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Australian Histories Podcast


Australian History: Brilliant stories from Australia's past.

Australian History: Brilliant stories from Australia's past.




Australian History: Brilliant stories from Australia's past.




Ep 39 Snowy Hydro Scheme - Pt 2 - Getting Land & Workers: Australian History

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme was underway. Now they Authority had to acquire the land across the Alps, and recruit a workforce, to survey, plan and construct the many parts of the project; not an easy thing to do in booming post war Australia. Part 2 gives an overview of the recruitment of workers, the majority coming from various worker schemes and displaced persons camps in Europe. And we learn about the arrangements for compensating and moving the existing landholders to...


Ep 38 Snowy Hydro Scheme - Pt 1 - Inception: Australian History

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, took nearly 30 years to complete in the post war period, and was an astounding engineering feat. It remains one of the “engineering wonders of the world”. It created thousands of jobs and drove the development of increased home-grown Engineering expertise in large civil projects. Not without social & environmental costs of course, it brought with it some amazing practical power & water supply developments, and lead the country in embracing varied...


Ep 37 Lady Jane Franklin - Explorer: Australian History

Lady Jane Franklin was an unusual woman. In the late 1830s, as the wife of Van Diemen's Land Governor Sir John Franklin, she took the opportunity to explore the new settlements and wilds of Tasmania, undertook an overland trek from Melbourne to Sydney, astounding the public with her drive & resilience. One source suggested, her “unfeminine curiosity” lead her to investigate many places where European women had not previously ventured. She was instrumental in setting up scientific societies...


Ep 36 Jandamarra: the Bunuba Warrior Pt 2: Australian History

PART 2: Jandamarra was a Bunuba man, from the Kimberly region in Western Australia, who has been called both an outlaw and a hero. It’s a story of conflict between the indigenous peoples, and the new comers to Australia; a chapter in what we more lately call the Frontier Wars. In the late 1880s Jandamarra lead his people in resisting the takeover of their lands, at a time when stockholders wished to bring sheep & cattle into the Kimberly. It is a confronting story, but one very important...


Ep 35 Jandamarra: the Bunuba Warrior Pt 1: Australian History

Jandamarra was a Bunuba man, from the Kimberly region in Western Australia, who has been called both an outlaw and a hero. It’s a story of conflict between the indigenous peoples, and the new comers to Australia; a chapter in what we more lately call the Frontier Wars. In the late 1880s Jandamarra lead his people in resisting the takeover of their lands, at a time when stockholders wished to bring sheep & cattle into the Kimberly. It is a confronting story, but one very important for both...


Ep 34 The Great Emu War: Australian History

In the early 1930s the post WW1 Soldier Settlers in Western Australia were doing it hard, trying to make a living growing wheat in a tough economic climate. When the native Emus descended on their crops on mass, they called on the Commonwealth Minister of Defense to come to their rescue. And so began the Emu War in the west..... (45 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past! Enjoying the podcast? Help support the show...


Ep 33 Eureka Pt5: Eureka Trials: Australian History

With the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade ended, the authorities moved the main players to Melbourne to be tried for treason. In the days immediately following, the people of Victoria were at first apprehensive that there may be further outbreaks of violence and rioting, but as more information about exactly what happened at Ballarat was known, they became more unhappy about the lead up to and the actions that took place on December 3rd, 1854. In this final episode in the Eureka series, we...


Ep 32 Eureka Pt4: Eureka Stockade: Australian History

With no positive response to their delegations, pleading & petitions, the Ballarat miners determined they must boycott the corrupt system all together and physically resist when the troopers came to arrest them. Under the leadership of Peter Lalor, the men swore under their Southern Cross flag, to stand together united in their resistance, and to protect each other from the authorities, with physical force if required. To that end they began building a defensive Stockade. and began to...


Ep 31 Eureka Pt3: Ballarat Reform League: Australian History

Relations between the authorities and the diggers on the Ballarat goldfield continued to deteriorate, and despite the reports of corruption and violent behaviour being reported to the senior government officials, no action was being taken. Following a murder on the goldfield, the miners meeting protesting the corrupt investigation that took place afterwards, escalated into a riot, and the Eureka Hotel was burnt to the ground. A number of influential men on the diggings formed the Ballarat...


Ep 30 Eureka Pt2: Ballarat goldfield: Australian History

We turn our attention to the Ballarat Goldfield. The road to the Eureka Rebellion here was actually quite long, and contained a myriad of grievances & triggers, which finally came to an unhappy clash on December 3 1854 at the Eureka Stockade. But we are not quite there yet. This episode we look at the early days under La Trobe, and the frustration & aggravation that grew after Hotham became Governor. The initial catalysts for the uprising started with unfair gold licensing arrangements, but...


