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Ethics and philosophies

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

Measuring the cost

from the television program The 7.30 Report – Pneumococcal Vaccine (PG)

While the Australian government has agreed to fund the vaccine for meningococcal C for the 1 to 19 age group, there’s another deadly strain called pneumococcal meningitis for which the vaccine is not subsidised …

Wokabout Marketing

from the documentary Advertising Missionaries (PG)

Andrew Rose is a marketing executive based in Port Moresby. He organises a troupe of actors who perform vignettes in remote villages to promote the purchase of Western goods. Omo, the washing powder, is demonstrated.

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 …

Uranium supply a moral obligation

from the documentary Backs to the Blast, an Australian Nuclear Story (PG)

The then South Australian Minister for Mines and Energy, Roger Goldsworthy, says that Australia has a moral obligation to supply energy to the world. Arthur Baillie, a barman from Radium Hill, recalls the days of …

The circus arrives

from the documentary Behind the Big Top (G)

Once the circus train has arrived, the task of unloading begins. The elephants and ponies are guided out of the carriages. The elephants are then shown pulling the poles for the big top from the …

Belsen remembered

from the documentary Belsen For Example (M)

Max, an Australian survivor of Belsen concentration camp, is shown some photos taken at the camp for the first time. He recognises his brother in a photo and recalls life in the camp.

Concentration camp war trials

from the documentary Belsen For Example (PG)

SS Guards from the Belsen concentration camp are put on trial before a British military court, with sentences ultimately ranging from hanging to release. The narrator wonders why the British Army did not pursue more …

Social justice

from the documentary Big People, Small People (PG)

Michael Leunig sees our inability to say 'enough is enough’ as a problem while John Howard considers it to be the acceptable price of progress.

Inhaling depleted uranium

from the documentary Blowin' in the Wind (PG)

Dr Doug Rokke, retired from the US airforce, was sent to clean up the residue of the depleted uranium used in weapons in the first Gulf War. He inhaled uranium and is now dying. He …

‘Shoot straight’

from the documentary The Breaker (PG)

Voice-over accompanied by still photos details the judicial process leading to the execution of 'Breaker’ Morant and Peter Hancock – Australian soldiers attached to the British Army in the Boer War 1899-1902.

A re-enactment of the …

The possibility of divorce and remarriage

from the television program Brides of Christ (PG)

Frances’ parents are separated and her mother has found a new partner whom she loves and wants to marry. Frances (Naomi Watts) is worried that her mother’s optimism that the church will accept the …

The convent must change

from the television program Brides of Christ (PG)

Mother Superior (Sandy Gore) asks the nuns to spend some time reading and thinking about how they might deal with the changes suggested by Vatican II. Sister Catherine (Josephine Byrnes) is keen to discard old …

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 …

Triumph and tragedy

from the television program Catalyst – Genius of Junk (PG)

At the height of his success in discovering the significance of what was once called 'junk DNA’, or non-coding DNA, Dr Malcolm Simons is diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer.

Junk into gold

from the television program Catalyst – Genius of Junk (PG)

Dr Simons and his business partner have patented his discovery that non-coding DNA is vital to our understanding of how disease works. Other medical researchers are outraged that this information – which they say should be …

A truce at Gallipoli

from the television program Compass – Embracing the Enemy (PG)

Only a few weeks after the 25th April 1915 landing at Anzac Cove, the troops of both sides organised an unofficial truce in order to pick up their wounded, bury the dead and share a …

Do animals feel?

from the television program Compass – Paws For Thought (PG)

In Armidale, New South Wales, Lesley Rogers’s and Gisela Kaplan’s work with animals is rewriting the scientific understanding of how animals behave and communicate. Kaplan describes how they must teach a captured young …

Consciousness in animals

from the television program Compass – Paws For Thought (PG)

We see Professor Rogers teaching in a laboratory while we hear in voice-over about her research into the left and right brain functions of animals. Rogers explains that asymmetry in animals seems to prove that …

Chequebook journalism

from the documentary Fear or Favour (PG)

Current affairs presenter and journalist Mike Willesee comments on the ethics of paying for stories. The editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, Nene King, has no ethical issues with chequebook journalism. Editor of the …

Beyond belief

from the documentary Forbidden Lie$ (PG)

In interviews, two Jordanians – journalist Rana Husseini and Dr Amal A Sabbagh (experts on honour killings) – both dispute Khouri’s claims in the book and enumerate factual errors. Interwoven with these interviews are re-enactments, animations …

The rich get richer

from the television program Four Corners – Aiding or Abetting (G)

In 1983 Australia’s largest overseas aid project is centred on the Philippines. It’s called PADAP and it’s a shared project between Australian technological know-how and the Philippine Government. The aid money is …

And the poor get poorer

from the television program Four Corners – Aiding or Abetting (G)

This clip explains that Australian agricultural aid is not assisting those who truly need it in the Philippines. The pesticides, fertilisers and other aspects of Western farming practices are not freely given but must be …

A family tragedy

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

Valerie Doyle grew up in Wittenoom. She shows reporter Paul Barry her family album from those times. Asbestos-related diseases have ravaged her family. They lived and married and had children in Wittenoom and never once …

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.

