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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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Ruth Park's wicked, sweet, funny masterpiece

When Ruth Park wrote 'The Harp in the South', little did she know the storm of controversy it would cause. But why did it cause such outrage? And how did it go on to become one of Australia's best-loved novels? To find out, we need to go back in time � or just watch this clip!

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What if Indigenous Australians were the majority?

Imagine an Australia in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples made up the vast majority of the population. See Bidjara artist Michael Cook discussing his most recent exhibition, 'Majority Rule', which is based upon this engaging 'what if' question.

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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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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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Margaret Mead's perspective on parenting, 1973

Do you think society's attitudes towards marriage and parenting change over time? Do you share the same views about these things as your grandparents or great-grandparents? In this clip, made in 1973 and featuring anthropologist Dr Margaret Mead, explore some of the factors that influence the way you view parenting. Reflect ...

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The voice of Albert Facey

Albert Facey's 'A Fortunate Life' is one of Australia's best-loved autobiographies. Could it be Facey's 'voice' in his writing that touches the hearts of so many readers? Explore this clip to learn more about how the written word can capture the personality of a writer.

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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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Persuading a 'generous, open-hearted people'

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the USA reverberated throughout the world. As far away as Australia, they shaped national policies and the rhetoric used to promote them. Explore the influence of these events on the 2001 Liberal Party policy launch, delivered by former Prime Minister John Howard.

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Reporting fiction as fact

Have you ever made a statement in one of your school assignments without checking the facts? It's no big deal, right? It's just a little fact � Well, sometimes not checking little facts can cause big problems!

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Churchill speaks of blood, toil and victory

Winston Churchill is regarded as one of history's greatest orators. One of his most famous speeches was given to the British House of Commons on 13 May 1940, three days after he was appointed prime minister in the early stages of World War II. Discover the power of his oratory in this audio clip.

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Ronald Reagan: commemorating heroism

Few things reveal both the best and worst of humanity more than war. The D-Day landings of World War II were full of horror and heroism and are commemorated in this speech by former President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan. Explore the construction of this speech and how it is shaped to suit audience and purpose.

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When mining comes to town

Imagine living in your own little piece of paradise, only to have a mining company move in and start changing it in ways you don't like. On the other hand, imagine the benefits that a mining company would bring to struggling businesses in the area! There are always different perspectives on any issue. As you listen to this ...

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Razia's refuge

Australia welcomes thousands of refugees from around the world every year, and Razia Gharibi is one of them. Her Heywire audio story about a journey from Afghanistan to Shepparton provides a personal perspective on Australia's refugee program. You could consider it in any discussion about whether or not Australia should ...

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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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Memory in 'My Place'

Sally Morgan's autobiography, 'My Place', recounts the experiences of the author, her mother and her grandmother. Why do the panellists in this video think it is such an important book? What issues does it address?

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Seeing more clearly from further away

Imagine coming from a regional community and being whisked away to a huge international conference in Denmark. Samantha Fielder's Heywire audio story reveals how this change in context encouraged her to reflect on her community and its approach to environmental issues. Could you write or record a story about yourself and/or ...

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Understanding Indonesia

How would you like to visit Indonesia? The Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) has been running for more than 30 years. Students from Australia and Indonesia spend time volunteering in each other's countries and learning about their cultures. But why is it important that programs such as this exist? Find ...

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Do teenagers make good heroes?

Watch this clip as Michael Gow explains why he chose two teenagers as protagonists in his play, Away. How important is it for you to empathise with the main characters in a play, and why?

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Changing the ending with Michael Gow

Have you ever watched a play or read a book and been dissatisified with the ending? Michael Gow talks about how he changed the ending to his play Away once and how angry his audience was. What do you think about authors and playwrights re-writing their stories and plays to give them different endings?