fame for his roles in the award-winning crime series Underbelly and the critically acclaimed Glitch, and for the series lead on Doctor, Doctor. But while Rodger is comfortable donning the mask of a character, exploring his own identity is a little more daunting.
Daytime TV host Kerri-Anne Kennerley's upbeat personality, can-do attitude, and general optimism has made her resilient, both in the fickle world of television, and in the face of the tragic accident that left her husband a quadriplegic. But where did Kerri-Anne get those traits that have served her career and her personal life so well? With her curiosity sparked, Kerri-Anne sets off to find out if her ancestors carried the survivor gene that has carried her through her tumultuous life.
Four-time Paralympian Kurt Fearnley wants to find out if the fighting spirit that propelled him to sporting stardom was inherited from his ancestors. In his father's family, Kurt seeks to sort fact from fiction about his larger than life grandfather Harry, who left England at the tender age of 17. Kurt begins his investigation with his great-grandfather Charles' World War I medals, which lead him to discover Charles suffered a gunshot wound to the face during the disastrous Battle of the Somme.
Singer Casey Donovan shot to fame at the tender age of 16 when she won Australian Idol. But her sudden rise to stardom raised complicated questions about Casey's Aboriginal heritage. Now, at age 30, Casey is keen to learn about her Indigenous roots, but will she find a sense of belonging?
Australia's favourite scientist, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, is a qualified medical doctor, engineer, and physicist whose media career began in 1981. His weekly talkback hour has become a national institution, and he's authored more than 40 books. Karl was two years old when he came to Australia with his family as refugees in 1950. He knows very little about his parents' life before this, only that they met in a refugee camp in Sweden after World War II. While Karl's father told him many elaborate stories, his mother was very secretive.
Actress Marta Dusseldorp has become a household name on Australian television screens, playing strong female characters in Janet King, A Place To Call Home, and Jack Irish. Now, Marta wants to explore the characters in her own ancestral past. The daughter of a Dutch migrant, Marta always identified with the European roots on her father's side, more so because she knew so little about her mother's family. Marta embarks on a journey to find the origins of her beloved maternal grandparents, paediatric surgeon Sandy Robertson and his wife Gwenda.
Traumatised by the scandal of her parents' public divorce, investigative journalist Jennifer Byrne has avoided examining her family history until now, when both her parents have passed away. Although Jennifer loved her maternal grandfather, Victoria's longest serving governor, Sir Dallas Brooks, the privilege that came with his appointment was a source of embarrassment. But Jennifer soon discovers the scandal and privilege she grew up with was nothing compared to what lies in her mother's ancestry.
TV personality Scott Cam reveals his paternal family changed their surname from Caminiti to Cam during World War II. But, beyond this historical detail, Scott knows little about his Italian ancestors, including what compelled them to leave their homeland for a 'sunburnt country'.
In one of Sydney's great convict buildings, Peter Garrett discovers an ancestor at the forefront of social welfare in the colony. He'll also unearth the secret life of his grandmother who worked in a forgotten area of first Contact - the Lock Hospitals in Western Australia. More than a century later, Peter follows his grandmother to remote Bernier Island, where Indigenous Australians suspected of having venereal disease were taken by force.
Patti Newton is one of Australia's most recognisable faces. She's been performing since the age of four and has always wondered where her love of performing came from. These days, Patti's greatest joy in life is her four grandchildren. However, she knows very little regarding her paternal grandmother and is determined to find out why she was never spoken of.
All his life, Ernie Dingo has been estranged from his father's family, on account of feeling abandoned by his own father, Tom Pepper. Ernie is brought face-to-face with his father's ancestors, including an English convict. Will his journey force Ernie to re-evaluate his perceptions about the past - and his relationships in the present? Meanwhile, Ernie's relationship with his mother's side of the family has been completely different: he grew up wrapped in love and warmth from his mother, Bessie, and grandmother, Ulie. But his grandfather, Jimmy Dingo, remained a mystery and Ernie sets out to discover more about this enigmatic character.
Perth born entertainer and performer Todd McKenney is keen to know where the McKenney name comes from, and is on a quest to uncover traits passed down to him by his father's forebears. On his maternal side, there is no doubt that Todd gets his dancing talent from his mother, Peta, and his maternal grandmother. However, Todd is keen to discover an ancestor with a colourful past. Will Todd find what he's looking for?
Actor and performer Justine Clarke was raised almost entirely by her mother, Beverley, after her parents separated when she was just nine months old. Justine's quest to learn about her father's family will take her back to colonial times where she'll learn about the unlikely life of one of her ancestors and the Irish rebel she fell in love with. On her maternal side, Justine will return to her grandfather's hometown in Belarus and discover why her grandfather fled his homeland and travelled to Australia. And, in a surprise meeting in Moscow, Justine will meet a long lost relative and reconnect a family separated for a century.
From his portrayal of bushranger Ned Kelly to the sinister Mick Taylor in Wolf Creek, actor John Jarratt has carved a career out of playing quintessential Aussie characters. But while John wears his working class roots with pride, the traces of a Chinese heritage on his mum's side have always been a mystery. John first throws himself into his search for his Chinese origins before investigating the epic life story of his war hero ancestor.
Natalie Imbruglia has always taken pride in her father's Italian ancestry, but she knows very little regarding her mother's Australian heritage. Although family folklore points to strong-willed and independent women on this side of the family, Natalie wants to know more about these women and their stories. This journey will allow Natalie to finally connect with her Australian ancestry, dating all the way back to the beginnings of the colony.
Having always struggled to understand culturally who he is, renowned neurosurgeon Charlie Teo is looking for answers. Exploring his mother's side of the family, Charlie's journey will take him to Malacca, where he discovers a culture he's never heard of, but one with which he can now clearly identify. On his father's side, Charlie comes face-to-face with his paternal ancestors. Will he be able to mend his connection with this side of his family and finally be proud of his Teo heritage?
Veteran performer, Noni Hazlehurst, goes in search of the secrets her parents held so tightly. This journey will be a revelation to Noni. She'll come to understand the impact of war on her immediate family, and why she knows so little about her world-renowned performing ancestors.
John Newcombe's search will propel him back to a pivotal time in NSW when the penal colony was transforming into a democracy. John's paternal ancestor played an important role in the fight for freedom of the press. But behind the facade of middle-class respectability, John will discover his two-times-great grandmother was hiding her convict past. Then, exploring his maternal line, John follows his three-times great grandfather's footsteps to the Loyalty Islands, now part of New Caledonia. John's forebear was hoping to trade sandalwood, but the expedition was a disaster. At the site of a bloody ambush John learns of the cannibalistic tribe his ancestor encountered.
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