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Sunny Corner silver mine in New South Wales, c1890

This is a silver gelatin full plate glass negative entitled 'Sunny Corner Silver Mine, N.S.W.' taken by Henry King some time between 1880 and 1900. It depicts a mine facility, including its assorted buildings, a mine shaft and tailings, on a partly deforested hillside. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed ...


Growing cotton in Queensland - asset 1

This is an excerpt from a silent black-and-white 1925 film 'Cotton growing in Australia', containing two intertitles and four scenes. The first intertitle 'Cotton growing is no lazy man's work. Clearing ploughing and careful cultivation and the ultimate picking and baling demand sustained industry.' introduces two scenes. ...


Felling giant karri in Western Australia in 1929

This is an excerpt from the silent black-and-white documentary 'The golden west' filmed in Western Australia in 1929. A highly decorated intertitle, 'Down among the big timbers the giants of the forest are fashioned into many things for many lands. "Come to the West - 1929"' is followed by scenes showing the felling of ...


Transporting giant karri logs in 1929

This is an excerpt from the silent black-and-white documentary 'The golden west' filmed in Western Australia in 1929. It comprises two scenes: the first shows a steam train reversing down a slope pulling flat wagons carrying eight huge karri trunks and the second shows the train pulling into a sawmill yard for unloading. ...


Karri logs at the sawmill in 1929

This is an excerpt from the silent black-and-white documentary 'The golden west' filmed in Western Australia in 1929. This excerpt begins with a large karri trunk being rolled from a bogie flat at a sawmill. Three karri trunks are then shown with chalk measurements on the cut faces. The last scenes of the excerpt show the ...


A pioneer settler, 1905-17

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, taken by Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney, showing a settler's family near Dorrigo in New South Wales. A woman and three small children are standing in a clearing among tall trees, in front of a house.


Forest clear-felling, c1905

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, titled 'A Forest Clearing', taken by the photographic studio of Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney, about 1905. The image shows a forest in the process of being cleared through clear-felling. Two men are shown standing in the midst of trunks ...


A bullock timber team, 1884-1917

This is a black-and-white photograph from a silver gelatin dry-plate glass negative, produced by the studio of Charles Kerry and Co, Sydney. It shows a team of 16 bullocks harnessed in pairs to a wagon with four solid wheels, which is transporting a large log from a felled tree. One man stands beside the cart, touching ...


Watercolour painting of 'Blenheim Farm', 1856

This is a watercolour painting measuring 53 cm x 45 cm and painted in a 'naive' style by an unidentified artist in 1856. It shows 'Blenheim Farm', established by John and Jemima Ward who arrived in South Australia as assisted immigrants in 1852. There is a two-room stone cottage, newly cleared land and some of the first ...


Australia's mineral wealth, 1934 - asset 13

This is an excerpt from a black-and-white film titled 'Mineral wealth', produced by Australian Government Film Products in 1934 to highlight Australia's mineral wealth. The commentary is backed by light organ music. In the opening sequence, the camera pans over the Mount Lyell copper and tin mine and its surrounds, showing ...


Clearing land for farming, c1920

This is a black-and-white photograph of five men clearing land in the Murray-Mallee region of South Australia in about 1920. It shows two men operating a winch to extract a tree root and two men overseeing felled trees burning in the background. The man on the left is wearing a suit and the other four are dressed in work ...


Laying pipes across the Darling Ranges, c1902

This is a posed black-and-white photograph showing the laying and jointing of a section of the Coolgardie Water Supply pipeline to Western Australia's eastern gold fields. It shows a number of people working in terrain typical of the forest country in the Darling Ranges and indicates the extensive timber clearing that was ...


Snowy Hydro - Operation Adaminaby, 1958: The dreams of our pioneers

This clip shows the final phase in the construction of the Eucumbene Reservoir for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. It opens with shots of heavy construction vehicles working on a dam wall next to the newly created Lake Eucumbene. The clip shows the final house from old Adaminaby, which was flooded to create the ...


Snowy Hydro - Conservation in the Snowy Mountains, 1955: Clearing methods invite bushfire

This clip, from 1955, shows the devastating environmental effects of land clearing and grazing in the high country (subalpine and alpine regions) of the Snowy Mountains in south-eastern New South Wales and north-eastern Victoria. Over scenes of dead trees and bare hills, the narrator describes the practice of intentional ...


Snowy Hydro - Conquest of the Rivers, 1957: A new multicultural home

This clip shows cabins being transported by truck through snow-covered countryside to Cabramurra, New South Wales, a newly established township for workers on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. The dramatised documentary then shows actors playing an Australian family that has recently arrived in the town. The parents ...


Paper Trail, the Life and Times of a Woodchip, 1991: Unprotected forests in danger

This clip shows old-growth forests in south-eastern Australia and some of the animals that inhabit them. A voice-over narration describes the diversity of the forests, explains that science is only just beginning to understand the complexity of their ecosystems. It warns of the devastating environmental effects of destroying ...


Loggerheads, c1990: Forest justification

This clip shows environmentalist Bill Mollison explaining why he believes it is important to conserve Australia's forests. Mollison, a former timber industry worker and now a leading advocate of permaculture, argues that forests create soil, purify the air and play a vital role in the water cycle and the prevention of drought. ...


Australian soldiers on duckboards, First World War, 1917

This black-and-white photograph shows five Australian soldiers, members of a battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade of the Australian 4th Division, walking on a duckboard track through the war-devastated remains of Chateau Wood on the Western Front in Belgium. The track is laid across both the mud and the water to ...

Interactive resource

Who lives here?

Search a rainforest habitat in north-east Australian for clues about animals that live there. Track down hidden animals. Find clues such as animal sounds, tracks and shadows. Check species descriptions to identify which animals might live in the area. Write a survey report including observations and conclusions.


James Whitlow Delano on palm oil and deforestation in Malaysia

This is a website from the Asia Society that features two short films, a slide presentation and text information with hyperlinks, provided by James Whitlow Delano, on the impact of deforestation and palm oil plantations on the ancient rainforest environments and ecosystems of Sarawak, Malaysia. The narrated films document ...