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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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Cambodian refugees

How do people become refugees? From the late 1960s, the small Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia was dragged into a war that was not of its making. Many thousands of its people suffered terribly when their country was caught up in the Vietnam War. Watch as ABC reporter Andrew Swanton covers the flight of refugees into the ...

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'Carn a Saints': Aussie Rules and popular culture

How important is sport to Australians and how big a part of Australian popular culture is sport? This Four Corners program looks at the 1965 Victorian Football League (VFL) Grand Final between the St Kilda Saints and the Essendon Bombers. Discover the passion and excitement of the event and how much it meant to Australia ...

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The Duracks: an Australian dynasty

What sort of relationships did outback Australia's early colonists have with Indigenous people? Irish immigrant Patrick Durack (1834-98) was already a successful pastoralist when he took control of vast lands in the Kimberley region in the 1880s. In this clip, discover what life was like for generations of Duracks, particularly ...

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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 ...

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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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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 ...

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Aunty Ida West: Tasmanian Aboriginal Elder, 1995

Imagine being told not to speak your own language to your family and friends. Even worse, imagine being told that your whole culture had vanished, when you know it has not. These challenges were faced by Aboriginal people in the 20th century. In this clip, discover how Aunty Ida West's background and life experiences forged ...

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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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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 of ...

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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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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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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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Baudin arrives in New Holland

Imagine the excitement of Nicolas Baudin and his scientists when they reach 'New Holland'. After seven months at sea they can finally explore this strange new land. This clip describes the thrill and the tragedy of Baudin's first days in 'New Holland'.

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Shipwrecked off 'New Holland'

Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders are ready to take their maps and discoveries home. They have been exploring the coasts of 'New Holland' for many months. Both men suffer tragedy on their return voyages. Watch this clip to find out what happens to them.

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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 ...