Hurley’s composites

from the documentary Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History (PG)

Photographer Frank Hurley achieved some of his greatest wartime photographs by combining several photos into one. Stephen Burton of the Australian War Memorial shows how it is done. Australia’s official wartime historian, Charles Bean …

The issue of conscription

from the television program Interview with Archbishop Mannix (PG)

In this excerpt from an interview with Dr Daniel Mannix, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Mannix describes the circumstances in which he advocated against conscription during the First World War.

The mining footprint

from the television program In the Wild with Harry Butler – Scars on the Landscape (G)

Mount Isa Mines, situated in the north-west of Queensland, is working to keep the deadly sulfur dioxide out of the township of Mt Isa. Detectors have been set up around its perimeters. Further away, there …

Hide the shame

from the documentary Least Said, Soonest Mended (PG)

Val is sent away to have her illegitimate baby in secret. Her mother always wanted to have a 25th wedding anniversary party. While pregnant, Val can’t be seen by neighbours and friends, so her …

‘My final statement’

from the documentary Mademoiselle and the Doctor (M)

Euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke says he advises many people intent on suicide. Seventy-nine-year-old Lisette Nigot writes her final letter.

Cash for comment

from the television program Media Watch – Series 11 Episode 18 (PG)

John Laws had already been ‘outed’ in a previous program for changing his views about Australian banks in return for money. Laws uses the airwaves at Radio 2UE to put his side of the story …

In Barcelona tonight

from the television program Media Watch – Series 9 Episode 1 (PG)

The Seven Network nightly current affairs program Today Tonight has broadcast a story from Spain about disgraced businessman Christopher Skase, who fled Australia to live in Majorca. Media Watch accuses reporter David Richardson and producer …

Midwives turned into witches

from the documentary Midwives … Lullabies … and Mother Earth (PG)

Natural birth pioneer Dr Michel Odent says that midwives always attended at births until the Catholic church stopped this practice in the 17th century.

Do you know any ‘real Aborigines’?

from the short film Mimi (PG)

Thornton not only pokes fun at the ignorance of conservative white purchasers of Indigenous art, but also exploits the paradigm of 'authentic Aboriginality’. The same ignorance Catherine (Sophie Lee) displays in relation to the culture …

Mobarak becomes Australian

from the documentary Molly and Mobarak (G)

Local TAFE teacher, Ann Bell, comments that assisting the refugees from Afghanistan is more than teaching English. She meets with the mayor of Young, John Walker, to seek his help in getting permanent status visas …

Presidential vs Westminster system

from the television program Monday Conference – PNG (PG)

The eminent Papuan politician John Guise is asked whether he favours a presidential or Westminster parliamentary style of government for his newly emerging country. Guise insists that whatever system is chosen must be the one …

Propaganda or news?

from the feature film Newsfront (PG)

Film editor Geoff (Bryan Brown) makes a political joke, and a statement, by tampering with a newsreel to make fun of the newly-elected Prime Minister, Mr Menzies. His conservative boss, AG Marwood (Don Crosby), is …

Redex Trials

from the feature film Newsfront (PG)

Cameraman Len Maguire (Bill Hunter) and assistant Chris (Chris Haywood) rush ahead of the entrants in the round Australia Redex Trials to capture footage. They set up at a dangerous corner to wait for the …

‘He’s not real … he’s typing!’

from the television program Noah and Saskia – Tomorrow Never Knows (G)

Babbling with excitement, Saskia (Hannah Greenwood) tries to explain Max Hammer (Cameron Nugent) to Renee (Emily Wheaton). Saskia is overwhelmed by the gorgeous Max, but who is he really, and where is he?

