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The following Video Clips have Study Modules relating to "Work Through the Decades".

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1900s

Federation and Defending Our Shores preview image Federation and Defending Our Shores (1901)
Federation was a time of jobs and opportunities in city and country alike. But our 12,000-mile coast was long and open to attack. Australia realised it needed a defence force.

1910s

Constructing the East-West Rail Link preview image Constructing the East-West Rail Link (1910)
Rare archival footage from 1910 shows camels carrying heavy supplies across the desert. Railway labourers are building the 1400 km railway that will finally link Western Australia with the Eastern States.
Mawson’s Expedition to the Antarctic preview image Mawson’s Expedition to the Antarctic (1912)
In 1912, Mawson’s expedition arrived in the Antarctic. Little did they realise it was the windiest place on the globe.
The Founding of Canberra preview image The Founding of Canberra (1913)
In 1913 the Basic Living Wage of 2 pounds 8 shillings a week is introduced. Politicians, including Billy Hughes, lay the Foundation Stone for the new National Capital in Canberra.
The Effects of World War 1 on the Australian Economy preview image The Effects of World War 1 on the Australian Economy (1914-18)
When our troops were sent off to war in 1914, industry in Australia boomed. Steel was necessary for guns and ships.
World War 1 & the Conscription Referenda preview image World War 1 & the Conscription Referenda (1916-18)
Prime Minister Billy Hughes tried to introduce conscription but was over ruled in the 1916 and 1917 referenda. When the War suddenly ended our weary young soldiers rejoiced on Victory Day, November 11, 1918.

1920s

Early Aviation in Australia preview image Early Aviation in Australia (1929)
Early silent film shows a 1920’s flight to Echuca, including the fashionably dressed passengers enjoying refreshments in a tin shed. The aircraft also delivers sick patients to a waiting ambulance.

1930s

Sydney’s Harbour Bridge Finally Completed preview image Sydney’s Harbour Bridge Finally Completed (1933)
For 6 years the two half arches gradually draw closer together. A dream is realised when the heaviest and biggest bridge arch in the world is finally completed.

1940s

The Post War Wool Boom preview image The Post War Wool Boom (1947)
125 million sheep are spread across Australia. 90 thousand tons of lamb and 3 million tons of wool are exported annually. Australia truly rode to prosperity on the sheep’s back.
Aboriginal People Make a Canoe and Hunt a Turtle preview image Aboriginal People Make a Canoe and Hunt a Turtle (1948)
Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory is the home of coastal Aboriginal People. On the beach it’s time to play out one of the dramas of daily life - the return of the hunters.
Cane Cutters and Mateship preview image Cane Cutters and Mateship (1948)
A group of men get together in a pub and form a cane – cutting gang. Five million tons of sugarcane have to be cut by hand in back breaking conditions in North Queensland.
Axeman Fell Giant Trees preview image Axeman Fell Giant Trees (1949)
The axemen established camps throughout the eucalypt forests in the early 20th century. Their job was a combination of skill and stamina, harvesting giant trees for the rapidly growing hardwood industry.
Lighthouse Keepers and Their Families preview image Lighthouse Keepers and Their Families (1949)
Three lighthouse keepers and their families are the only residents on remote and windswept Maatsuyke Island, off the south-west coast of Tasmania.

1950s

A Land of Milk and Honey and English Lessons preview image A Land of Milk and Honey and English Lessons (1951)
Australia needs new migrants to populate the country and build a more prosperous nation. English lessons are available everywhere, including through correspondence and radio courses.
An Outback Policeman’s Life preview image An Outback Policeman’s Life (1952)
In the remote outback, a policeman sets out with two Indigenous stockmen to inspect the many hundreds of kilometres he patrols. His duties cover everything from punishing lawbreakers to acting as postmaster.
Testing Rockets at Woomera Rocket Range preview image Testing Rockets at Woomera Rocket Range (1957)
Rocket making and launching tests the limits of science and technology at Woomera in South Australia, the longest rocket range in the Western World.

