A unique breed of men and women emerged from the latter part of the nineteenth century. Some risked their lives on the footropes of sailing ships, others rose to prominence in industry, politics and government. Many forged new lives in far-off lands, but all were joined by a common thread to grasp a rapidly changing world and claim a niche in history.
Olaf Johansson sailed halfway around the world to find his destiny on the banks of a river of little significance when compared to the great waterways of the world, but for an arid continent a vital artery of commerce. Along its crumbling red clay banks and verdant redgum forests old penal colonies strove for nationhood, eventually achieving independence though never fully casting off the yoke of its old colonial master. A Product of Their Time is a saga of survival, men and women overcoming the brutal and iron-fisted rule of privilege, class and authority.