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Audio

Alf Turner remembers his grandfather, William Cooper, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of Alf Turner, grandson of Indigenous activist William Cooper. Turner describes moving to Melbourne to live with his grandparents in about 1936 in the house then used for meetings of the Australian Aborigines' League (AAL). He recalls Cooper's frustration at the lack of results from the ...

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Sedge hunting baskets, 1936, 1980s

These are four hunting baskets from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. All are made from sedge grass. The top bag on the left and the two at the bottom were made in the late 1980s, while the bag on the top right-hand side was collected in 1936. The oldest bag is 113.5 cm high, 51 cm wide and 28 cm in diameter. The other ...

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Neck ornament, c1890s

This is an Aboriginal neck ornament from central Australia, believed to have been made in the late 1800s. It comprises two pairs of eaglehawk claws, connected with resin to a string made of human hair. The ornament is 43 cm long and 4 cm wide.

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Ceremonial headdress, c1921

This is a ceremonial headdress of the Wangkanguru (Wonkonguru) people, made at an Aboriginal settlement in the north-east of South Australia in about 1921. Its main features are three thick tassels made of rabbit-tail fur attached to string made of kangaroo fur and hair. It is 56 cm long and up to about 34 cm wide.

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Severe erosion in the Upper Murray River

Farmers along Victoria's Upper Murray claim that soil erosion on their properties is being caused by water released from the Snowy Mountains Scheme, a hydro-electricity project located in the Southern Alps. This clip from 2013 investigates the degradation occurring in an area where prime agricultural land is valued at 10,000 ...

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Radio pirates

Imagine life before mobile phones. In this 1973 clip from a Four Corners program, discover the lengths that many determined Australians were prepared to go to in order to communicate through the air waves from their cars and other locations. This was long before the invention of mobiles, video conferencing, social media ...

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John le Carré: the Berlin Wall

Imagine the impact of a wall built to divide a city in two: on one side communist East Berlin, on the other the democratic West. Acclaimed spy writer John le Carré witnessed the construction of the Berlin Wall, an icon of the Cold War. Listen to his recollections of this extraordinary event in modern history.

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Superpower shift: the changing global economy

Are the days of the world's greatest superpower numbered? Is the USA really in decline? The 21st century is witnessing the rise of powerful new economies in the world, particularly those of China and India. In this clip from The Drum, Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor considers the implications of a global shift in economic ...

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Greece honours Australian war veterans

Did you know that during World War II Australians played a key role in the unsuccessful struggle to save Greece from invasion by Nazi Germany? This clip from the ABC's Victorian news reports on a ceremony in which Greek Government representatives honoured Australian veterans of that ill-fated battle fought in 1941.

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Stories set in stone: Sydney's Quarantine Station

Imagine arriving in Australia after months at sea only to be confined, perhaps for months, in a small area beside the sea. This story explores the experiences of people in the 19th or early 20th century who arrived in Sydney on ships on which serious diseases had broken out. Examine the records that some of these people ...

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Woolgoolga's Sikh temple attacked by vandals

In 1968, the Sikh temple in Woolgoolga suffered two acts of vandalism. In this clip, a reporter tries to discover why this happened. He considers the different views that existed among members of the community about the incidents. This clip is one in a series of six.

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Tagging the great white shark

Great white shark sightings off the Australian coastline create a lot of interest and debate. Would it help if we had a way of knowing where these sharks are? In this clip, hear from shark biologist Dr Rachel Robbins, who discusses acoustic (sound)tagging technology. Discover some of the issues of using this technology ...

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Highway or floodway?

In the city of Rockhampton the floodwaters are on their way - again. Many locals appear to be convinced that floods are becoming more frequent. This clip from January 2013 weighs up the economic impact of continued flooding against the cost of taking action to 'flood-proof' central Queensland's Rockhampton once and for all.

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Study sheds new light on sea level rise, 2013

What is the impact of climate change on Greenland's ice sheets, and what might this mean for global sea levels? Find out what a team of international researchers have discovered. Hear how the research findings have affected an Australian glaciologist's views about the level of predicted rise in sea levels over the next century.

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Impact of British rule on India

Did the British government consider the economic and cultural interests of the Indian people to be as important as their own at the end of the 19th century? In this clip from a 1965 University of the Air program, Hugh Owen of the University of NSW discusses the impacts of British rule on India's economy and therefore on ...

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Jack Mundey, the BLF and 'green bans'

Imagine a trade union whose members fought not only for better pay and working conditions, but to save parts of Australia's natural and built environment. This ABC Nationwide clip explores the career of Jack Mundey during the 1970s when he led the New South Wales branch of the Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) in campaigns ...

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The end of Japan's isolation

Under the shoguns, Japan was deliberately isolated from the outside world from around 1600 CE. However, by the mid-19th century, Western imperialism was entering a new phase of expansion that no Asian state was able to resist. Discover what happened when the West came beating on the doors of a closed society. This clip ...

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Is Australia's best job on Gabo Island?

Leo Op Den Brouw works at the Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve collecting meteorological and weather data. See why he believes he has one of the best jobs in Australia. While he counts himself lucky to work in such a special place, how does Leo cope with the isolation and the time away from his family and friends?

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Archaeological evidence of Chinese miners

See the rugged outback around a small Northern Territory town and hear about the people who travelled from Asia to work there. In this clip from a 1981 episode of A Big Country, journalist Chris Masters visits Pine Creek's historic goldfields and encounters traces of Chinese goldminers who worked on the remote northern ...

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Aquarius counterculture descends upon Nimbin

What would you do to save your home town? By the early 1970s, the northern NSW town of Nimbin was in serious decline. Somewhat hesitantly, local residents agreed to allow the huge Aquarius Festival to come to town, bringing alternative music, lifestyles and values. And money. And people who stayed. Discover how Nimbin locals ...