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Australian Journey

Free classroom video resources

Australian Journey: The Story of a Nation in 12 Objects is a free web-based video series exploring the nation's history through captivating objects from the National Museum of Australia.

The series is suitable for high school and tertiary students and explores issues including the Australian environment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, democracy and citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, reconciliation and the Anzac legend.

Twelve episodes plus expert interviews

Australian Journey is presented by Professor Bruce Scates, FASSA, historian, novelist and film producer and Dr Susan Carland, sociologist, social critic and the co-creator of Salam Cafe. Each of the 12 episodes has an extra 'Susan Carland in conversation' interview with historians and other expert guests.

Download 'Resources for the Journey' (PDF 12mb) for a list of texts, webcasts, podcasts and more that complement each episode of Australian Journey.


Episode 1: Travelling Country

Indigenous and European perceptions of landscape, focusing on Burke and Wills' tragic journey of exploration.

The challenges of documenting Aboriginal languages with Susan Carland, Shannon Faulkhead and John Bradley.

Episode 2: A Land of the Weird and Monstrous

The extinction of the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, and the ethics of cloning.

The dangers of narrowing biodiversity with Susan Carland, Kathryn Medlock and George Main.

Episode 3: A Wide Brown Land

The impact of water scarcity and ways of living in a dry continent.

Adaptation and environmental management in Australia with Susan Carland and Ruth Morgan.

Episode 4: Our Island Home

James Cook and the voyage of the Endeavour along Australia's eastern seaboard.

Environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef with Susan Carland and Ruth Morgan.

Episode 5: Multicultural Mosaic

The contribution immigrants have made to the Australian nation.

Immigration policy, citizenship and border protection with Susan Carland and Julian Burnside. Contains distressing content and offensive language.

Episode 6: Captivity Narratives

Australia's convict history: prison or paradise?

The Hobart female factory and the experience of colonial women with Susan Carland and Rae Frances.

Episode 7: The Stolen Generations

The history of forced removal of Indigenous children from their families.

The survival of Indigenous people and the impact of the national apology, with Susan Carland and Peter Read.

Episode 8: The Australian Way of Life

The Holden car and suburban life in postwar Australia, Cold War politics and America's cultural influence.

Susan Carland and Waleed Aly on the influence of sport in Australian history.

Episode 9: Encounters

Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resistance, survival and reconciliation from the Encounters exhibition.

Collaboration between Indigenous communities, the British Museum and National Museum with Susan Carland and Peter Yu.

Episode 10: Creating a Nation

Federation of the states and creation of the Commonwealth of Australia.

The achievements and dismissal of the Whitlam Government with Susan Carland and Jenny Hocking.

Episode 11: Australia's First Terrorist?

The social origins of bushranging and the legend of Ned Kelly and his gang.

Ned Kelly: hero or villain? with Susan Carland and Frank Bongiorno.

Episode 12: The Anzac Legend

The enduring significance of Anzac, its impact on Australian identity and a forgotten war at the heart of our history.

The history of Gallipoli pilgrimages with Susan Carland, Bruce Scates and Rebecca Wheatley.

About the project

Australian Journey was three years in the making, filmed across the length and breadth of the continent and involved more than 50 major cultural institutions. The series was funded by Monash University and is presented with assistance from the National Museum of Australia and the Australian National University.

The views expressed in this series are those of the authors and interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the view of their host institutions or the National Museum of Australia. The authors, presenters and interviewees assert moral rights over their work.

All episodes and interviews also on the Museum's YouTube channel

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