Australian Walkabout 1958
The Chauvels, on a filmmaking safari of Australia, travel through the Northern Territory to Rum Jungle for a privileged look inside a uranium mine.
A Town To Be Drowned 1958
This ABC program was one of the first homemade documentaries on a contemporary local subject to be seen on Australian television, and previously thought to have been lost.
This interview with Olympic swimming champion John Konrads, from the first Four Corners in 1961, leaves us with a better understanding of how a great athlete’s mind works.
Dancing Orpheus 1962
This black-and-white nature program from the earliest years of ABC TV features the unique lyrebird. Narrated by John West, it won an AFI Gold Award in 1963.
Interviewed at age 97, Dr Daniel Mannix, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, was a man of considerable influence in Australian public life.
With Gentle Majesty 1962
The high point of the Melbourne Royal Agricultural Show each day is the Grand Parade. The initial languid pace of the filming and editing nicely underscores the images of the huge, slow-moving workhorses.
The Land That Waited 1963
This remarkable documentary tells the early history of colonial Australia through etchings, paintings and drawings produced by the first colonists.
The Pearl Fishers 1963
This black-and-white television production of the opera was one of the earliest performances ever broadcast on the ABC and one of the most elaborate.
An episode of the classic quiz show featuring celebrity contestant Barry Jones, who later became a state and federal member of parliament.
This simple, talking heads interview is most informative and a delight to watch. It is a must-see for students of Judith Wright’s work and fellow poets.
An Airman Remembers 1964
This early ABC documentary is about Sir Gordon Taylor, a fighter ace in the First World War and one of the pioneers of aviation in Australia.
The life of the legendary Australian combat cameraman Damien Parer, through the eyes of those who knew him and through footage shot before his death in action in 1944.
A weekly variety show featuring topical satire, sketches and songs.
Divine Service was first broadcast in 1956, the first year of television in Australia. In a packed church, everyone is dressed in their Sunday best for the ABC.
When Homicide first aired, Australian television drama, complete with Australian cops and accents, was a novelty on screen.
Although Mavis Bramston’s topical satire is no longer current, it is still sharp.
A biography of Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1903 to 1904, 1905 to 1908 and from 1909 to 1910.
A profile of Joe Lyons, Prime Minister of Australia from 1932 to 1939.
Australian Visit 1967
Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations were timed to coincide with the five-day visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam and his wife in 1967.
McGooley, starring Gordon Chater and set in Balmain in the ’60s, was Australia’s first homegrown sitcom success.
An early episode of this iconic series. A Big Country aimed to bring country Australia into the lives of urban Australians.
Lang Hancock, nicknamed ‘the flying prospector’ for aerial prospecting with his naked eye, and Peter Wright find Australia’s richest iron ore deposit.
Clancy wants to make a good impression on her visiting mother. Instead, she gets lost in the bush where she is rescued by a group of Aboriginal men (played by visiting members of the Aboriginal Theatre from Yirrkala, Arnhem Land).
Dastardly Dr Stark kidnaps ‘no ordinary kangaroo’ Skippy for his own private zoo, but Skippy has other plans.
The series brought to light the lives of individuals and families who had missed out on the benefits of Australia’s growing affluence in the 1960s.
Chequerboard introduces a 'fly-on-the-wall’ observational style. A Catholic priest leaves his order to live with one of his young parishioners.
This extraordinary episode breaks away from many of the usual Homicide conventions and dispenses with the customary police investigation in record time.
The Inventors 1970
Panellist Diana 'Bubbles’ Fisher is expected to play the 'dizzy dame’, so she can be guaranteed to talk about the colour of the gadget while the guys talk knowingly about its science.
When Dr Coombs saw the unnecessary cruelty of the Great Depression and its terrible impact on ordinary people, he decided to dedicate his life to economics.
This superb hour of drama was Division 4’s most awarded individual episode. It sustains a mood of simmering tension and the supporting cast deliver deliciously malicious performances.
It’s Academic is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running quiz program in television history.
From an opening sequence strongly reminiscent of Easy Rider (1969) to a rollicking country car chase at its climax, this is a bumper first episode.
In one of the earliest Monday Conference programs, Robert Moore moderates an interview with the impressive New Guinea politician John Guise.
With an abundance of playful silliness, Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table is a delightful product of its era and remains very watchable today.
Grahame Bond’s Aunty Jack was a cross-dressing bikie hostess who threatened to jump out of viewers’ television sets and 'rip their bloody arms off’.
One of the only surviving early black-and-white episodes of Number 96 is a rollicking ride through an apartment building and its class values and sex-obsessed situations.
A 1970s country society wedding is contrasted with the union of two people living in the city who met on their way to work in a local shoe factory.
This was star Charles 'Bud’ Tingwell’s favourite Homicide episode.
Out of the studio and into the community, Robert Moore interviews Senator Glen Sheil, just returned from Rhodesia, and Bishop Donal Lamont.
This is a delightful and faithful adaptation of Ethel Turner’s iconic Australian story, Seven Little Australians, into a charming television series.
The Aunty Jack theme song was one of the earliest video clips, showcasing a great character and a memorable tune that stays with you.
Billy and Percy 1974
Based on the diaries of Percy Deane, private secretary of Prime Minister WM Hughes during the conscription debates of the First World War.
Peter Wherrett, a former racing car driver and motoring journalist, praises or blames car manufacturers without fear or favour.
The Gunston Tapes 1975
Garry McDonald plays Norman Gunston, an egotistical but inept talk-show host. His rich and famous interview subjects often didn’t know the show was a parody.
The 1975 finale of Number 96 has multiple cliffhangers and is the last episode ever aired in a half-hour format.
The Leyland Brothers answer viewer requests and visit Broken Hill and Uluru.
An unusual departure for the A Big Country team as they examine the traumatic history and growth of the union that protects wharfie’s rights.
Harry Butler CBE, naturalist and environmentalist, explains how man-made Lake Argyle has changed the ecology of the Kimberley region forever.
Harry Butler seems the archetypal bushie, with his khaki shorts and battered bushman’s hat. He doesn’t work to a script, but moves around the bush with a keen eye.
Melodrama thrives in the lives of the residents of a Sydney apartment block in the swinging seventies.