This rare Australian classic is the Australian equivalent of the BBC's "This Sceptered Isle" and was created by the Australian Broadcasting Company. This is a shrink-wrapped VHS / Pal set of two, 2001, with a new 15: 9 ratio and is 286 minutes long. ( The 5 x CD set is A$440! ) Drawing on unique archival material this excellent 5-part series on two tapes chronicles Australia's sometimes reluctant march to independence. This is an epic tale of how Australians have adapted, dismantled and redefined their great experiment in nation building. EPISODE 1: Child of the Empire. This episode looks at Australia's reluctant march to full independence. In 1901 at Federation, Australians created a nation within the British Empire. Australian nationalism and Empire loyalty went hand in hand. Our independence came slowly, often reluctantly and the 1999 rejection of the republic is consistent with this story. EPISODE 2: The Rise and Fall of White Australia. This episode explores Australia's most startling transformation from a racially exclusive identity to a belief in cultural diversity. Australian identity was based on the White Australia policy...white was right. It took over sixty years for this central plank of our nationhood to be replaced. EPISODE 3: The Land of the Fair Go. This episode traces the founding belief of egalitarianism and the 'fair go'. The people of Australia looked to government to safeguard their lot. But when the world changed in the 1980s, Australia had to embrace a pro-market economy and reinvent itself. Today, the challenge is to maintain fairness in a global economy. EPISODE 4: Unfinished Business This episode focuses on the moral vacuum at the heart of Australia's nationhood...the denial of any place or purpose for Aborigines. It was assumed that Australia was unoccupied at European settlement and that the Aboriginal people were doomed. After the 1967 referendum, Aboriginal and non-indigenous Australians have faced a new challenge...the need to find justice, reconciliation and a way of living together. EPISODE 5: Farewell Great and Powerful Friends. The final episode details how Australia initially related to the world through its 'great and powerful friends'. Britain was the first such friend...a family bond based on the Empire. The United States was the second such friend with the ANZUS alliance negotiated as a result of the Cold War. But the era of great and powerful friends is over. Australia now accepts responsibility for its own fate and negotiates its own way in Asia and the rest of the world.
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