Australian Walkabout 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 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.
In 1959, two years after the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite is launched, Australia’s first pre-school television show tackles space travel.
Reg Grundy’s television debut in 1959 was also his first game show.
Mr Squiggle is one of the most recognised children’s television characters. Although no longer on air, he continues to appear at exhibitions and science fiction conventions.
The iconic Children’s Hour on ABC radio morphs into television. This episode features artist Jeffrey Smart and Aroora the Red Kangaroo.
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 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.
Interviewed at age 97, Dr Daniel Mannix, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, was a man of considerable influence in Australian public life.
An early children’s animated puppet series about the adventures of a young Aboriginal boy living in the bush.
With Gentle Majesty 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 1963
This remarkable documentary tells the early history of colonial Australia through etchings, paintings and drawings produced by the first colonists.
The Pearl Fishers 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.
An episode of the classic quiz show featuring celebrity contestant Barry Jones, who later became a state and federal member of parliament.
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 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 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.
A weekly variety show featuring topical satire, sketches and songs.
A stranger with an accent, amnesia and seemingly no heartbeat arrives at the home of the Walsh family in Australia’s first science–fiction series.
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.
When Homicide first aired, Australian television drama, complete with Australian cops and accents, was a novelty on screen.
Tom uses a magic boomerang to find treasure, foil his greedy cousin’s plans and save the family farm.
Although Mavis Bramston’s topical satire is no longer current, it is still sharp.
A biography of Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister of Australia from 1903 to 1904, 1905 to 1908 and from 1909 to 1910.
A profile of Joe Lyons, Prime Minister of Australia from 1932 to 1939.
Strange events occur when people search for two boys missing in the bush.
Australian Visit 1967
Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations were timed to coincide with the five-day visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam and his wife in 1967.
McGooley, starring Gordon Chater and set in Balmain in the ’60s, was Australia’s first homegrown sitcom success.
An early episode of this iconic series. A Big Country aimed to bring country Australia into the lives of urban Australians.
Lang Hancock, nicknamed ‘the flying prospector’ for aerial prospecting with his naked eye, and Peter Wright find Australia’s richest iron ore deposit.
Clancy wants to make a good impression on her visiting mother. Instead, she gets lost in the bush where she is rescued by a group of Aboriginal men (played by visiting members of the Aboriginal Theatre from Yirrkala, Arnhem Land).
Dastardly Dr Stark kidnaps ‘no ordinary kangaroo’ Skippy for his own private zoo, but Skippy has other plans.
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 introduces a 'fly-on-the-wall’ observational style. A Catholic priest leaves his order to live with one of his young parishioners.
An early episode of iconic pre-school program Play School featuring presenters Don Spencer, Anne Haddy and Ruth Cracknell.
Australia’s first successful national weekly serial, dealing with the lives and loves of ordinary people in a small country town.
This powerful film documents the impact of the government’s policy of removing light-skinned children from their Aboriginal mothers to be raised in Christian missions.
A drama series that revolves around the Mason family, owners of a media empire in the tradition of the real-life Packer and Murdoch clans.
This extraordinary episode breaks away from many of the usual Homicide conventions and dispenses with the customary police investigation in record time.
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.
This superb hour of drama was Division 4’s most awarded individual episode. It sustains a mood of simmering tension and the supporting cast deliver deliciously malicious performances.
It’s Academic is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running quiz program in television history.
From an opening sequence strongly reminiscent of Easy Rider (1969) to a rollicking country car chase at its climax, this is a bumper first episode.
In one of the earliest Monday Conference programs, Robert Moore moderates an interview with the impressive New Guinea politician John Guise.
A successful children’s show set on the magical Adventure Island, a ‘land that’s far across the sea’.
With an abundance of playful silliness, Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table is a delightful product of its era and remains very watchable today.
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’.
One of the only surviving early black-and-white episodes of Number 96 is a rollicking ride through an apartment building and its class values and sex-obsessed situations.
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.
This was star Charles 'Bud’ Tingwell’s favourite Homicide episode.