Reaching Through Time

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The phone rang unexpectedly, late one night. 'Guess who our white ancestors were?' chuckled Uncle Gerry. 'They were slave traders! A couple of generations of slave traders!'

After this startling revelation, Shauna wanted to find out more. She discovered her ancestor Robert Bostock arrived in Sydney in 1815 after being convicted of slave trading in Africa, and his grandson Augustus John married Bundjalung woman One My. Battling restrictions on access to government archives, Shauna gradually pieced together her family's stories of dispossession and frontier violence; life on reserves under the harsh regime of the Aborigines Protection Board; a cricket match with Bradman; activism and arts in Redfern; and a surprising reconciliation.

Reaching Through Time reveals the cataclysmic impact of colonisation on Aboriginal families, and how this ripples through to the present. It also shows how family research can bring a deeper understanding and healing of the wounds in our history. Shauna writes, 'I am a proud Aboriginal woman who has always wanted to make a stronger connection to my cultural heritage. I experienced an inner yearning to find out about my ancestors and what they experienced in life. This is the story of my journey.'

'Compelling and courageous truth-telling.' -DrJackie Huggins AM, historian and author

'This brilliantly researched, difficult-to- put-down history demonstrates how five generations of a multi-talented Aboriginal family made their worlds anew.' -Professor Ann McGrath AM

'Children stolen, homes resumed, authorities spying, ASIO snooping. Bostock's family has it all - yet she can still see the funny side. This is why we need family histories. This is why we need truth-telling.' -Professor Peter Read AM

'Erased from history, dispossessed, forgotten - her ancestors came alive in the archives as if they had been waiting for someone to find them there, to tell their stories.' - The Guardian

'Reaching Through Time is the epitome of Indigenous family life writing...Bostock's storytelling is engaging and compassionate. She has invited us into her family's conversations and into the kitchens and loungerooms of her family's homes.' - Australian Book Review