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Patrick Brennan: the legend of Ned Kelly

Play the role of a reporter in 1881. Produce a feature article for a newspaper about the life of Ned Kelly. Review a brief history. Interview his friends and enemies. Gather evidence of social and political influences that affected Ned Kelly’s life. Compile an article that explores the myth and decide whether Ned Kelly ...

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Where image matters the most

'The awful things we do to pursue what gorgeous is.' With these dramatic words, Mark Lloyd concludes his powerful performance poem exploring the issue of body image. His emotive delivery and strong imagery highlight the impact that words can have when used by bullies or by those who stand against them.

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What's the moral of the story?

Have you heard of the expression, 'the moral of the story'? What does the interviewer think the moral of this story is? How does this compare to what the author and illustrator of the story, Leigh Hobbs, says the moral is?

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Just big kids? Why adults are reading YA fiction

The Young Adult, or YA, publishing market might be huge, but not all readers of YA books are teenagers. Perhaps surprisingly, increasing numbers of adults are choosing to read books written for the YA market. Join in this panel discussion as four YA authors discuss the reasons why their books are being picked up by adult readers.

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Tom Keneally and 1960s Australia

Have you heard of the 1967 Referendum, Vincent Lingiari or the Freedom Ride? The late 1960s was a period of great social upheaval with many young Australians unhappy with the treatement of Indigenous Australians and with Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. How effective is Thomas Keneally's parallel between the ...

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Michael Gow on dealing with loss

Have you ever pretended that everything was fine when in fact you were feeling sad, upset or angry? Several characters in Away pretend that everything is fine even as they battle with great losses. Does Michael Gow, the playwright, think this is a good way of dealing with loss? What are his thoughts on this issue and what ...

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Cult novels and their characters

A cult novel is one that holds special status for certain readers. Generally, cult novels are those that are passionately loved by a small group of people. In this clip, discover why author Markus Zusak's favourite cult novel is 'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller.

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Character creation in book and film

What are some of the ways novelists create the characters in their books? Are these options available to writers of movie screenplays? Listen to renowned screenwriter John Collee as he describes the importance of action in revealing character, using the film adaptation of 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' as an example.

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Tom Keneally's story worth telling

Stories can entertain and educate, and challenge our way of thinking. How do you think The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith does all this? Keep in mind that the book was published in 1972, five years after the 1967 Referendum.

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Show, Don't Tell

This resource for students explains the importance, when writing narratives, of showing your reader rather than telling, with an example, ways of achieving this, and some follow-up activities

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Tom Keneally's pluralist society

Thomas Keneally says in this interview that experiences of people from pluralist societies, like Jimmie Blacksmith and children of migrants, make for great stories. Why do you think this is?

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Confabulating on 'Cold Comfort Farm'

Join in the debate about whether the 1932 novel 'Cold Comfort Farm' by Stella Gibbons should be considered a classic. The novel follows Flora Poste, a young woman who moves in with her country relatives in a village called Howling. It parodies other novels that represented rural life as woeful, and is filled with delightfully ...

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Tom Keneally on belonging

Thomas Keaneally says in this interview, "I was of Australia, in Australia, but not fully of it." What do you think he means by this? Can you relate to his sentiment? Why/why not?

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Lies, deceit and bad driving in 'The Great Gatsby'

Questions of morality are frequently probed by writers. F Scott Fitzgerald explores the human propensity for deceit in one of the most intriguing characters in 'The great Gatsby', Jordan Baker. This clip from 'Books and arts daily' on Radio National is one in a series of eight.

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Life-changing moments: from basketball to guitar

Sometimes devastating events have a silver lining. Brendon Reynolds's life changed completely after a major injury during a basketball game. Hear how as you listen to his Heywire audio story.<br /><br />Could you write or record a story about yourself and/or your community? The ABC's Heywire competition calls for stories ...

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An interview with author Shaun Tan

Award winning Australian author and illustrator of books including The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales from Outer Suburbia, The Arrival and The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan, talks to Jane Hutcheon about winning an Academy Award, creating books, realistic stories, points of view and stories that don't necessarily have happy endings.

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A song about snakes

Do you know any songs about Australian animals? Listen to this song about snakes performed by Don Spencer. Watch and listen, as the clip shows different types of snakes and even some trained people trying to catch a snake.

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Finding 'closure' in Michael Gow's Away

What does it mean to 'find closure'? Characters in Michael Gow's Away struggle with accepting unpleasant truths and letting go of the past. Coral finds closure when she finally accepts her son's death. How is this symbolised in the play?

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Macbeth: are you a man or a mouse?

Let's get inside the devious mind of Lady Macbeth! Bell Shakespeare's Kate Mulvany and John Bell explore the methods Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate her husband. This delightfully despicable character knows just which buttons to press! Listen in on the conversation with James Evans and see for yourself.

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The importance of stories in video games

What do you expect from a great video game? Lots of action and adventure? Amazing graphics? Exciting battles? It seems that these days more and more gamers are answering this question with, 'A great story'. In this clip, discover how the concept of narrative is becoming crucial to the evolution of video games.