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Escape from Kabul

Discover how a family fleed Kabul, a city ripped apart by factional violence and chaos. Listen to Akram Azimi, the 2013 Young Australian of the Year, describe his family's flight from the capital city of Afghanistan. This audio clip from Radio National's Conversations with Richard Fidler is the third in a series of eight.

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Slums: a picture tells a thousand words

Slums aren't often considered to be the most picturesque locations, but this clip proves that Jakarta's slums can be an important subject for photography. Children who live in the slums are being encouraged to tell their story through photos. Could the power of the lens open up new opportunities for these youngsters?

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Comparing the book and the film of 'The Hobbit'

Have you ever read a book and then seen the film version of it? Did you think it was well done or could it have been done differently? In this panel interview presented by Michael Cathcart, academics Mark Atherton and Lynette Porter talk about the things that influenced J.R.R. Tolkien in writing 'The Hobbit'. They also ...

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The creation of Trowenna

Different cultures around the world have their own creation stories, explaining how this planet and all the places on it were formed. These stories can tell us much about what is important to each culture. This story, from the Nuenonne people of Bruny Island, explains how Tasmania, known to them as Trowenna, was formed.

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Kokoda campaign, 1942

Have you ever heard of the Kokoda Trail? This was the site of one of Australia's most famous campaigns in World War II, one that helped to define the national character. From July to November 1942, this rugged jungle trail saw some of the most fiercely contested battles for territory between the Australians and the Japanese. ...

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Townsville air raid, 1942

Australia has never been invaded. Nevertheless, isolated attacks on Australian soil have killed and injured hundreds of people, destroyed property, and made many people fearful of a large-scale invasion. In July 1942, Japanese aircraft attacked Townsville, Queensland, bombing the wharf and the surrounding area. This audio ...

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Why is the book 'Where the Wild Things Are' scary?

Can you think of a book that has made you feel scared? What do you think made it so scary? Was it the words, the illustrations, or something else? Listen as Michael Cathcart discusses Maurice Sendak's book 'Where the Wild Things Are', with Alison Lester, Luka Lesson and Jenny Niven. Explore their different opinions on the ...

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Parkes telescope

The Parkes telescope, is a large radio telescope located in Parkes, New South Wales. It has played a role in assisting international space missions including Apollo 11. This audio clip features Neil Armstrong describing his first step on to the moon. Listen to the benefits of linking radio telescopes into an array.

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Allies capture Tobruk: Chester Wilmot reports

The siege of Tobruk took place in North Africa during World War II. Before the siege, Australian forces led the capture of the crucial Mediterranean port from Italian forces. This is an archival clip from a radio broadcast delivered by war correspondent Chester Wilmot. Listen to discover one of the most remarkable accomplishments ...

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What makes a great speech?

Did you know that making a speech in public is rated as one of most people's greatest fears? There is however an art to making a great speech. Listen as Don Watson speech-writer for the former Prime minister Paul Keating, Michael Gurr playwright and speech-writer, and Ted Widmer foreign policy speech writer for former US ...

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William Cuffay: Chartist celebrity

Who was William Cuffay, and why did he frighten the British government so much? This extract from a radio program 'The Isle of Denial: William Cuffay in Van Diemen's Land' tells the story of Chartist leader William Cuffay. It focuses on Cuffay's transportation to Australia and how he continued his political activities once ...

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Elvish expanded

Get an insight into the complexities of composing in the Elvish languages used in Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Prithvi Varatharajan talks to linguist David Salo about the way Tolkien went about constructing his Elvish languages. They also look at some of the difficulties that had to be overcome when inserting ...

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A view of Australia's identity and immigration

How have the convict era and immigration influenced Australia's view of itself? In this clip from an audio interview, journalist Geraldine Doogue interviews historian John Hirst. They discuss his views about convict heritage, national character, the White Australia policy, racism, and recent immigration, refugee and and ...

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Crime in Jane Austen's novels

How do we find out about the crime happening around us? Think about how crime is shown on TV and in novels. How does it compare with the way authors like Jane Austen wrote about crime in Georgian or Regency times? This broadcast is for those who are familiar with the works of Jane Austen.

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How did Mem Fox write the words in 'Possum Magic'?

Can you remember the picture books that you used to read when you were very young? One of Australia's most loved picture books is 'Possum Magic'. Can you believe that it took the author, Mem Fox, five years to write the 512 words in the book? She wrote the first paragraph 23 times! Listen to this interview, presented by ...

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Agony of a new world order

Have you heard of the Mujahideen and what they stand for? Listen as Akram Azimi, the 2013 Young Australian of the Year, recounts a story that contributed to his family's decision to leave Afghanistan. This audio clip from Radio National's Conversations with Richard Fidler is the second in a series of eight.

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At home in the country

What is the best thing about living on a farm out in the countryside? What is the worst? How does where you live make you the person you are today? Listen to Jane Gould from Boort, finalist of the 2012 Heywire storytelling competition for young people, talk of the connectedness she feels to the land on which she lives.

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Inspirational Teens

Have you ever made a big contribution to your local community? Heywire is a national competition that assists young people to make a difference in rural communities. Bridie Johnstone from Woodend, Victoria, was a finalist of the 2012 Heywire storytelling competition for young people. Listen to how she is using music to ...

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Word on internet slang

Do your parents understand what you are saying in a text to your friends? LOL. The way we communicate and use technology affects the way we use language. The same message can be written differently on a computer screen or a phone screen. Mark McCrindle's book 'Word Up' tracks changes in language use due to online communications.

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How the English language became the world language

Have you ever wondered why everybody in the world doesn't speak the same language? Or at least why we don't all share a common second language? If we did, what language would it be? Listen to why Robert McCrum says that 'Globish', a version of English, is the world's second language.