1960s

Australia’s First Nuclear Reactor preview image Australia’s First Nuclear Reactor (1962)
Prime Minister Robert Menzies opens the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, and marvels at nuclear energy being a relatively new phenomenon in the world.
Life Savers on Bondi Beach preview image Life Savers on Bondi Beach (1965)
Early morning at an almost empty Bondi Beach. Rubbish is removed by local council workers and volunteer lifesavers check their gear, allocate safe surfing areas, and practise their lifesaving skills.
Aboriginal People in the Gibson Desert preview image Aboriginal People in the Gibson Desert (1966)
In 1966 a few Aboriginal families were living nomadic lives in the heart of Australia’s Gibson Desert. Women would collect seeds from Woolybuck grass to make bread whilst their husbands searched for old spearheads and tools for hunting.
Australian Soldiers on Patrol in Vietnam preview image Australian Soldiers on Patrol in Vietnam (1966)
What does it feel like to be a soldier at war? Tense young Australian soldiers creep through the Vietnamese jungle, ever on the alert for the Viet Cong.
Family Life in Geelong preview image Family Life in Geelong (1966)
In a typical 60s family a mother works to get dinner ready as the children come home after school. After Dad arrives home from work in the Holden, Mum serves traditional roast lamb and three vegetables.
A Farmer's Life in Drought preview image A Farmer's Life in Drought (1968)
It hasn’t rained for 18 months and 5,000 sheep have already perished. Farmer Max Russell is desperate to save his remaining flock. He hands them over to a drover.

1970s

Indigenous Business – A Cattle Station preview image Indigenous Business – A Cattle Station (1973)
The Yugal Cattle Co was given a grant of $336,000 to go into business running a cattle station. Their dreams of making money from cattle and beef export are big but there are problems. Traditional Indigenous laws are different from white man’s law.
Indigenous Community Market Garden preview image Indigenous Community Market Garden (1973)
An Indigenous community works hard to make a profitable, self-sustaining market garden. The aim is to create jobs for as many of their community as possible.
An Australian Greek Wife preview image An Australian Greek Wife (1978)
Toula, an Australian-born Greek wife, is a Workers’ Compensation officer. Breaking free from traditional Greek women’s roles, she desires a career and creative freedom.
Car Panel Artists and Self-Employment preview image Car Panel Artists and Self-Employment (1979)
Two commercial artists work for themselves as car panel artists. They feel enormous pride and satisfaction being self- employed, even if it is not as lucrative as working for an employer.
Wildlife Ranger preview image Wildlife Ranger (1979)
Australia’s far north Arnhem Land is patrolled by the wildlife ranger. In a remote and vast area of pristine natural beauty, the work ranges from tracking wildlife to rescuing baby turtles.
Working to Play in a Rock Band preview image Working to Play in a Rock Band (1979)
In order to earn a living the members of this rock band must work in mundane jobs during the day. At night they pursue their dreams of musical success.

1980s

Test Tube Babies preview image Test Tube Babies (1982)
An egg is collected from a woman’s ovary and placed in a test tube to be fertilised by her husband’s sperm. Once the embryo is growing normally it is placed back in the uterus.
Old Age and the Burden of Dementia preview image Old Age and the Burden of Dementia (1983)
An elderly woman confides to a social worker the lonely burden she faces looking after her dementia-affected husband. She doesn’t want to worry their children, who have their own lives to lead.
Pensioners Working Part-Time at a Co-Op preview image Pensioners Working Part-Time at a Co-Op (1983)
Some people experience retiring like hitting a brick wall, finding it hard to live on such a dramatically reduced income. “Beehive” is a Seniors employment co-operative where pensioners can work to earn a few dollars without affecting their Social Security payments.
Death of a Workman In A Streeton Painting preview image Death of a Workman In A Streeton Painting (1984)
Streeton’s eyewitness account of the death of a workman during the blasting of a railway tunnel at Lapstone in the NSW Blue Mountains. It becomes the inspiration for his painting “Fire’s on, Lapstone Tunnel”.
Giovanni’s Tile Business Grows preview image Giovanni’s Tile Business Grows (1984)
Well-paid but back-breaking sugarcane work in North Queensland provided the initial resources for Giovanni’s business. He and his family went on to create a now highly- successful imported tile business.
The Pain of Coming Second preview image The Pain of Coming Second (1984)
Georgina Parkes and Lisa Forrest are competing together in the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. The loser, Georgina Parkes, struggles with her disappointment.
Repetitious Work Affects Migrant Women preview image Repetitious Work Affects Migrant Women (1984)
Female migrant workers discuss the pain in their hands after long hours of sewing and repetitive factory work.
Return to the Thai-Burma Railway preview image Return to the Thai-Burma Railway (1987)
Weary Dunlop and his elderly comrades return to the site of the Thai-Burma railway. As prisoners of war they each had to dig three cubic metres of earth a day, virtually with their bare hands.
The Art of Cattle Droving preview image The Art of Cattle Droving (1988)
An artist and two drovers capture the beauty of 1200 head of cattle making their way across the outback in the last great Australian cattle drive.
Dreamings, Through Indigenous Art preview image Dreamings, Through Indigenous Art (1988)
Indigenous art is like topographic mapping of land and culture. Michael Nelson Tjakamarra works at painting concentric circles which represent sacred sites.

