Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Dynasties (2001 - 2006)

Documentary series
32 episodes x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

The stories behind some of Australia’s great dynastic families, the way they have shaped our society, their private motivations and their ongoing influence.

Curator’s Notes:

Each story in the Dynasties series looks at an influential family and how they got their start, how they’ve tried to keep that dynastic legacy alive and what they’ve had to do to maintain the family’s power and influence through changing times.

First a disclosure: I was the founding executive producer of Dynasties. The idea was brought to me at ABC television after a radio broadcast by Julie Browning, a Radio National producer, and Laurie Critchley, who came to broadcasting from book publishing. Since that first series appeared at the end of 2001, Dynasties has been a favourite with Australian audiences. Laurie Critchley became series producer for subsequent series with Tim Clarke moving into the role of executive producer after I had left the ABC. The programs concluded after five series.

Dynasties effectively uses archival footage, family photos and news reports to flesh out the dynastic history of its families and their impact on Australian society. The programs are mostly thirty minutes in length although the program about the Murdoch family in the first series was one hour in length and the program about the Ansett family in the final series was shown in two parts of 30 minutes each.

Titles in this series

Dynasties – The Murdochs 2001

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is the last of the world’s great media empires controlled by a family dynasty. The Murdochs is a portrait of a very close-knit family. Now in his seventies, Rupert Murdoch is the only son of a ...

Dynasties – The Rose Family 2003

Bob Rose was a football legend and head of a sporting dynasty. He was one of seven sons rescued from poverty by Australian Rules Football and their story is one of great triumph and of great misfortune.