Melissa George left her suburban Perth home at the age of 16 to pursue an acting career in Sydney scoring early success as a regular on the TV soap series Home and Away. Now 35, she lives in New York and has an international film and TV career.
While Melissa knows something about her father’s side of the family there are a number of gaps in her mother’s ancestral story. Melissa has a sense of a number of secrets being held back, of things not talked about, even a sense of some shame. Her journey takes her first to Rottnest Island to investigate a case of suspected abuse of a prisoner in a colonial gaol.
Along another branch of her maternal family tree, Melissa seeks to uncover the truth behind the arrival of two of her great grandparents in Australia as child migrants. In both cases there are family myths of who was, and who wasn’t, an orphan. Melissa discovers the truth, learning how these myths have masked the grim reality of a tragic tale of heartbreak and abandonment.