Australian
Screen

an NFSA website

Titles curated by Janet Bell

191 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year prev 1 2 3 4 next

1950s

Australian Walkabout television program – 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 television program – 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.

1960s

Four Corners – The First Program television program – 1961

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 television program – 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.

Interview with Archbishop Mannix television program – 1962

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 television program – 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 television program – 1963

This remarkable documentary tells the early history of colonial Australia through etchings, paintings and drawings produced by the first colonists.

The Pearl Fishers television program – 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.

Poetry In Australia – Judith Wright television program – 1963

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 television program – 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 Legend of Damien Parer television program – 1964

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.

Divine Service – Mary Magdalene Roman Catholic Church, Rose Bay television program – 1965

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.

A Big Country – Peninsula People television program – 1968

An early episode of this iconic series. A Big Country aimed to bring country Australia into the lives of urban Australians.

Dig A Million, Make A Million television program – 1968

Lang Hancock, nicknamed ‘the flying prospector’ for aerial prospecting with his naked eye, and Peter Wright find Australia’s richest iron ore deposit.

Chequerboard – It’s Amazing What You Can Do With a Pound of Mince television program – 1969

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 – Too Much For Molony television program – 1969

Chequerboard introduces a 'fly-on-the-wall’ observational style. A Catholic priest leaves his order to live with one of his young parishioners.

1970s

Profiles of Power, HC Coombs television program – 1970

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.

Monday Conference – PNG television program – 1971

In one of the earliest Monday Conference programs, Robert Moore moderates an interview with the impressive New Guinea politician John Guise.

The Aunty Jack Show – Series One television program – 1972

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’.

Chequerboard – It’s A Big Day In Any Girl’s Life television program – 1973

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.

Monday Conference – Rhodesia or Zimbabwe television program – 1973

Out of the studio and into the community, Robert Moore interviews Senator Glen Sheil, just returned from Rhodesia, and Bishop Donal Lamont.

The Aunty Jack Show – Series Two television program – 1974

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 television program – 1974

Based on the diaries of Percy Deane, private secretary of Prime Minister WM Hughes during the conscription debates of the First World War.

Torque – Series 1, Episode 8 television program – 1974

Peter Wherrett, a former racing car driver and motoring journalist, praises or blames car manufacturers without fear or favour.

The Gunston Tapes television program – 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.

A Big Country – On the Hook television program – 1976

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.

In the Wild with Harry Butler – Lake Argyle television program – 1976

Harry Butler CBE, naturalist and environmentalist, explains how man-made Lake Argyle has changed the ecology of the Kimberley region forever.

In the Wild with Harry Butler – Scars on the Landscape television program – 1976

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.

Peach’s Australia – Darling River television program – 1976

Bill Peach was a household name in Australia at the time he gave up being the presenter of This Day Tonight to return to his first love, travel journalism.

Peach’s Australia – Flinders Ranges television program – 1976

Peach’s meanders around the country he’s describing, offering tantalising snippets of history, spiced with art history and Aboriginal Dreaming stories.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt – Alexander McLeod Lindsey television program – 1977

Criminologist Hawkins presents the case of Alexander McLeod Lindsey, jailed for the brutal bashing of his wife. A series on possible miscarriages of justice.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt – The Case of Ronald Ryan television program – 1977

In 1967 Ronald Ryan was the last man to be hanged in Australia. With the public outrage about his execution, Australia ended capital punishment.

A Big Country – The Challenge of Lake Eyre television program – 1978

Roma and John Dulhunty, explorers of the great outback, come to Lake Eyre to conduct their geological survey.

This Day Tonight – The Last Program television program – 1978

It is fascinating to hear the man who dismissed an elected Australian federal government in 1975 say that he would do it again.

A Big Country – Perkins Navy television program – 1979

Bruce Perkins, a highly trained engineer with a pioneering spirit, says you need someone for the top end who is prepared to get things done.

A Big Country – The Prices television program – 1979

Life on an outback station at the end of an era, before satellite technology and helicopters and high-tech vehicles were used to help round up cattle.

A Big Country – The White Rose television program – 1979

Widely known as 'the King of the Dance Hall’, Frank Bourke founded The White Rose Orchestra in 1936 and toured rural areas for more than 40 years.

1980s

The Inventors television program – 1980

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.

Torque – Series 4, Episode 10 television program – 1980

Peter Wherrett is great talent. He knows cars and can warn of the dangers of the road without sounding preachy.

A Big Country – The Darcys of Mallapunyah television program – 1981

A Big Country launched some of Australia’s best-known journalists and filmmakers, including Bob Connolly, Paul Williams, Chris Masters and Andrew Olle.

A Big Country – The Drover television program – 1981

Jack loves his job and his life on the road. The filmmakers have captured both the hardship and the freedom of a life on the ‘long paddock’.

1915 television program – 1982

The television series 1915 cleverly uses First World War historical footage and successfully moves between the action at the front and events at home in Australia.

A Big Country – Gulf Battlers television program – 1982

Vintage A Big Country featuring Elton and Maude beating the odds to run a small cattle station in the Gulf country of northern Australia.

The Blainey View – Footprints television program – 1982

Geoffrey Blainey, one of Australia’s foremost and most controversial historians, later coined the term 'black armband view of history’.

Four Corners – We’ll All Be Rooned television program – 1982

A lack of envirommental perspective somewhat dates a tragic record of the death of a country town. The wheat belt of Coonamble is now entering its fourth year of drought.

Weekend Magazine – Carnarvon Gorge and the Fighting Highlanders television program – 1982

Weekend Magazine was one of the first programs on television to teach people about the environment and how it should be cherished and protected.

A Big Country – City Girls television program – 1983

A group of students from an exclusive girls’ school and a group of unemployed girls hike through the bush.

The Dismissal television program – 1983

On 11 November 1975, the Labor Prime Minister was dismissed. Great Australian drama based on actual events, produced less than a decade after they took place.

Four Corners – Aiding or Abetting television program – 1983

How is Australian’s aid to the Philippine Government being spent? This program was broadcast just before the overthrow of Marcos and his extravagant wife.

Peach’s Gold – Eureka television program – 1983

This series exploits a range of first-hand sources for its vibrant retelling of the history, while Bill Peach appears from time to time to explain and analyse.

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