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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.

Australian Journey introduction 8:40

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. Bruce is based at the Australian National University, Susan works at Monash University.

Download ‘Resources for the Journey’ for a list of texts, webcasts, podcasts and more that complement each episode of Australian Journey.

Episode 1: Travelling Country

01: Travelling Country 21:59

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

01: Travelling Country interview 29:10

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

Episode 2: A Land of the Weird and Monstrous

02: A Land of the Weird and the Monstrous 13:01

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

02: A Land of the Weird and the Monstrous interview 17:27

The dangers of narrowing biodiversity.

03: A Wide Brown Land 16:23

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

03: A Wide Brown Land interview 9:16

Adaptation and environmental management in Australia.

Learn about the Kenya station windmill

Episode 4: Our Island Home

04: Our Island Home 16:42

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

04: Our Island Home interview 15:15

Environmental threats to the Great Barrier Reef.

05: Multicultural Mosaic 15:24

The contribution immigrants have made to the Australian nation.

05: Multicultural Mosaic interview 1:31:13

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

06: Captivity Narratives 14:51

Australia’s convict history: prison or paradise?

06: Captivity Narratives interview 9:16

The Hobart female factory and the experience of colonial women.

07: The Stolen Generations 18:00

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

07: The Stolen Generations interview 23:40

The survival of Indigenous people and the impact of the national apology.

08: The Australian Way of Life 16:06

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

08: The Australian Way of Life interview 34:54

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

09: Encounters 19:56

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

09: Encounters interview 21:53

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

Note: This webpage was first published in 2018. More recently some scholars have questioned the provenance of the shield in the exhibition.

Explore the Encounters classroom resource

Episode 10: Creating a Nation

10: Creating a Nation 22:01

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

10: Creating a Nation interview 38:24

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

Episode 11: Australia’s First Terrorist?

Temporarily unavailable.

Episode 12: The Anzac Legend

12: The Anzac Legend 17:12

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

12: The Anzac Legend interview 14:09

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 began at Monash University and was completed with the generous assistance of the Australian National University. Both universities worked in close collaboration with the National Museum of Australia.

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.

These episodes and interviews also on the Museum’s YouTube channel

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