2008, 52 Minutes
Athlete Catherine Freeman goes in search of the source of her drive and determination, unearthing an unexpected family heritage.
Olympic gold medallist in the women's 400 metres at the 2000 Sydney Games, Catherine is an inspiration to many. She possesses an irrepressible pride in her country and her people. Her strong sense of identity is something she believes has been passed down from her ancestors.
Her mother Cecelia was born on Palm Island, a penal settlement for Aborigines and her father Norman, also a 'Murri', was a rugby league footballer, but little more of the family history is known. Now she's on a journey to find out where her fighting spirit comes from. She finds many of her ancestors display the strong will and sense of purpose that have helped her to succeed at the highest levels of competition.
Catherine is shocked by the discrimination and hardship that her Aboriginal ancestors have faced even as recently as her parents, who were prevented from spending Christmas with their families by white authorities who insisted they remain on an Aboriginal settlement.
But while learning about her family, Catherine learns much about herself. Having lived with a power and freedom that her ancestors could never have known, she believes she has not yet achieved her full potential and wonders what that potential may be.
A Film Australia National Interest Program, Serendipity Productions, Artemis International production in association with ScreenWest and Lotterywest and SBS Independent. Format licensed by Wall to Wall Media Ltd. The Who Do You Think You Are? word mark and logo are trade marks of Wall to Wall Media Limited and are used under licence. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Artemis International, Serendipity Productions, ScreenWest and Lotterywest, SBS Independent.
Director: Jane Manning
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Classification: PG. Consumer Advice: Mild themes, Infrequent mild coarse language.
Curriculum Links: English, Media Studies, SOSE/HSIE, Australian History, Psychology and Indigenous Studies. See series record for teachers notes.