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The writer's craft

This collection of ten digital curriculum resources focuses on prominent Australian writers speaking about their craft. The writers discuss what they consider to be essential ingredients for creating successful works, including research, discipline, authenticity, memory and imagination. The items cover the perspectives ...

Audio

May O'Brien recalls school at the Mount Margaret Mission, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. She gives an account of the police practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families in line with government policies of the time. She recalls being fearful as a child of being removed and taken ...

Audio

May O'Brien reflects on becoming an activist, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. She recalls beginning secondary school in Perth in 1949 when she was aged 17, and how she went on to become a teacher. She also relates how she campaigned to improve education for all Indigenous children ...

Audio

Jimmy Little outlines his views on racism, 2008

This is an edited sound recording, from July 2008, of Indigenous singer-songwriter Jimmy Little. Little tells how his parents lived on an Aboriginal mission, with their movements very restricted. He also recalls going to a movie theatre where people were separated by race, but says examples of racism such as these were ...

Audio

Jimmy Little talks about being an entertainer, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of the Aboriginal singer-songwriter Jimmy Little offering advice about being a successful entertainer. Little says that entertainers must have faith in themselves and sing or entertain to suit the 'mood' of the audience. He suggests that this mood can be changed throughout a performance ...

Audio

Robyn Williams talks on communicating science to the public, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of science journalist and broadcaster, Robyn Williams, talking about communicating science to the Australian public and the challenges of overcoming 'woeful ignorance' and 'tremendous confusion'. He suggests that the media and modern education hamper public understanding of science by encouraging ...

Audio

Ron Merkel discusses the native title claim process, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel talking about the process required for lndigenous communities to mount native title claims. Merkel outlines the criteria for native title to be recognised by the Court. He also talks about how the native title process has involved oral ...

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Ron Merkel discusses the difficulty of handling refugee cases, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel discussing the difficulty of handling refugee cases. Merkel outlines how criteria from the UN refugee convention are used to make a judgement about whether a person is a genuine refugee. He explains that 'it's a very imperfect process' ...

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Ron Merkel explains trials before a judge in Australia, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel outlining the general procedure for a trial before a judge in Australia. Merkel explains the elements of pleadings, cross-examination of witnesses and final submissions to the judge. He also outlines the way in which a judge prepares ...

Audio

Ron Merkel explains why he retired as a judge, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel outlining the reasons why he retired as a judge to resume work as a barrister. Merkel says that Australia had just gone through a period during which human rights had become a 'big issue' and he wanted to focus on human rights in the ...

Audio

Ron Merkel discusses the phrase 'washed away by the tide of history', 2008

This is an edited sound recording of former Federal Court of Australia judge Ron Merkel discussing a High Court of Australia judge's statement that a person's right to native title may have been 'washed away by the tide of history'. Merkel describes the expression, used by one of the judges in the Mabo native title case, ...

Audio

John Collins recalls illustrations by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), 2007

This is an edited sound recording of John Collins, former managing director of the Brisbane-based book publisher Jacaranda Press, recalling the way the Indigenous poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal (then Kath Walker) produced illustrations for her 1980 book 'Father sky and mother earth'. He describes how a casual remark led to her ...

Audio

Brian Clouston describes the success of 'We are going', 2007

This is an edited sound recording of Brian Clouston, the founder of Brisbane-based Jacaranda Press, discussing the publication in 1964 of 'We are going', a book of poetry by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (known at the time as Kath Walker). Clouston describes the 'phenomenal' success of the book, and outlines why he believes it was ...

Audio

Lynley Huguenin describes being a Bali bombing victim, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Melbourne woman Lynley Huguenin, who received serious burns in one of the two terrorist bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali on 12 October 2002, describing the explosion that set her clothes on fire and the confusion that followed. She also tells of a long series of medical treatments, ...

Audio

Kerry Alcock describes his Cyclone Larry experience, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of a Queensland banana grower, Kerry Alcock, describing the devastation wrought by Cyclone Larry on his family business plantation in March 2006. Alcock tells how his crop was totally destroyed and how a new crop had to be planted from scratch using about 65,000 'suckers'. He also points ...

Audio

Trevor Smith discusses dealing with droughts, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Trevor Smith, a wheat and sheep farmer in the Forbes area of central New South Wales. He explains what it is like being a farmer who has to deal with a prolonged period of drought. Smith tells of the financial strains on farming businesses and the psychological strains on individual ...

Audio

Ian Frazer discusses the cervical cancer vaccine, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of the Australian medical scientist Ian Frazer discussing how he and his colleague Jian Zhou developed the first vaccine to prevent and treat cervical cancer. He describes their breakthrough laboratory discovery in 1990, and how they realised a vaccine was possible. He also tells of the ...

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Jan Andrew recalls swimming at the 1960 Olympics

This is an edited sound recording of Australian swimmer Janice ('Jan') Andrew (nee Thornett) recalling how she won medals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. She says that members of the Australian team had none of the special swimwear or support staff available to elite swimmers today. She also outlines her continuing work as ...

Audio

Andy Thomas describes his first flight into space, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Australian astronaut Andy Thomas talking about his first flight into space in May 1996. Thomas describes the experience of taking off aboard the US space shuttle Endeavour, and how he was able to look down from space on the city of his birth, Adelaide, at night. He also describes how ...

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Andy Thomas discusses recreation on Mir, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Australian astronaut and cosmonaut Andy Thomas describing the recreational challenges of living for almost five months aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1998. The recording was made in August 2008.