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Powerful words: Gough Whitlam's dismissal

Gough Whitlam is the only Australian prime minister to have been sacked from office - along with his entire government. After learning of his dismissal, Mr Whitlam addressed the Australian public and uttered a line that has resonated throughout Australian politics since 1975. Words can be immensely powerful and, as you ...

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Victorian Heritage Database

This is a rich, interactive resource that lists Victoria’s most significant heritage: places, objects, shipwrecks and archaeological sites. It has four main sections: Introduction; Explore heritage map; Recommended tours; and Timeline browser. The Explore heritage map searches for sites and provides information and images ...

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Is Big Brother watching you shop?

Should data from your phone be available to help retailers provide shoppers with a better experience? Mobile phone data about our movements and shopping habits can be gathered by companies and on-sold to retailers. As the tracking technology continues to roll out, some people are questioning its legality.

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Core speech with extras, thanks

A national survey in the 1960s indicated that the use of spoken English was surprisingly similar throughout Australia. This challenged the notion of 'regionalism', which suggested that people from different places would use language in different ways. In this clip, two leading academics discuss regionalism and suggest that ...

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Richard Flanagan - being a courageous writer

Whether we realise it or not, we are all storytellers. Every day we compose text messages, write emails or tell stories to friends and family. Yet when we are asked to write a story and share it with others, many of us find the process terrifying. This can sometimes be the case for published authors too. In this clip, discover ...

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Writing from the fringe

Imagine a mysterious island with a wild, rugged landscape and a history of tragedy and hardship. But it is also an island of unrivalled beauty with a purity of nature rarely found today. Sound like something out of a novel? Well, it's Tasmania and it has inspired the writing of many novels, not the least of which are those ...

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Richard Flanagan - being a courageous writer

Whether we realise it or not, we are all storytellers. Every day we compose text messages, write emails or tell stories to friends and family. Yet when we are asked to write a story and share it with others, many of us find the process terrifying. This can sometimes be the case for published authors too. In this clip, discover ...

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This isn't English, it's Australian English!

Mara Zeissig had a hard time understanding what was going on when she first went to school in Australia after moving from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In her Heywire audio story, explore the importance of language in our social interactions.<br /><br />Could you write or record a story about yourself and/or your community? ...

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I speak, you guess

Listen to the voices of a small selection of students from around Australia to see if you can guess where they live. Is place the most important thing that shapes their language, or are there other factors that influence how people speak?

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Churchill speaks of blood, toil and victory

Winston Churchill is regarded as one of history's greatest orators. One of his most famous speeches was given to the British House of Commons on 13 May 1940, three days after he was appointed prime minister in the early stages of World War II. Discover the power of his oratory in this audio clip.

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What's in a name? Book title dilemmas

Authors can agonise over the titles of their novels. Trying to capture the intent of an entire book in just a few words can be tricky! In this clip, learn the story behind the title of JK Rowling's novel 'The Casual Vacancy'.

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Ronald Reagan: commemorating heroism

Few things reveal both the best and worst of humanity more than war. The D-Day landings of World War II were full of horror and heroism and are commemorated in this speech by former President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan. Explore the construction of this speech and how it is shaped to suit audience and purpose.

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'The Great Gatsby' and Baz's blockbuster

Have you ever been drawn into one of those arguments about which is better: the film or the book? In this clip, explore some responses to Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of 'The Great Gatsby' and discover some of the factors that influence people's evaluations. It would be boring if we all had the same opinions, but have ...

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A moral minefield: Christos Tsiolkas's 'The Slap'

'The Slap', a novel from Australian author Christos Tsiolkas, created plenty of controversy when it was published. Why is it that some novels seem to stir people up more than others? Learn how the novel affected a group of panel members discussing popular Australian books.

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One English language or many?

Do people around Australia all speak the same English? In this clip, explore the ways that language evolves and consider the impacts that other 'Englishes', such as British English and American English, can have on the way we speak.

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Pretty polly: how politicians speak

If politicians are the 'voice of the people', does their way of speaking resemble that of the people? In this clip from 1975, listen to Professor John S Gunn describe what he sees as a uniquely Australian rhythm of speech. Then see how many similarities and differences you can find as you listen to some brilliant imitations ...

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Using visual language to represent status

Have you ever felt judged because of where you live? This clip from 1967 explores the reactions of residents to a survey that ranks Melbourne's suburbs. But is this clip as guilty as the survey for reinforcing particular views of these places? You be the judge.

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I may only be a fish and chip shop lady

Pauline Hanson is one of Australia's most controversial politicians. In a short time she gained a significant following before public opinion turned against her. In this clip, listen to excerpts from her first (maiden) speech to Parliament in 1996 and discover how this fiery politician attracted such attention.

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Influences on Australian English

How has Australian English evolved since colonisation? Language experts Bruce Moore and Sue Butler explore the impact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages have had on it. They discuss what this means for Australia's cultural identity. This clip was broadcast in 1998.

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Using persuasive techniques in writing

Faced with an issue you feel strongly about, how might you convince others to share your viewpoint? Writing persuasively is an important skill. Based on a clip from Q&A, this exercise will assist you in constructing a persuasive text on a complex issue: newspaper ownership in Australia.