1990s

Australian Biography – Sir Marcus Oliphant preview image Australian Biography – Sir Marcus Oliphant (1991)
The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Sir Mark Oliphant helped to create the bomb, but even though it ended the war he can never reconcile himself to the loss of civilian life.
Jack Hazlitt – World War 1 Digger preview image Jack Hazlitt – World War 1 Digger (1991)
A World War 1 digger reflects on his work as a runner in the trenches at Gallipoli. Hopping across the trenches in full view of the Turkish snipers, the average life of a runner was 24 hours.
She Wanted To Fly preview image She Wanted To Fly (1991)
In the 1930s Nancy Bird Walton became known as the “Angel of the Desert”, working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Some tried to discourage a woman flying on her own in the turbulent conditions of the outback.
An Alternative Actor’s Collective preview image An Alternative Actor’s Collective (1994)
Actors talk about the Pram Factory collective and its processes. At communal meetings it helped to be tall, articulate and male.
Competing with Asian Clothing Tigers preview image Competing with Asian Clothing Tigers (1994)
The manager of a clothing factory explains how, in Australia, his shirt costs 42c a minute while in China it costs 1c a minute. Australia in it’s desire to compete with Asian Tigers means workers are pushed to the limit, like never before.
Is Squeezing Nursing Healthy? preview image Is Squeezing Nursing Healthy? (1994)
Nurses are frantic as they rush from patient to patient, working under increased patient-to-nurse ratios. Despite this increased pressure, they try not to compromise the quality of their nursing care.
How to Cause a Traffic Jam preview image How to Cause a Traffic Jam (1999)
No matter how well our roads are monitored, the human factor is always unpredictable. What happens when a semi-trailer runs out of fuel on the freeway?
Peter Sculthorpe Composes preview image Peter Sculthorpe Composes (1999)
Peter Sculthorpe wants to create a perfect work of art. He created “Irkanda One for Violin” by tracing the landscape around Canberra on a 360 degree graph, then wrote music to follow the contours.

2000s

Closing Day at BHP’s Newcastle Steelworks preview image Closing Day at BHP’s Newcastle Steelworks (2000)
Two thousand steelworkers collect their final paychecks and walk out of Newcastle’s BHP steelworks for the last time. Men break down and cry. Many have laboured here all their working lives.
Even Tennis Stars Need Their Coach preview image Even Tennis Stars Need Their Coach (2000)
Members of the 2000 Australian Davis Cup team, including Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, talk about their relationship with their coach, John Newcombe. For Newcombe, the role of the coach is to treat your team as you yourself would want to be treated.
Helping Children in War-Torn Countries preview image Helping Children in War-Torn Countries (2001)
Moira Kelly begs for funds from international charities to bring children from war-torn Albania to Australia for medical treatment. One of the children almost dies, but the results are worth the risks.
Outwork - A Vietnamese Refugee's Story preview image Outwork - A Vietnamese Refugee's Story (2001)
Migrant women work long hours sewing garments at home for a few dollars an hour. Many are refugees and have little understanding of their rights or the chance of alternative employment.
Indigenous Health Workers preview image Indigenous Health Workers (2003)
Indigenous people, particularly those from remote communities, fear seeking medical attention. Joan Winch, an Indigenous health professional, set up a health worker training college for Indigenous health workers.