Lucky shot

from the documentary No Survivors: The Mysterious Loss of the HMAS Sydney (PG)

The HMAS Sydney was drawn into battle with the German raider HSK Kormoran off the Western Australian coast on 19 November 1941. Early in the engagement the Sydney was fatally hit and both vessels sank …

‘Had a car’

from the documentary The Old Man and the Inland Sea (G)

Behind the wheel driving through the mining fields, Norman tells us that they used to get into his old Landrover to hunt kangaroo for meat, sometimes hitting the animal with the car. They would take …

‘I’m telling you the law’

from the documentary The Old Man and the Inland Sea (G)

Walking through the mining fields, Norman tells us how the old people used to work the fields, but the young people don’t work anymore, and drink too much grog. Norman says that white people …

The role of the public servant

from the television program Profiles of Power, HC Coombs (G)

Dr HC Coombs, the great Australian public servant and advisor to six Australian prime ministers, talks about whether it’s possible to be an entirely neutral public servant.

‘A warning to the world’

from the documentary Public Enemy Number One (PG)

Wilfred Burchett was the first journalist to report from the site of atomic devastation at Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. He labelled the effect on human beings as 'atomic plague’. Archival footage shows victims being treated …

Serving the troops

from the historical Red Cross Activities During and After WWI (G)

This clip shows a range of assistance and relief activities that the Red Cross undertook around the First World War including: preparing linen; serving tea and biscuits to troops; providing relief to convalescing soldiers; and …

White power

from the feature film Romper Stomper (M)

Hando (Russell Crowe) drinks milk after a wild all-night party. His friend (Stephen Hall) has to return to his naval base. Hando gives him a Nazi salute as he goes. Hando explains his belief in …

All in a day’s work

from the television program Scales of Justice (PG)

Provisionary Constable Webber (Simon Burke) is on patrol with his more senior sergeant (Bill Hunter). When an alarm sounds at a local furrier, they’re sent to investigate. The rookie Constable is sent to check …

Playing with fire

from the television program Scales of Justice (PG)

Detective Inspector Miles (Tim Robertson), known as Killer Miles to the uniformed men, cautiously approaches a luxury cruiser tied up at the wharf. Its owner is 'Nipper’ Jackson (Tony Barry), one of Sydney’s most …


from the documentary Selling Sickness (PG)

Newly created disease premenstrual dysphoric disorder was designed to market a drug. Prozac, an antidepressant, was repackaged as Sarafem specifically to treat the disease.

‘Turning the neighbourhood into a tip!’

from the television program Snobs – Episode 8 (G)

The local rubbish collection is a bonanza for the recycling ‘ferals’ Marian (Ross Pirrelli) and Spike (Matthew Waters) but it’s too much for Rachael Oakley (Nathy Gaffney) who complains to the local council. The …

Warmth and happiness

from the sponsored film South Melbourne Methodist Mission News (G)

On a sunny winter’s day, Reverend Robert Williams from the South Melbourne Methodist Mission issues weekly rations of firewood to needy families as part of the mission’s important work.

Pressure to perform

from the documentary Spirit 2000: Countdown to Sydney (G)

Primary school girls compete to be chosen for the Australian gymnastics team. Pressure is on the young gymnasts as they train at the Western Australian Institute of Sport. The girls and coaches are interviewed in …

The story of the Red Cross

from the sponsored film They Serve (G)

Red Cross volunteers produce thousands of articles for hospital requirements, including gowns, masks, pyjamas and bandages. Other volunteers knit and sew items from their own homes. Lady Gowrie, President of the Australian Red Cross Society …

‘To show mercy where war shows none’

from the sponsored film They Serve (G)

The Red Cross provides assistance for servicemen fighting overseas. Scenes of battle and war contextualise their work. A recovering serviceman becomes a ‘son, brother, father and sweetheart’. By helping the Red Cross, the narration explains …


from the documentary A Voice for the Wilderness (G)

A montage of rainforest wilderness is accompanied by an essay in voice-over extolling the value of rainforest to humankind, including that it is the place to experience nature and regeneration.

You can ask me anything!

from the television program Winners – The Other Facts of Life (G)

Dad (Dennis Miller) tries to tell Ben (Ken Talbot) the facts of life, but Ben wants to know ,why are there starving people in the world? And the biggest question of all – how can people …

Trouble with the police

from the television program Winners – The Other Facts of Life (G)

Ben (Ken Talbot) teams up with animal activist Esme (Sheila Florance) to break into a factory farm to free battery hens. He is shocked by the conditions. A news crew and the police arrive, and …

What would you have done?

from the television program Winners – Top Kid (G)

Gary (Emil Minty) has been asked to cheat on the radio quiz show and asks Brother Kennedy (Joss McWilliam) and the Headmaster (Rhys McConnochie) for advice, but the brothers can’t give him a clear …

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