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

Wards for consumption sufferers

from the documentary Austin Hospital at Heidelberg, Vic: The Only Hospital for Chronic Diseases in Australia (G)

The camera pans across the exterior of the Davis Wing – the wing which houses female consumptives – before showing patients in their beds on the outdoor veranda. Staff and patients are filmed in close-up, with many …

A baptism of fire

from the television program Australian Story – Absolute Beginner (PG)

Marg’s first placement with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) was in South Sudan where a terrible civil war had been raging for over 20 years. She was thrown into the work from the …

‘They start life’s race with a handicap’

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

This clip shows the conditions of those living in low income areas of inner city Sydney. The children living in this environment, according to the narration, ‘start life’s race with a handicap’ placing a …

The AIM nursing hostel, Birdsville

from the sponsored film Beyond the Furthest Fences (G)

At the Australian Inland Mission nursing hostel in Birdsville, the AIM sisters alternate between nursing and domestic duties. One of the sisters treats a young girl who has an injured finger. She …

What is a woman?

from the television program The Book Show – Germaine Greer (PG)

Andrea Stretton is talking to Germaine Greer about her new book The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991), which is proving just as controversial as her previous work. In the interview, Greer suggests that …

‘It has to be removed’

from the feature film Cactus (PG)

After she recovers from the car accident, an eye specialist tells Colo (Isabelle Huppert) that her left eye must be surgically removed if she is to retain any sight. She refuses the choice. At home …

Born in Bendigo

from the television program Chequerboard – It’s Amazing What You Can Do With a Pound of Mince (PG)

The Simms are a young couple who’ve come to Melbourne from the bush to find a better life. They barely manage because Mrs Simms has a chronic illness that takes up nearly all her …

A very public breakdown

from the television program Compass – Broken Open (PG)

Craig Hamilton had a breakdown in September 2000, at the pinnacle of his career. He and an old friend, Chris Williams reminisce about that terrible and very public moment of the breakdown, as Craig was …

Women volunteers

from the home movie Couch: Our Women of the VAD (G)

A woman leafs through a Women’s Weekly magazine and shows her two friends. A picture of a Volunteer Aid Detachment nurse (VAD) is on the front cover. This fades out and back in to …

Discovery is just a word

from the documentary Couldn't Be Fairer (PG)

Historical footage of Indigenous people in both cultural activity and in the process of being institutionalised in the mission church.

Allergic to the 20th century

from the documentary Final Insult (PG)

Eve has an allergic response to insecticides, cleaning agents and preserved small goods. Diana reacts badly to the chemicals in newsprint. Michael has an adverse response to the chemicals in tap water.

It could have been avoided

from the television program Four Corners – Blue Death (PG)

Professor Eric Saint first came to the Wittenoom blue asbestos mine with the Flying Doctor service. He was horrified at what he saw and tried over many years to raise the alarm.


from the documentary Girl in a Mirror: A Portrait of Carol Jerrems (M)

Still photographer Carol Jerrems (1949-1980) documents her time in hospital with the terminal illness polycythemia.

Scientific complexities and contradictions

from the documentary A Hard Rain (PG)

David Bradbury heads across Scotland on a train to interview Professor Eric Wright, who disagrees with the findings of another scientist (Chris Busby, see [c[clip one]]) about the increasing incidence of cancer around nuclear …

Santa visits the hospital

from the advertisement Here Comes Santa (G)

This clip from a silent black-and-white cinema advertisement for Anthony Hordern & Sons shows Santa visiting the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Santa, accompanied by a young girl dressed as a fairy, arrives by horse-drawn carriage and waves …


from the home movie Homes for Crippled Children (G)

At Franston Home in Victoria, children undergo rehabilitative hydrotherapy in the swimming pool. A boy is levered out of the water in a stretcher-like machine and lifted onto a bench beside the pool. The next …

‘Clean, green and healthier’

from the television program Landline - Ethanol Special 2006 (PG)

Vehicle exhaust emissions are responsible for increased deaths from asthma, heart disease and lung cancer due to all the toxins in petrol and diesel, according to Professor Ray Kearney, a vocal supporter of biofuels. He …

‘It doesn’t belong to us’

from the documentary Minymaku Way: There's Only One Women's Council (PG)

The Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council are holding their executive meeting. The women express their objection to the presence and abuse of substances in their communities.

The march

from the documentary Minymaku Way: There's Only One Women's Council (PG)

A four-wheel drive makes its way down a stretch of road at Curtin Springs. The women are discussing the alcohol-related fatalities that have occurred here. They reminisce about the 1990 march against the sale of …


from the documentary No More Needles Please (G)

Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company supplies six million people with insulin each day. Twelve-year-old diabetic James Jarvis interviews Dr Richard Di Marchi about insulin.

Diabetes low

from the documentary No More Needles Please (G)

Twelve year-old James Jarvis is suffering a low blood sugar attack. His mother has to administer glucagon to him.

‘Am I mad enough?’

from the feature film Shine (G)

David (Noah Taylor) is now a star student at the Royal College of Music in London, and one of the candidates for the Concerto Medal. He proposes performing Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto for Piano for …

Avian flu in Hong Kong

from the documentary Super Flu: Race Against a Killer (PG)

In 1997 Avian flu erupted in Hong Kong. The government destroyed all chickens and the outbreak was contained. Virologists Robert Webster and Albert Osterhaus talk about the potential for human transmission.

Changing, ongoing

from the documentary Time Bomb (PG)

Interspersed with shots of Areyonga community, Frank Djara tells how he communicated health issues through painting, and by talking about sickness to his people.

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