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Listed under:  Science  >  Scientific inquiry  >  Research questions
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Suburban sprawl reaches Doncaster East, 1960s

In the 1950s and 60s, suburbs like Doncaster East arose to meet the changing needs of Australian citizens and the government. A 'baby boom' and increased immigration contributed to the expansion of Australian cities as more and more people sought to create their own 'Australian Dream' on a quarter-acre suburban block. Architect ...

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Impact of the contraceptive pill on Australia

If you had to name the most significant inventions of the 20th century, would you think of the contraceptive pill? Very few inventions have had such an impact upon Australian society or been as controversial. In this clip, discover how life changed for many Australian women with the arrival of 'the pill'. See how attitudes ...

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Do heavier things fall faster?

Will a medicine ball or a basketball hit the ground first when dropped at the same time from the same height? In this clip, Catalyst's Dr Derek Muller investigates what influences the speed at which objects fall. Derek challenges some people in a market to make a prediction and explain their thinking, before he finally ...

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Mormons in contemporary Australia

Have you ever had somebody knock at your door, wanting to share their faith? If so, you may have been visited by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of this religion believe that it is important to spread their message, and do so by door-knocking around the world, including in Australia. ...

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Christians in contemporary Australia

What is the most popular religion in Australia? If you said 'Christianity', you would be right. In the 2011 Census, more than 60 per cent of respondents indicated that they belonged to the Christian faith. In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in Christianity among Australia's youth. By focusing on a Christian ...

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Townsville air raid, 1942

Australia has never been invaded. Nevertheless, isolated attacks on Australian soil have killed and injured hundreds of people, destroyed property, and made many people fearful of a large-scale invasion. In July 1942, Japanese aircraft attacked Townsville, Queensland, bombing the wharf and the surrounding area. This audio ...

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Kokoda campaign, 1942

Have you ever heard of the Kokoda Trail? This was the site of one of Australia's most famous campaigns in World War II, one that helped to define the national character. From July to November 1942, this rugged jungle trail saw some of the most fiercely contested battles for territory between the Australians and the Japanese. ...

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Visit a restored 19th-century cottage

Take a trip back in time to discover what some Australian homes looked like in the past. Visit an old miner's cottage that was built long ago. Explore the kitchen, the living room and the outdoor toilet. Imagine what your life would be like if you grew up in this home.

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Living in space

Do you know that people have been living and working in space for more than 10 years? The International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth more than 300 kilometres above us. Watch this clip to discover what life is like in space and the type of research that is conducted there.

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Rations and coupon shopping

Discover what it was like to go shopping in Australia during World War II. See how people in the 1940s had to live with restrictions on how much they could buy (rationing). Find out how rationing was an attempt to make the distribution of necessary goods, such as food and clothing, equal for everybody.

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Do different things fall faster?

Want to find out what happens when you drop a watermelon and an apple from the top of a building? In this clip, Bernie Hobbs and Ruben Meerman, investigate whether the mass of an object influences how fast it falls. Bernie and Ruben ride the 'Giant Drop' at Dreamworld, drop a watermelon and apple from an eighth floor balcony, ...

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Public reactions to sending troops to Vietnam War

Do you think Australian governments have always acted wisely when deciding to send young Australians to wars? Does the public usually know enough to support such decisions? On 29 April 1965, Australia's prime minister, Robert Menzies, announced the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam. In this clip, filmed ...

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Celebrating a baby's baptism

Meet Vincent and his family and friends as they celebrate his baptism. Find out what happens when a baby is baptised in the Catholic church. Come along to Vincent's party afterwards for some fun, good food and an amazing christening cake.

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John le Carré: the Berlin Wall

Imagine the impact of a wall built to divide a city in two: on one side communist East Berlin, on the other the democratic West. Acclaimed spy writer John le Carré witnessed the construction of the Berlin Wall, an icon of the Cold War. Listen to his recollections of this extraordinary event in modern history.

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Impact of British rule on India

Did the British government consider the economic and cultural interests of the Indian people to be as important as their own at the end of the 19th century? In this clip from a 1965 University of the Air program, Hugh Owen of the University of NSW discusses the impacts of British rule on India's economy and therefore on ...

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Life in a World War II commando company

Discover the hazards and the extreme hardships experienced by Australians fighting the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. In this ABC Open report, World War II veteran Russell Blanch recalls some of his experiences while serving in an Australian commando company in the rugged mountains and dense jungles of New Guinea.

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Sydney Doll Hospital

If you broke your leg, you might go to a hospital. What happens to dolls that might have a broken leg, arm or head? Discover a special hospital in Sydney where broken dolls are mended. Find out how the repair work is done. See what dolls looked like in the past.

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Severe erosion in the Upper Murray River

Farmers along Victoria's Upper Murray claim that soil erosion on their properties is being caused by water released from the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a hydro-electricity project located in the Southern Alps. This clip from 2013 investigates the degradation occurring in an area where prime agricultural land is valued at 10,000 ...

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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 ...

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Is Australia's best job on Gabo Island?

Leo Op Den Brouw works at the Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve collecting meteorological and weather data. See why he believes he has one of the best jobs in Australia. While he counts himself lucky to work in such a special place, how does Leo cope with the isolation and the time away from his family and friends?