an NFSA website


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

Safety in Northcott estate

from the documentary 900 Neighbours (PG)

Sasha is a teenager living with her mother, Charmaine, in the public housing multi-storey estate of Northcott. Charmaine says that it is safer for her daughter playing nearby because many people know her and she …

Police Boys’ Club

from the newsreel Australia Today – Men of Tomorrow (G)

A young boy is taken to the Police Boys Club. Its aim, according to the narration, is to ‘keep boys off the streets’. It shows the boys working in the gym, boxing, and socialising in …

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 …

Shanty town

from the documentary Bread and Dripping (PG)

Unemployed people were forced to build their houses out of scrap and discarded materials. They established a trading post where clothing was donated. Indigenous Australians were not able to receive the dole and were issued …

Shelter, food and clothing

from the sponsored film A Brief Survey of the Activities of the Brisbane City Mission (G)

Over a montage of slum housing in the city of Brisbane, a voice-over talks of the plight of the poor and ‘indecently housed’. A group of hungry men wait outside the Mission’s premises where …

Home building and industry

from the sponsored film Home (G)

Large newly felled logs are transported to the timber mills where they are converted into useable wood to furnish the modern home. This is explained through a voice-over by the narrator of the film, a …

There’s no place like home

from the sponsored film Home (G)

The workmen, who live in shanty-style houses, also have dreams for a better home. As a child sits and draws a picture of a house, her picture is transformed (by a dissolve) into an architect …

The housing problem in Victoria

from the sponsored film A Home of their Own (G)

An aerial shot of high density inner city housing is followed by a street level shot of children playing outside in the alleys. A young couple – Ted and Mary – walk towards their family home. Inside …

Post-Second World War challenges

from the documentary Land Short of People (G)

This clip begins with workers walking and cycling to work at the start of the day. As the narrator talks about the ‘working man’s paradise’, the images show scenes of negotiations between businesses and …

Education and public health

from the documentary Land Short of People (G)

The voice-over describes Australia’s education and health services in positive terms. It mentions the challenges of educating children over Australia’s vast distances.

Children play in a sandpit in a playground; others play on …


from the television program Message Stick – The Long-grassers (G)

Archival images of long-grassers are juxtaposed with contemporary images of homeless Aboriginal people. We also meet an Aboriginal man from Bathurst Island who, for his own reasons, lives as a long-grasser in Darwin.

‘Mystery man’

from the television program More Winners – Mr Edmund (G)

Mrs Williams (Rhondda Findleton) tells her other boarders and her children, Cherry (Rebecca Smart) and Sam (Steven Scott-Young) that a new boarder is moving into the house. Later in the evening as Cherry is wearing …

Slum clearance

from the television program Poor Man's Orange (PG)

Mumma Darcy (Anne Phelan) and her friend and neighbour Mrs Campion (Lois Ramsey), are discussing the latest drama in the relationship between Princess Margaret and her great love, the divorced Group Captain Townsend, when they …

Beginning of The Rocks

from the documentary The Rocks: Sydney, Australia (PG)

This clip uses old paintings and engravings to trace the early history of the Rocks area from its inception.

A man of the people

from the documentary Waterloo (PG)

Sir William McKell was a boilermaker who rose to become premier of NSW from 1941 to 1947. While premier, he started the Housing Commission that built the landmark accommodation towers in Waterloo. McKell resigned as …

Controlled development

from the documentary Waterloo (PG)

In 1980 the government agreed to consult with residents before re-developing Waterloo. Tower blocks of Housing Commission buildings were already built but the remaining surrounding areas were subject to consultation. Local resident Margaret Barry and …

You can find more clips on this topic by using the search facility in the menu bar. You could also try browsing the tag cloud.