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Outback House - arrival of the governess

Imagine leaving your home to travel back to a time 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. Join the squatter's family as they eagerly await the arrival ...

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The census: a 'stocktake' of Australia's people

Heard of the national census? Find out about the survey carried out every five years, in which Australians across the country answer a range of questions about their lifestyle and beliefs. See how census results help the government work out how Australia is changing and where resources need to be allocated.

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Outback House: Mal's perspective

Imagine leaving your home to travel back to about 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 an 1860s station. Join Mal Burns, a station hand and member of the Wiradjuri people, as he builds ...

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What is 'living history'?

In 2004, a re-enactment of the Second Battle of Vinegar Hill was carried out on site to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the battle. The activity, which involved accurate use of costumes, equipment and other props from the era of the battle, is called 'living history'. According to this video, what are some of the ...

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Life on 'HMS Endeavour'

Imagine sailing with 94 people on board a ship for three years! That's exactly what Captain James Cook did when he sailed on Endeavour and eventually landed on the east coast of Australia. Find out what life was like on this ship for the people on board.

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The 1998 waterfront dispute and Australian values

Imagine being locked out of your job and told it was because you were a member of a union. This is what happened to 1400 waterside workers, members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), on 7 April 1998. The dispute that resulted was one of the most bitter in Australian history. Watch as ABC's 7.30 Report covers events ...

Audio

Jurij Semkiw remembers Australia's first computer, 2006

This is an edited sound recording of 77-year-old Jurij Semkiw talking about Australia's first computer, known as CSIRAC (pronounced 'sigh-rack'), which ran its first simple program in 1949. Semkiw, who was a maintenance engineer on CSIRAC, describes the excitement of being involved in a completely new technology. He also ...

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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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Ken Burns on historical documentaries

How can TV documentaries help us to understand the past? Ken Burns is a highly regarded American television documentary maker. He has made outstanding historical documentaries on such topics as the American Civil War, baseball, jazz and the 1930s Depression. In this 2004 ABC Words program, Burns speaks to James Griffin ...

Audio

Getting to know the locals

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 10 July 1770, Cook describes a meeting with several local Guugu Yimithirr men who were fishing nearby. The British crew had set up camp in the area that is now Cooktown, on Cape York's east coast. This audio clip is the second ...

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Sluicing and panning for gold

How does a small prospector mine gold? Most modern goldmining is conducted by big companies with heavy machinery. But in this clip from a 1981 episode of A Big Country, journalist Chris Masters meets a prospector whose methods and tools differ only a little from those used by Chinese miners at Pine Creek a century earlier.

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Mining artefacts lost and found

Imagine working very long hours, breaking rock under the scorching sun in the hope of finding gold. In this clip from a 1981 episode of A Big Country, journalist Chris Masters continues his investigation into the history of the Chinese miners who worked the Pine Creek goldfields in the late 19th century.

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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' ...

Online

Teaching history

This resource provides comprehensive information on good teaching practice in History education. It is suitable for pre-service teachers or experienced educators new to the discipline of History. It introduces the structure and requirements of the Australian History curriculum and includes film clip interviews with leaders ...

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The modern office workplace, 1960s style

How different was the Australia workplace half a century ago? This Weekend Magazine program from the mid-1960s looks at work in what was then the new Commonwealth Centre in Sydney, where 2,000 Commonwealth public servants were employed. It provides a glimpse of a world that has changed beyond recognition. As you watch the ...

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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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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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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 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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Designing the Sydney Opera House

What does it take to create a building that is famous the world over? In 1956, NSW Premier Joseph Cahill announced a competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney. The winner was architect Jorn Utzon with 'design 218'. In this 1950s clip, learn about Utzon's aims in designing the building, the challenges in realising ...