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Diversity, identity and Australian culture

This teaching resource focuses on immigration and settlement patterns in Australia. It explores the migration experience, and the impact that immigrants from diverse cultural backgrounds have had on Australian society and its changing identity.

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Building the Sydney Opera House

Construction of the Sydney Opera House began in 1959. The Opera House was intended to be more than a building; it was meant to be a landmark that would put Sydney on the world map as a centre of culture. In this short, silent clip, discover some of the work that went into constructing this huge, unique and very complex building.

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Victorian Heritage Database

This is a rich, interactive resource that lists Victoria’s most significant heritage: places, objects, shipwrecks and archaeological sites. It has four main sections: Introduction; Explore heritage map; Recommended tours; and Timeline browser. The Explore heritage map searches for sites and provides information and images ...

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Changing faces in Woolgoolga, 1984

Discover an Australian town where, according to locals, multiculturalism has been a real success. When Sikh migrants began arriving in the small northern New South Wales town of Woolgoolga after World War 2, it led to huge changes in the way of life for many locals. After taking decades to get used to one another, now Sikhs ...

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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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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 ...

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Preparing for the Olympic Games, 1956

Discover why the 1956 Olympic Games were so significant for Australia. Australian Olympic officials hoped that the games would allow Australia to be seen as a modern, vibrant, and tolerant nation. This was a rare opportunity for a predominantly white nation to be exposed to greater cultural diversity. As preparations were ...

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Woolgoolga's school works to end prejudice

Can schools change social attitudes and help to overcome prejudice? Racial discrimination was practised against Woolgoolga's Sikh population as recently as 1968. In this clip from that year, we find that it is the town's central school that is demonstrating tolerance of cultural diversity. This clip is one in a series of six.

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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 ...

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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'.

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Thai Di's wild kitchen

Have you ever tasted Thai food? Ngamjit Anontaphan, or Thai Di to her friends, cooks Thai cuisine with Australian ingredients. She was born in Thailand but now lives in the Kimberley in Western Australia. Based on what she says in this video, what are some of the similarities between Australia and Thailand that may have ...

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The power of one book to captivate Australia

Bryce Courtenay's novel 'The Power of One' has sold millions of copies worldwide. But just how did a debut novel, set in South Africa and written by a South African author, end up on the list of '10 Aussie books to read before you die'? Find out more in this clip.

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A view of Australia's identity and immigration

How have the convict era and immigration influenced Australia's view of itself? In this clip from an audio interview, journalist Geraldine Doogue interviews historian John Hirst. They discuss his views about convict heritage, national character, the White Australia policy, racism, and recent immigration, refugee and and ...

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Life on the land for Italian migrants

Imagine leaving your family behind for years while you set yourself up in a new country. This was the life for many Europeans who migrated to Australia. The clip explores life for the Galluzzo family, Italians who came to live in semi-rural areas around Sydney in the 1950s.

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A tour of the nation's capital

In the years following World War II, Australia sought to develop a new identity, one that honoured the past while embracing technological advances and increased political stability. As this clip shows, for many people during this period, Canberra - the nation's capital - served as a metaphor for the sort of place Australia ...

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The slow sizzle of SFX

Without the benefit of visual images, audio texts often rely on sound effects to create a mood or to position the audience, sometimes without their realising it. Analyse how Rafiqua Fattah's sound effects affect you as you listen to her Heywire audio story, which presents her perspectives on life as an Australian who is ...

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Please explain: election of Pauline Hanson, 1996

How much can you tell about people by the politicians they choose to represent them? In 1996, Pauline Hanson was voted into the Australian Parliament as an Independent member for the Queensland seat of Oxley, despite (or perhaps because of) her controversial views about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Controversy surrounding the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is considered the 'eighth wonder of the world'. Although recognised as a major landmark today, its construction was controversial. In 1966, the building's Danish designer and chief architect, Jorn Utzon, was forced to withdraw from his position. In this clip listen to Jorn Utzon and discover why he ...