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Home sweet home: the 'Australian Dream'

Would you rather live in a freestanding house on a large block in an outer suburb or in an apartment with the convenience of being closer to the city centre? This clip from a 1968 Four Corners program explores the 'Australian Dream' of home ownership and attempts to discover why it became so important to the post-World ...

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Governor Arthur Phillip's order to kill

How did Arthur Phillip, first governor of the colony of NSW - a man committed to peaceful and harmonious relations with Aboriginal Australians - come to authorise the first officially sanctioned killing of Aboriginal people? This clip re-enacts the fatal spearing in September 1790 of Gov. Phillip's gamekeeper John McIntyre, ...

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Caroline Chisholm's unwelcome companions

Caroline Chisholm's nerve was tested many times in Australia's harsh colonial society. Here, she first visits the building that, against all odds, she was determined to make into a much-needed home for immigrant women and girls. Watch the way she faces what she finds in this place that she had finally won from Governor ...

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Rebuilding a Shinto shrine

Witness the dedication of the followers of Shinto, Japan's ancient and unique religious tradition. Shinto means 'the way of the spirits', and it grew out of older beliefs that spirits inhabit mountains, forests and other natural places. Watch this clip from 2007 to see a 1,300-year-old Shinto tradition in central Japan.

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The fight to save Kelly's Bush

Discover why a determined group of residents in one of Sydney's wealthier suburbs stood up to their local council, the New South Wales government and a big property developer. This ABC report explores the controversy surrounding the planned development of Kelly's Bush, situated beside Sydney Harbour at Woolwich, and the ...

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Indian history reveals more ancient civilisations

How far back in time does our knowledge of Indian civilisation extend? In this clip we investigate the Vedic civilisation, which emerged around 1500 BCE, and then turn to the much earlier Indus Valley civilisation. The Mauryan Empire of Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka, by comparison, arose in the fourth century BCE. ...

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The seeds of independence in British-ruled India

Discover the origins of the movement for Indian independence and the response of the British government. In this clip from a 1965 University of the Air program, Hugh Owen of the University of NSW discusses how British rule unintentionally brought about its own demise.

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Outback House - last day of shearing

Imagine leaving your home to travel back over 150 years ago, to live and work on an outback farm. Sixteen Australians take part in a reality TV show about life on Oxley Downs, a sheep station built to look and work like a real station of the 1860s. Watch the action as the final 200 sheep are shorn and their wool is pressed ...

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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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The end of Japan's isolation

Under the shoguns, Japan was deliberately isolated from the outside world from around 1600 CE. However, by the mid-19th century, Western imperialism was entering a new phase of expansion that no Asian state was able to resist. Discover what happened when the West came beating on the doors of a closed society. This clip ...

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Sikhs in contemporary Australia

Did you know that Sikhs in Australia belong to the fifth most popular religion in the world? Sikhism began in the Punjab region of India and today has over 30 million followers. Find out more about the life and beliefs of people of this faith through the eyes of a Sikh. Watch a 'langar', a community meal, in process at ...

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Captain Cook and the transit of Venus

In 1768, Captain James Cook sailed for Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus, an event that occurs once in every 120 years or so. After observing and recording the event, he sailed on to try to find the Great South Land people had spoken of. Did he find this land? Why was this voyage significant for Australia's history?

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Chinese Australians and the Moon Festival, 1978

How have the cultural traditions of people from Asia enriched Australian society? The Moon Festival is one such tradition. In this clip from 1978, an ABC reporter visits Dixon Street in Sydney's Chinatown to discover what this celebration means to Chinese Australians and the wider community.

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Japan's shoguns keep everyone in their places

What was the status of each social class in shogunate Japan? During the period from around 1600 to 1868, Japan was a feudal society. As in medieval Europe, each group had its place in a strict social order. Watch this clip to discover the roles of each group during the age when the Tokugawa shoguns ruled the country. This ...

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Greece honours Australian war veterans

Did you know that during World War II Australians played a key role in the unsuccessful struggle to save Greece from invasion by Nazi Germany? This clip from the ABC's Victorian news reports on a ceremony in which Greek Government representatives honoured Australian veterans of that ill-fated battle fought in 1941.

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Tulum, an ancient Mayan city

Discover the remains of Tulum, a city that was once a busy port for a civilisation that thrived in Mexico for centuries. In this clip from an ABC Foreign Correspondent program, reporter Jane Cowan scales the heights of the Coba pyramid and recounts some of the history of the Mayan people who built it.

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Attitudes towards Chinese miners

Why did Chinese goldminers leave the Northern Territory's Pine Creek goldfields in the early years of the 20th century? In this clip from a 1981 episode of A Big Country, journalist Chris Masters investigates how this fascinating chapter in Australia's history came to an end.

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Survivors of the sinking of HMAS Perth, 1942

Discover what happened to the sailors aboard the Royal Australian Navy's light cruiser HMAS Perth when it was torpedoed during a battle in the Sunda Strait on 28 February 1942 and sank shortly after midnight on 1 March. This program was broadcast on Anzac Day 2013. Watch and listen as three Perth survivors recall their ...

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Towards equal pay for women, 1966

Should people receive equal pay for work of equal value? Australian women and the trade unions that supported them struggled long and hard to achieve equal pay under industrial awards. This 1966 ABC program comes from a period when the campaign was at its peak.

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The 'inauguration' of Lake Burley Griffin

Do most Australians think Canberra is a great city and that water makes a city 'great'? Former prime minister Sir Robert Menzies certainly thought so. When the American architect Walter Burley Griffin submitted his design for Australia's new capital city in 1911, it included damming a river to create a lake. Listen to Menzies' ...