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History / Year 10 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Developments in popular culture in post-war Australia and their impact on society, including the introduction of television and rock ’n’ roll (ACDSEH121)

Elaborations
  • investigating America’s cultural influence, as seen in the arrival of television for the Melbourne Olympics (1956) and Bill Haley’s Australian tour (1957)
  • comparing and contrasting views on the values and beliefs of rock’n’roll, film and television across time, age and gender (for example, issues of conservatism and rebellion, the challenge to established ideas and national identity)
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Australian culture,  Television,  Popular culture,  Rock music

Video

Surfies, clubbies and a changing way of life

What effect did the rise of surfboard riding and its accompanying surf culture have on surf lifesaving? In the early 1960s, surf lifesaving was regarded as a model of the values that underpin the Australian way of life. This clip from 1964 explores the collision between the new surf culture and the traditions of the surf ...

Video

Surf culture hits Australia in the 1960s

How did surf culture change Australian popular culture? Rock music and the concept of the 'teenager' had arrived in Australia in the 1950s but in the 1960s the surfboard gave rise to a new youth subculture. This clip from 1964 explores conflict in the water and cultural changes that came with the rise of the 'surfie'.

Online

Migrants Enriching Australia

This is a rich collection of stories that focuses on the life experiences of two individuals, one of Greek heritage and one of Polish heritage, who immigrated and settled in Victoria post World War II. The resource explores how these people shared their cultural heritage and how this enriched Australian life at this time. ...

Video

TV killed the radio star

Can you imagine a time when, instead of watching dramas at home on a screen, people listened to them on the radio - a time when the most popular of those dramas were made in Australia? This Four Corners program from 1964 examines the reasons for the death of Australian radio serials, the role played by television in their ...

Video

ABC national TV service: opening night, 1956

Can you imagine life before television? How different would it have been? This clip is taken from the opening moments of the first ABC television broadcast in 1956. As you watch it, see how the presenter describes the event and try to imagine the impact such first broadcasts would have had on Australians more than half ...

Video

Surf story

Imagine riding a big wave on a surfboard back in the days when surfboard riding was the newest craze to hit Australia. At that time, many teenagers believed that surfing represented a whole new way of life. This Four Corners program from the early 1960s investigates the impact of the rise of the surfboard and surfing culture ...

Video

The old australian record industry

Discover a time in Australia's past when the vinyl record industry was thriving. Today you can download your choice of music at almost any time or place. But in this clip from 1963 you will experience life before music downloads and compact discs (CDs): the age of vinyl records. These records created a teenage mass market ...

Video

Germaine Greer on rock culture

Does music have the power to change the world? From the 1950s rock 'n' roll to later popular music of the 60s and 70s, music encouraged teenagers to rebel against the ideas and beliefs of earlier generations and, in some instances, to change society for the better. In this clip, explore some of these changes from the perspective ...

Video

Holden, the 'all-Australian car'

What made Holden cars symbols of Australia during the 1950s, 60s and 70s? During this period, more than any other vehicle, the Holden came to reflect changing lifestyles in Australia, and helped to define for many what it meant to be 'Australian'. Find out the impact that generations of Holden vehicles have had on the lives ...

Video

Johnson, Clift and Cohen meet Hydra's muse

The lives of Canadian poet Leonard Cohen and Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston intertwined on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Cohen became one of the world's most celebrated singer-songwriters. Clift received more recognition for her writing overseas than in Australia while Johnston's novel 'My Brother ...

Video

The Stomp, a 1960s dance craze

Imagine a dance so simple it could be learnt in minutes and so popular it became a craze. This clip from a Weekend Magazine program screened in 1963 looks at such a dance. It was called the Stomp and it was pounded out in surf clubs and council halls around Australia's coast. Watch and listen as teenagers express their ...

Video

Popular culture post-war

In post-war Australia, cultural changes - like the popularisation of surfing and rock 'n' roll, and a sexual revolution - took hold. Meet the 'teenager'.

Video

Radio pirates

Imagine life before mobile phones. In this 1973 clip from a Four Corners program, discover the lengths that many determined Australians were prepared to go to in order to communicate through the air waves from their cars and other locations. This was long before the invention of mobiles, video conferencing, social media ...

Video

Mobile society: 'mechanised sloth'

Do Australians depend too much on cars and get too little exercise? Many people like to think of Australia as being an active, sports-loving nation. What effect has the motor car had on this perception? This clip from the 1960s takes a look at the question of whether the popularity of driving was becoming a risk to the ...

Video

Rock 'n' roll and Gough Whitlam

How does a rock 'n' roll filmmaker tell the story of one of Australia's most controversial prime ministers? Listen as filmmaker Paul Clarke distinguishes himself from 'serious and worthy' documentary makers in his program about former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. This is the second clip in a series of two.

Video

The Gough Whitlam saga

How do you make an entertaining documentary about a politician? Gough Whitlam was Labor prime minister from 1972-75 and has the distinction of being the only prime minister dismissed by the governor general. In this clip from a 2013 ABC 'News breakfast' program, filmmaker Paul Clarke discusses his interest in making a documentary ...

Video

Did you see it? Subliminal advertising

Are you persuaded to purchase products by the advertising you see on TV? If advertising was so subtle that we couldn't distinguish it from the content of the shows we watch, what effect might this have? Watch this clip and find out how some advertisers are using hidden messages to advertise products and influence our purchasing ...

Video

Generational change for Italian migrants

What would it be like to start life in a new country without much knowledge of the language or culture? The clip shows the strength of the cultural traditions that Onsonato Galluzzo and his wife brought with them from Italy. See how the older family members maintain their Italian heritage and the younger generation adapt ...

Video

Using closed captions (TV text) to understand TV

It's difficult to understand what's going on in a TV program when we can't hear all or any of what is being said. Discover how closed captioning (text that you can turn on if you want to) can help.

Video

Designing the Sydney Opera House

What does it take to create a building that is famous the world over? In 1956, NSW Premier Joseph Cahill announced a competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney. The winner was architect Jorn Utzon with 'design 218'. In this 1950s clip, learn about Utzon's aims in designing the building, the challenges in realising ...