$7.50 (Inc. GST)

Every Family Has a Secret - Series 3 (ATOM Study Guide)

Add to Wishlist
Current Stock:
SKU: SG1816
Year Levels: 10-12
Streaming Content: Every Family Has a Secret

Every Family has a Secret is a four-part documentary series produced by Artemis Media in Perth for SBS Television in Australia. In each one-hour episode, we follow the journeys of two Australians wanting to discover the truth about their past by uncovering long-held family secrets. As we watch these different stories unfold, we are encouraged to think about why families keep secrets and how these secrets affect generations. We are shown how truths about the past are important to understand and acknowledge, even if they are confronting.

This impeccably researched and produced television series allows viewers to connect with history in a deeply personal way. Participants travel around the world uncovering powerful truths about themselves, their families and Australia. The exquisite sense of storytelling makes these programs both gripping and exceptionally beautiful. Viewers will be drawn to these individuals who bravely embark on often confronting journeys of discovery. 


In season 3 of Every Family has a SecretSouth Australian businessman Peter Eden searches for the truth about his Hungarian born father. Was he a war criminal responsible for a murderous rampage in Budapest during World War II?

Indian born siblings Priti Gatto and Prashant Ieraci go in search of the truth surrounding their mother's death, and the family they left behind when they were adopted by an Italian-Australian couple.

Arrernte woman Danielle Chisholm seeks answers to a 100 year old mystery – is she descended from an illegitimate child born to Prince Edward VIII after his 1920 tour of Australia?

Growing up, the identity of Linda Lawless' father was kept hidden from her. Only recently Linda learnt the startling truth – her father was a Catholic priest.

Curriculum Links

Personal and Social Capability is a cross curriculum priority that relates to many subject areas. This priority across a range of subject areas could include exploring:

  • Concepts of Identity
  • Belonging
  • Family and Inheritance
  • Migration
  • Generational change

Specific subject areas include:

Modern History (Unit 4 at senior secondary level)

Students studying Modern History, Family History and post-World War II Migration would find much to explore in these programs to develop their understanding of how Australia became a multicultural nation through following the stories of people whose parents were often products of turmoil around the world. There is also reference to the difficulties faced by Indigenous Australians removed from their families and brought up in state care, and the effect of family removal to institutions has on the following generations. The post-World War II years of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s in Australia were times of changes in social attitudes and population growth through immigration. They were also times when many people believed that what happened in a family should stay private.

Students in middle years studying Australian History. Some of the themes explored in the series:

  • Family values – Including emphasis on the need to know where you came from and why your upbringing was the way it was.
  • Ethics – The rights of children and adults to have access to information about their families and origins including the identity of biological parents for children who were adopted or may have been conceived through IVF.
  • Secrets – Understanding how secrets and half-truths can ultimately damage families and lead to children and adults who are plagued by confusion, guilt and regrets about their identity and lost opportunities.
  • English – Understanding how stories can be told in different ways, incorporating family research and giving voice to individuals who all have unique stories to tell.
  • Different Times and Places – These stories are of parents and grandparents who lived very different lives between the early 1900s and the 1970s.
  • Documentary – These are true stories told by the people who have lived them; however they are far removed from much of what now promotes itself as 'Reality Television' such as SurvivorMarried at First SightThe Bachelor series and Big Brother which tend to depend on creating stereotypes of goodies and baddies through their editing. They rarely acknowledge the complexity of the peoples' lives they are presenting. Their success and ratings depend on creating new dramas and conflicts as the producers put people through their paces and use them as toys in a game.

Series such as Every Family has a Secret tend to be much more respectful and careful with how they reveal secrets and family complexities. At the same time, they are entertaining, filled with real drama and surprising for both participants and viewers. They demonstrate that truth is often stranger than fiction and often more interesting and compelling viewing.

ATOM has produced a study guide for each season of Every Family has a Secret. They are available for download here.

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review