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Growing up in the Ord River Valley

Katie Innes takes us on a trip back in time to where she grew up. She shows us a series of photographs from the Ord River Valley near Kununurra, in Western Australia. Over the years people have made major changes to the environment in this place. Katie wonders whether all of their efforts will prove worthwhile in the long run. 

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Careful critiques of 'Cloud Atlas'

Sometimes you have to choose your words carefully to avoid offending others. I'm sure we've all had one of those moments! In this clip, explore how Marieke Hardy and Max Barry choose their words carefully when discussing one of Jennifer Byrne's favourite books. This clip is the first in a series of two.

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A song about kangaroos

This is a song about an Australian animal, the kangaroo. Don Spencer sings lyrics about how people from all over the world come to see the kangaroo. Listen to the rhythm. It is like the hopping of a kangaroo.

Audio

All things necessary for a happy life

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 24 August 1770, Cook reflects on the lives of the Guugu Yimithirr people and why they seemed more contented than European people at that time. This audio clip is fourth in a series of six.

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Meeting of the expeditions

Have you ever been surprised to see someone you know in a place far from home? Rival explorers, Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, are sailing in opposite directions along the coast of 'New Holland'. Imagine their surprise when they spot each other's ship. Watch this clip to find out what happens when they meet at sea.

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Describing household chores

There are several different types of verbs. In this video, most of the verbs are transitive verbs, which means they are action verbs with direct objects that receive the action. Identify the transitive verbs and the direct objects in the examples provided in the video.

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Julia Gillard: responding to tricky questions

Imagine this situation: someone is asking you difficult questions or interrogating you about your actions. How will you respond? Many people become flustered and inarticulate when under this kind of pressure. In this clip, learn a few tips from Australia's first female prime minister about 'keeping your cool'.

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Golly gosh, what do those sayings mean?

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'golly gosh', 'by gum' or 'drat' come from? In this video, Professor Kate Burridge explains the origins and meaning of these and other sayings. She also explains the history of the pronoun 'you'.

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Words and sayings over time

Have you ever wondered where sayings like 'hanging by the skin of your teeth' come from? Professor Kate Burridge explains the origin and meaning of this saying. She also explains the opposite word (antonym) to 'misogynist' (someone who hates or has a long and deep prejudice against women) and the origins of the word 'goodbye'.

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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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Challenging grammar rules, darlings and crowbars

Find out that what appears to be a straightforward grammar rule behind the use of the words 'fewer' and 'less' may not be as straightforward as it seems! Professor Kate Burridge explains that this grammar rule has been under challenge for centuries. She also explains the origins of the word 'darling' and why the 'crow' ...

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Changing letter sounds and butterflies

Have you ever wondered why you can't just add a prefix such as 'in-' to the beginning of a word to make its opposite? Professor Kate Burridge explains how a prefix is influenced by the sound of the letters that come after it. She also gives two explanations about the origins of the word 'butterfly'.

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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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Cleaning verbs

When you tell someone you're cleaning, you're giving them a general idea of what you're doing. Some of the verbs mentioned in this video are more specific and can help you describe what you're doing in more detail. What are some other verbs that describe more generally what you are doing, and what are some verbs that can ...

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Word histories: how extraordinary!

Words can change over time and so can their meanings. The word 'extra' broke away from other words to become a word on its own. Professor Kate Burridge explains how this impacts on words like 'extraordinary'. She also explains the origins and meanings of the words 'hearse' and 'rehearse''.

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Got or gotten? What a nightmare!

Words have a history. Knowing their history helps us to understand what they mean and why some people use them in different ways. Professor Kate Burridge explains how the use of the past tense of the verb 'get' (gotten) has changed, but is still in use by many people. She also discusses the history of the word 'nightmare'.

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Learning some Warrgamay words

Uncle Bill welcomes us to Warrgamay Country. He shows us the animals that live in and around a natural waterhole he calls the 'swimming hole', and tells us the animal's Warrgamay names. Let's find out why Uncle Bill and his family feel happy in this place.

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A song about the Kookaburra's call

Have you heard a Kookaburra's call? Watch this clip and listen to the lyrics of the song performed by Don Spencer that captures in sounds and words the magical call of the kookaburra.

Audio

Newcomers explore an ancient land

Hear a passage from Lieutenant James Cook's 'Endeavour' journal read aloud. In this entry for 9 July 1770, botanist Joseph Banks and Lieutenant John Gore explore the Endeavour River area on the east coast of Cape York. This audio clip is the first in a series of six.

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Rebuilding a Shinto shrine

Witness the dedication of the followers of Shinto, Japan's ancient and unique religious tradition. Shinto means 'the way of the spirits', and it grew out of older beliefs that spirits inhabit mountains, forests and other natural places. Watch this clip from 2007 to see a 1,300-year-old Shinto tradition in central Japan.