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Economic history

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

Quarrying limestone

from the documentary Australian Cement in the Making (G)

This clip begins with a shot of a steam shovel collecting the limestone rubble from the quarry and emptying it into large bins for transport. A man in the foreground of the frame shovels the …

European settlement in Byron Bay

from the documentary The Battle for Byron (PG)

The first European settlers in Byron Bay cut the 1,000-year-old cedars. They then farmed, and fished out the whales before moving to a more environmentally friendly attitude.

Beautiful Melbourne?

from the sponsored film Beautiful Melbourne (G)

This silent, black-and-white clip paints a harsh picture of life for a family living in a slum area of Melbourne, Victoria, in the 1940s. The dilapidated housing is shelter for a family with many children …

A better life

from the sponsored film Beautiful Melbourne (G)

This silent, black-and-white clip shows happy family scenes on a Housing Commission Estate in Richmond, Melbourne. The houses are made of brick. The family has a piano, tea set, a running indoor bath, and windows …

Building a motor body

from the sponsored film Building a Motor Body (G)

Large power presses stamp the panels for the car bodies. As the press is lifted, one man removes the panel and another places a flat sheet into the machine. A worker in goggles welds the …

Building the ‘iron horse’

from the sponsored film Building a Railway Engine (G)

This clip begins with the iron frame of the steam engine being lowered down onto its base, guided by workers standing below. A series of dissolves into close shots detail the men tightening bolts and …

Willie’s song

from the sponsored film Commonwealth Bank – Willie Wombat: Waste Not Want Not (G)

Willie lounges and plays while the other animals, showing foresight, collect and deposit food (or in the case of the dog, signposts) in the bank.

Railcar and swimming

from the historical Darwin c1926 (G)

This clip contains two sequences. In the first, a railmotor pulls around a corner and passes by the camera before pulling into a station. Various shots of this scene show different aspects of the station …

The discovery

from the television program Dig A Million, Make A Million (G)

Pastoralist and prospector Lang Hancock retraces his route by air and on foot to explain how he made his great discovery of a mountain of iron ore at Mount Tom Price in Western Australia.

Meet the Squander Bug

from the advertisement First Victory Home Loan: Squander Bug (G)

This animated propaganda film from 1945 was used to persuade Australians to invest their savings in the national war chest. The Squander Bug, complete with a large stomach covered in swastikas, is told by Hitler …

A very efficient secretary

from the documentary For Love or Money (G)

This clip looks at how women were brought back into the paid workforce to fill the lower paid positions as the economy boomed in the 1960s.

Export Holden

from the advertisement General Motors Holden – Export Holden (G)

This advertisement opens with a row of Holden cars, soon to be loaded by crane onto ship. As the narrator lists the Asia-Pacific territories that Holden has been exported to, we see footage of Hong …

‘Make it yours’

from the advertisement General Motors Holden – Make it Yours (G)

This advertisement for the 1968 Holden HK Premier, narrated in voice-over by John Laws, features young people and city life over the course of a day and evening. Beginning with shots of city buildings and …

‘The time is now and the car is Holden’

from the advertisement General Motors Holden – The Time is Now (G)

A woman lies on a beach, dreamily relaxing under her hat. A Holden HR sedan is parked on the sand nearby. The woman runs to the car, which is filmed from different angles to show …

Processing peanuts

from the documentary Just Peanuts (G)

At the peanut processing plants, the peanuts come out of large roasting ovens to be aired and cooled. In the next phase, peanuts go through the blanching machine and have their husks removed. Women operators …

Day nine

from the documentary Kemira: Diary of a Strike (G)

Wollongong miners are on a sit-in strike after retrenchments. They have been down the mine for nine days. We see them visit the pit-top, where their families greet them. Miner’s wife, Ngaire Wiltshire, talks …

Melbourne buildings

from the documentary Marvellous Melbourne: Queen City of the South (G)

Title cards are intercut with static shots of well-known Melbourne public buildings and streets including the Treasury Building, Little Collins Street, Federal Parliament House, the General Post Office, Elizabeth Street, the Exhibition Building in Carlton …

