As a young woman Nikki Gemmell wanted to travel and see the world; adventure lay in running away from where she had grown up, Australia. But at 40, after 12 wonderful years in London with her husband Andy and their three children, a malaise has set in. She feels trapped by what she calls the land of no shadows, by being a good wife and mother, by routine. She feels she is starting to lose her sense of identity. And as she grows older the idea of returning 'home' has begun to haunt her. She longs to reconnect with her past, to show her children where their parents came from. But can you really go home again? On an experimental trip back to Sydney, Nikki Gemmell explores the idea of exile and homecoming, of what makes Australia attractive - but also a place people feel compelled to leave to reach their potential. She reflects on her own youth, and looks back at how that shaped her. And as she watches her children change from urban Londoners to free-spirited locals, she realises that she and Andy were right in making them Australian citizens when they were born. For her, Australia is an antidote to the restrictions she has begun to feel; here she can return to a simpler, sunnier life.
Why you are Australian is part memoir, part observation. With characteristic candour Nikki Gemmell looks at what it means to be Australian - in the past and right now.