Ep 29 Eureka Pt1: Gold: Australian History

Gold miners built the Eureka Stockade at the Ballarat goldfields in December 1854, but trouble between the miners and the authorities had started pretty much with the gold rush in 1851. Before we start looking at the Eureka uprising itself, Ep 29 will begin with some background to the story. The discovery of gold and the chance to dig & make ones fortune, transformed the colonies. We'll look at gold discovery in Australia, the influence of the Californian gold rush, the Government’s...


Ep 28 The Dingo Fence: Australian History

Australia has a number of massive continuous barrier fences, built by farmers and pastorlists from the late 1800's, to try and control the movement of native and introduced pests that were threatening their land and stock. We’re going to look at the development & operation of the massive Dingo Fence, the longest wild dog exclusion barrier, now running as a continuous line across 3 states, over more than 5400 kilometres (3350 miles). (52...


Ep 27 Convicts and Cascades Pt 2: Australian History

We’re continuing our look at the convict era, in particular, the experiences of women convicts who passed through the Cascades Female Factory, in Hobart, Tasmania. After serving their sentences, many became successful members of their communities, and they are representative of the convict women who can be regarded as the literal mothers of the early Anglo-Australian society here. (58 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past! Help support the...


Ep 26 Convicts and Cascades Pt 1: Australian History

We’re going to look at the female convicts who passed through the Cascades Female Factory, in Hobart, Tasmania, and reflect on the different experience the women convicts may have had, to those of the male convicts. There are both harrowing and hilarious stories to be told about the institution and it’s inmates. So we’ll focus on the women in that institution in particular, as an example of experiences that might have been familiar to most convict women who were sent out to Australia. (54...


Ep 25 Mawson: Antarctic Explorers Pt 5: Australian History

Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition concluded, and the last of the expeditioners arrived back in Adelaide in February, 1914. A lot had happened, both on the frozen continent and across the world, in the years they had been away. We wrap up the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration” in this episode, by reflecting on the AAE, on Mawson’s ongoing relationship with the Antarctic, and Australia’s connection to Antarctica. We’ll also just touch on the outcome of Scott and Amundsen’s...


Ep 24 Mawson: Antarctic Explorers Pt 4: Australian History

Douglas Mawson’s expedition was well underway, and the teams from the Cape Denison base had returned, after completing their various research programs. All except Mawson and his team. They had undertaken the most ambitious and distant trek, and were now overdue. We turn our attention to the trek Mawson, Ninnis & Mertz undertook for the AAE. (48 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past! AHP Facebook AusHistPod...


Ep 23 Mawson: Antarctic Explorers Pt 3: Australian History

After returning from Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition and despite rejecting any idea of returning to Antarctica, the trauma of his polar trekking faded and Douglas Mawson began to consider all the exploration & discovery that still lay waiting there. He set about planning the “Australasian Antarctic Expedition”, to undertake an ambitious scientific & survey program for Australia & the Empire. This time though, the harsh elements would extract a greater cost for giving up it’s secrets. (51...


Ep 22 Mawson: Antarctic Explorers Part 2: Australian History

Douglas Mawson, who would later become the leader of Australia’s first Antarctic expedition, undertook his first trip to Antarctica as part of Ernest Shackleton’s “Nimrod Expedition”, 1908. Though he was young and this was his first foray in to the icy territory, his obvious intelligence, robust constitution and leadership skills, marked him out early for momentous work, and he was tasked with joining teams to explore Mt Erebus and to locate the Magnetic South Pole. The following episode...


Ep 21 Mawson: Antarctic Explorers Part 1: Australian History

Australia’s first formal expedition to Antarctica in 1911, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was led by Douglas Mawson, a geologist from Adelaide University. This episode we’ll look at what brought Mawson to the Antarctic, and at the earlier British expeditions that helped scaffold Mawson’s later venture. The following episodes will focus on Mawson’s first trip South with Shackleton and then look in detail at the Australasian Antarctic Expedition itself. (50...


Ep 20 Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge: Australian History

The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge: After a surprisingly long gestation, it’s path to construction threads through the history, of growth & colonial settlement in Sydney, including the political machinations at state, federal and even international levels. And that’s before we even consider the working of more than 6 million rivets into the impressive steel structure, now recognisable as a beautiful work of engineering, which Crocodile Dundee spent his early life painting! (60...