The Brisbane Exhibition

from the home movie McIlwraith, Peter: Brisbane Show and Moonbi Park (G)

This home movie clip shows various scenes filmed by Peter McIlwraith at the Brisbane Exhibition (or 'Ekka’) in the 1950s. It includes: scenes of a merry-go-round with children and adults riding on the horse-shaped seats …

The wool industry

from the documentary A Nation is Built (G)

A close-up of a ‘modern stud’ sheep is shown to be the product of a ‘century’s breeding’. Sheep are hand-shorn by manual clippers; a flock of sheep at shearing season is shown; sheering sheds …

Leeton state fruit cannery

from the sponsored film Peach Growing and Canning in Australia (G)

A row of women halve and stone peaches, which are fed via conveyor belt into a peeling machine. Women sort the damaged fruit from the good fruit. Another machine grades the peaches which are packed …

Prices and wages

from the documentary Prices and the People (G)

A woman in the butchers can only afford to buy cheap meat; a young boy doesn’t have enough money for a chocolate; a woman is outraged by the cost of vegetables from the grocer …

Who gets the profits?

from the documentary Prices and the People (G)

An elderly pensioner is another victim of inflated prices. While his ‘hands helped to build this country’, he lives in a run-down house and has to save his cigarette butts because tobacco is too expensive …

Costs and profits – how price grows

from the documentary Prices and the People (G)

With the aid of cartoons, an argument is made which illustrates the chain of supply for manufacture and the associated costs. Manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer each take their own profits before passing on the inflated …

From fleece to yarn

from the sponsored film Sheep to Shop: Hosiery and Knitted Goods (PG)

Wool is graded by experienced sorters and then passes through scouring machines that wash and clean the wool. It is then steam heated and teased and passes through several rollers and a carding apparatus that …

The South Mine, Broken Hill

from the sponsored film Silver City (G)

At the South Mine in Broken Hill, horses are lowered into the mine in cages at the beginning of each shift. The cages are powered by electrical winding machinery which is filmed in close-up by …

Overview of the Scheme

from the sponsored film Snowy Hydro - Snowy 69 (PG)

Using a graphic, this clip outlines each of the individual projects completed to date on the Snowy Mountains Scheme, and their relationships to one another.

The opening of Murray 1 Power Station

from the sponsored film Snowy Hydro - Snowy 69 (PG)

The Murray 1 Project, in the Snowy Mountains Scheme, is officially opened by Prime Minister Harold Holt in July 1967.

‘Instituting some changes’

from the feature film Spotswood (PG)

Mr Wallace (Anthony Hopkins) takes Carey (Ben Mendelsohn) on as his offsider, in a study of employee efficiency. Carey jumps at the chance, because it means sharing a desk with the gorgeous Cheryl (Rebecca Rigg …

‘It’s about dignity’

from the feature film Spotswood (PG)

Mr Wallace (Anthony Hopkins) has told Mr Ball (Alwyn Kurts) that 60% of the workforce must be sacked, and his factory can’t compete with cheap Asian imports. Mr Ball offers a different view of …

Blood, sweat and tears

from the television program Stateline – The Transcontinental Dream (G)

While reporter Mark Bowling sits back in air-conditioned comfort, the story cuts to archival footage to remind us of the history of transportation in the outback, from the Afghan camel trains to the earliest train …

The welcoming committee

from the feature film Sunday Too Far Away (PG)

After months of work, broke and hung over, the union shearers make their feelings plain as strikebreakers arrive to work for reduced wages.

Central Square

from the historical Sydney Tramways (G)

From an elevated position above Central Square (now Railway Square) in Sydney, the camera films the bustle of the streets at rush hour where people transfer from trams to trains and suburban trams to take …

The city of Broome

from the sponsored film Through the Centre (G)

After showing us the 'lovely homes of the white residents’ the voice-over declares that living in the main street are 'no less than 17 different races of people’. The footage shows a group of young …

Irrigation construction and equipment

from the documentary A Trip Along the River Murray (G)

This clip shows an orange-peel scoop; ‘flying fox’ machinery; Lake Victoria; a channel bridge and inlet regulator; and the construction of channels and levees.

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