Julia's journey to uncover her family's past on Who Do You Think You Are? takes her to some very interesting places - including Parliament House. She also uncovers ancestral links to an intriguing secret society...
Ahead of the debut of season eight, kicking off with her episode on Tuesday night at 7:30pm (AEST) on SBS, Julia chatted to SBS and revealed just how much of an impact that her discoveries had:
Q. What was the most interesting thing you learned about yourself during the series?
I loved finding out that I come from a long line of people with a very strong moral compass and the confidence to speak out about things they felt strongly about. Fighting for the underdog seems to be a signature tune. I loved learning I had so much in common with family members I never knew.
Q. Was your journey an emotional one? What triggered the strongest feelings along the way?
My strongest feelings were triggered by finding out about my Maternal Grandfather. He died before I was born so he was not spoken of anywhere near enough. For the first time in my life I felt like I knew him. I am so proud to be his granddaughter. The more I uncovered about him the deeper my connection to him.
Q. How does knowing about your family history change how you see yourself and your family?
I think about how lucky my children will be to have this window into their past. I have never thought much about my family history. We all have our family ‘headlines’ but I had never really thought about the road they had traveled. We have all faced difficult times but the real bravery is in how you recover.
Q. What was the hardest thing for you to learn or accept about your family?
That I couldn’t ask them questions. Going so far back in the family tree… the people I was learning about had long been dead and were just names to me. I got to walk the same streets they would have walked and follow their stories. It felt so strange that only time was separating us. Every decision they made lead to my very existence and I am so happy with the choices they made.