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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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Teenage drinking in the 1970s

Do you think that Australian teenagers drink too much alcohol? If so, do you think this is a new problem? Discover what teenagers thought about such drinking back in the 1970s. This ABC program from 1977 looks at the issue of teenage drinking, some possible reasons for it and some of the social problems arising from it.

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1950s nuclear tests: Monte Bello Islands

Discover what happened when British nuclear tests were carried out on Australian territory at the Monte Bello Islands, just 70 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. In 1947, Britain began to develop its own nuclear weapons and in the early 1950s the Australian Liberal-Country Party government led by Robert Menzies ...

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Dismissal of the Whitlam government, 1975

On 11 November 1975, something happened that had never occurred before in Australia and has not happened since. It was the sacking of an elected prime minister, and therefore also his government, by an unelected office-holder, the governor-general, who was appointed by the prime minister. How could such a thing happen? ...

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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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Hare Krishnas in contemporary Australia

Have you ever seen a procession of Hare Krishnas in orange robes dancing through the streets? Hare Krishnas (people of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) are found in many countries around the world, including Australia. In this clip, learn about Hare Krishna beliefs, and find out how a Hare Krishna life ...

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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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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 ...

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Archaeology and Macassan visitors to Australia

Experience the excitement of a team of archeologists conducting research about whether people from Indonesia could have visited Arnhem Land in northern Australia centuries earlier than such visits are generally believed to have begun. In this Stateline program from 2008, ABC reporters interview the archaeologists and record ...

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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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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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Defeat of the Inca Empire Conquistador

Imagine a thriving society: food is abundant, roads connect cities replete with gold and silver, and large and powerful armies protect the rulers of millions of citizens. In this clip from the 1985 documentary 'Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon', reporter Jack Pizzey considers how such a successful society was subdued ...

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British imperialism in India

Discover an age in which a few European nations were able to exploit and eventually control large and diverse parts of Asia. How was this possible? In this clip from a 1965 University of the Air program, Hugh Owen of the University of NSW explains the origins of European imperialism in India and Britain's success in building ...

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Life in a World War II commando company

Discover the hazards and the extreme hardships experienced by Australians fighting the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. In this ABC Open report, World War II veteran Russell Blanch recalls some of his experiences while serving in an Australian commando company in the rugged mountains and dense jungles of New Guinea.

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Chinese Australian community, 1972

What was life like for people of Chinese origin living in Australia in 1972? This ABC Weekend Magazine program reports on life in Melbourne's Chinese community and examines how people have adopted the 'Australian way of life' while attempting to maintain aspects of their own rich cultural heritage.

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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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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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World War I: the dead man's penny

Imagine the feelings of a family when they learn of the death of a son during World War I. How might they react to receiving a giant penny for a life sacrificed? This ABC Open program explores the role of the 'dead man's penny', the token given by the British government to many families of British and Commonwealth troops ...

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The Stomp, a 1960s dance craze

Imagine a dance so simple it could be learnt in minutes and so popular it became a craze. This clip from a Weekend Magazine program screened in 1963 looks at such a dance. It was called the Stomp and it was pounded out in surf clubs and council halls around Australia's coast. Watch and listen as teenagers express their ...

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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.