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First World War diary - Sapper Alfred Galbraith, Nov 1915 - Dec 1915

This is a small black book used by Sapper A G F Galbraith as a diary during the First World War. In it he recorded his journey from the army camp in Broadmeadows, Victoria, leaving on 23 November 1915, to Egypt, arriving 28 December 1915. He describes the journey from Broadmeadows by train to Port Melbourne, where his family ...


A telegraph line across the continent, 2007

This video clip looks at the story of the struggle to cross a vast continent and build the telegraph line that would bring Australia to the world and the world to Australia. 'A telegraph line across the continent' is an excerpt from the film 'A Wire Through the Heart' (55 min), the third episode of the three-part series ...

Interactive resource

Biography: Federation people: Charles Todd

Investigate the role played in Federation by astronomer and engineer Charles Todd and his Overland Telegraph. Examine two different types of biographies of Todd: one short and the other more detailed. Inspect examples of how he was visually depicted in his time. This learning object is one in a series of objects in the ...


Homelands - View from the edge, 1993: A family dilemma

This clip shows the dilemmas of the Robles, an El Salvadorian refugee family in Australia, as they confront the decision of Carlos Robles to return home alone. A subdued Carlos speaks on camera and in voice-over about how he believes migrant women succeed better than their husbands and how this can affect marriages. Maria ...


British colonial secretary queries the selection of Australia's first prime minister, 1900

This is the telegram sent by the British colonial secretary in London, Joseph Chamberlain, to Australia's governor-general-designate Lord Hopetoun, asking for an explanation of Hopetoun's decision to invite Sir William Lyne and not Edmund Barton to form a government as Australia's first prime minister. Hopetoun received ...


Curtin's cablegram to Churchill requesting the return to Australia of the 9th Division AIF, 1942

This is a cablegram from Australian prime minister, John Curtin to his British counterpart, Winston Churchill, on 29 October 1942. Marked 'Most Immediate. Most Secret.', Curtin tells Churchill it is of 'vital importance' that the 9th Division of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), which has been fighting in North Africa, ...


Churchill on Australian troops returning to defend Australia, 1942

This is an extract from a speech to the House of Commons on 27 January 1942 by British prime minister Winston Churchill, sent by cablegram from the British secretary of state for dominion affairs to the Australian prime minister's department. Churchill says that Japanese bombers may soon 'be within range of Australian shores' ...


No equal pay for female clerks in the Commonwealth Public Service, 1950

This document is the file copy of a letter dated 12 July 1950 about the treatment of female clerks in the Commonwealth public service, sent to Mrs Bessie Mabel Rischbieth by Mr F J McKenna, acting secretary of the prime minister's department. It informs her that female clerks do not receive the same salary as males because ...


Naming of the Federal Capital of Australia, 1913: Telegraphists spread the news

This black-and-white silent clip from 12 March 1913 shows telegraphists and other individuals crowded into a temporary structure telegraphing news of the ceremony to name Canberra to Sydney, New South Wales. The intertitle, with typing error, announces that the telegraphists shown sitting behind their keyboards, wearing ...


Overland Telegraph Line

The construction of the Overland Telegraph Line 1871-72 was the first truly national development project in Australia. This collection of nine digital curriculum resources focuses on three aspects: building the Overland Telegraph Line; the people who brought the project to fruition; and how the Overland Telegraph Line connected ...


Sending a telegram

Sending a telegram was the main form of rapid long-distance communication in Australia until well after the Second World War. This collection of digital curriculum resources focuses on three aspects - telegraphists at work; the 'telegram boy'; and telegrams for special occasions. The collection includes historical photographs, ...


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.


Using a portable pedal wireless in 1946

This is a 1946 black-and-white photograph showing a man operating a Traeger Pedal Radio. He is seated under large gum trees on a riverbank with a truck close by.


Yorketown Post Office technology

This is a black-and-white photograph probably taken early in the 20th century inside the Yorketown Post Office in South Australia. It shows three men: one is using a typewriter, one identified as Tom Spender is using a morse key, and the third man is using a telephone at a small exchange.


Ipswich Post Office switchboard in the 1950s

This is a 1950s black-and-white photograph of a manual telephone exchange at the Ipswich Post Office in Queensland. It shows four women operators at the exchange board and a male supervisor or manager.


A young postal worker on a bicycle, 1936

This is a black-and-white photograph of a uniformed New South Wales junior postal officer who delivered telegrams on his bicycle.


A telecommunications advertisement in 1953

This is a black-and-white photograph of a display in the window of a Brisbane telegraph office. A large advertisement encourages people to 'Save MONEY - ADDRESS YOUR TELEGRAMS TO A TELEPHONE ADDRESS - Save TIME'.


International Women's Day march in 1975

This is a black-and-white photograph that shows a group of women and girls marching down a street in Melbourne’s central business district as part of the International Women’s Day rally held on 8 March 1975 during International Women’s Year.


Women and children protesting in Albury, 1973

This is a black-and-white photograph taken on 23 October 1973 that shows women and children in Albury, New South Wales, demonstrating to demand a childcare centre. This photograph comes from the personal papers of Gough Whitlam, the Prime Minister at the time.


Ansett female pilot and trainee pilot, 1981

This black-and-white photograph shows Deborah Wardley, Australia's first female pilot to be employed by a major commercial airline, Ansett. Taken in 1981, the photograph shows Wardley on the left with trainee pilot Felicity Bush on the right.