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Mervyn Bishop: the old days

Explore a personal perspective on Australia’s Indigenous heritage through the photos of Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop. Examine his family photos and personal notes. Look at the early experiences of his maternal grandmother, including her assignment to domestic service work for other families. Find out how authorities ...

Interactive resource

Mervyn Bishop: mission life

Explore a personal perspective on Australia’s Indigenous heritage through the photos of Indigenous photographer Mervyn Bishop. Examine his family photos and personal notes. Look at the early experiences of his maternal grandmother, including her life in a mission and assignment to domestic service work. Investigate how ...

Video

Building a Motor Body, c1925

This black-and-white silent clip shows processes involved in the construction of the body of a motor vehicle at Holden's Motor Body Builders at Woodville, South Australia, in about 1925. Footage includes shots of workers pressing steel panels, welding panels together and fitting them to the car frame. Fade-outs define each ...

Video

Pensions For Veterans, 1953: Veterans of the waterfront

This is a black-and-white narrated clip from a 1953 documentary produced by the Waterside Workers' Federation (WWF) Film Unit. It portrays the physically demanding work of waterside workers and asks what fate awaits veterans who cease work. A montage of close-up scenes and orchestral music depicts younger wharfies working ...

Video

Pensions For Veterans, 1953: 'The price of profit'

This black-and-white narrated clip from a 1953 documentary produced by the Waterside Workers' Federation (WWF) Film Unit highlights excerpts from a 1945 medical report on the health of waterside workers. It also shows scenes that reveal past and present dangers of working on the waterfront. Footage depicts men straining ...

Collection

Pacific Islander indentured labourers

This is a collection of 21 digital curriculum resources focusing on the thousands of Pacific Islanders brought to Queensland and northern New South Wales to work on plantations in the late 19th century. The collection is organised into three categories - recruitment of labourers; working and living conditions; and the end ...

Collection

Indentured immigrants in Australia

This is a collection of 25 digital curriculum resources focusing on immigrants who came to Australia for a fixed period under contract or indenture in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The collection is organised into three groups - Chinese indentured agricultural and skilled workers; Pacific Islander ...

Video

Making hay using tractors

This is an excerpt from an Australian silent documentary about wheat farming near Aldinga in South Australia. The film uses wheat farming to highlight the changing farming methods of South Australia's staple agricultural industry as tractors become more commonplace. It shows men gathering sheaves that a tractor-drawn harvester ...

Video

Unloading paper from a ship

This is a short excerpt from 'The Sydney Morning Herald', an 11-minute silent documentary film made in 1910. The excerpt shows a cargo of huge cylinders of newsprint being unloaded from a ship at a wharf in Sydney, New South Wales. A mechanical hoist lowers the cylinders over the side of the ship where seven men help to ...

Video

Carting paper to the stores

This is an excerpt from a 1910 silent documentary film, 'The Sydney Morning Herald'. It shows men on a wharf in Sydney, New South Wales, in the process of rolling large cylinders of paper up a ladder-like ramp onto a dray. Once loaded, the horses and drays are shown carting the paper through Sydney streets to the stores ...

Video

Newspaper printing press in action

This is an excerpt from a 1910 silent documentary film entitled 'The Sydney Morning Herald', which shows the printing press of John Fairfax and Sons in Ultimo, Sydney in the early 1900s. The segment begins with an intertitle: 'STARTING UP. THIS MACHINE PRINTS 48,000 8 PAGE PAPERS PER HOUR'. It shows close-up shots of the ...

Image

Overland Telegraph construction team, 1872

This is a photograph of some of the construction team who built the Overland Telegraph Line from Port Augusta in South Australia to Darwin in the Northern Territory, 1870-72. They are camped at Roper River, about 150 kilometres east of Katherine, Northern Territory, where supplies were delivered for the construction of the line.

Video

Bringing electricity to regional areas

This is an excerpt from 'Building the line', a 1925 silent documentary made by the Australian Government's Cinema and Photographic Branch. The excerpt shows two men felling a large tree at Kavanagh's Hill in Victoria and has two intertitles that explain what is happening. The first one reads 'The route of the line having ...

Video

Picking oranges

This is an excerpt from a government-produced documentary about the orange industry made in 1937 by the Cinema Branch of the Department of Commerce. It shows a group of Australian orange pickers demonstrating the care needed in picking and packing the fruit - a point that is emphasised in the soundtrack.

Video

Loading logs on the Clarence River

This is a silent home movie taken around 1938, which has faded in parts to an almost green tinge. Footage includes two men, dressed in short-sleeved shirts, hats, trousers and braces, who are rolling logs, possibly of cedar, onto a barge.

Video

Unloading the cream in 1921

This is an excerpt from a six-minute silent documentary dating from 1921 and entitled 'Korumburra, South Gippsland, Vic'. It begins with an intertitle which reads 'Unloading the Cream.' and shows two covered carts or wagons, each pulled by four horses, delivering cream to the Korumburra Cooperative Butter Factory. The wagons ...

Image

Day's end for workers at Parliament House, 1925

This is a black-and-white photograph showing a crowd of workers walking from the Parliament House depot on an unpaved road as they leave work for the day. Some are wearing suits, others overalls, and almost all have hats.

Image

Workmen mixing concrete for roadworks in 1929

This is a 1929 black-and-white photograph showing six workmen building a section of Fairbairn Avenue, Duntroon, during the construction of Canberra. Four of the men are mixing concrete in a pile on the ground and two are standing talking and leaning on their shovels. Various planks are laid on the ground for use as wheelbarrow ...

Image

Digging drainage trenches in Canberra, 1929

This is a black-and-white photograph of men digging drainage trenches along a power line in Forrest, a Canberra suburb, in 1929. In the foreground three men are digging in a trench. In the distant background, partly hidden by trees, is the Kingston Power House.

Image

Woman laying pavers, 1975

This is a colour photograph of a woman laying pavers in front of a building's access ramp in 1975.