Harry "Breaker" Morant, Lieutenant in the Bushveldt Carbineers, in 1902 was convicted by court-martial of the killing of prisoners in present-day South Africa during the Boer War. He was executed by firing squad and his story was memorialized in the film bearing his name. More than a century later, Australian lawyer Jim Unkles is fighting to clear his name. But should he be pardoned? [more inside]
Up, up and g'day: Superdoreen is Miss Galaxy 1982 A fascinating peek into Australian history and culture through a tiny sliver of artwork. [more inside]
Featured in the Australian literary journal Meanjin, Restless Indigenous Remains is a Paul Daley essay on how the Australian government's National Museum handles the remains of Indigenous people accumulated during Australia's colonial period. An engaging, thoughtful and sobering piece, it covers the history of 'remains collection' in Australia, as well as the current debate concerning whether the Indigenous defenders against colonial expansion should be recognized by the Australian War Memorial.
First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers "On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
From Australia Day 2011 to Australia Day 2012 (26 January, natch) John Thompson posted a different Australian folk song on his blog each day, starting with Mortom Bay and ending of course with Waltzing Matilda. For those who'd like the full audio visual Aussie folk experience, there's also Raymond Crooke's Youtube playlist.
In a Sydney Morning Herald exclusive, an international team of archeologists have revealed the discovery of a hitherto unknown city in Cambodia.
Dr Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, said the ''eureka moment'' in the discovery came weeks earlier when the lidar data popped up on a computer screen. ''With this instrument - bang - all of a sudden we saw an immediate picture of an entire city that no one knew existed which is just remarkable,'' he said.Mahendraparvata, as the city is known, is estimated to be 350 years older than the UNESCO Heritage site of Angkor Wat, built on on Phnom Kulen before Jayavarman II descended from the mountain to build another capital. As Dr Evans said ''This is where it all began, giving rise to the Angkor civilisation that everyone associates with Angkor Wat." The news comes on the heels of the recent repatriation of looted archeological treasures back to Cambodia by the New York Metropolitan museum.
Influential Australian art critic Robert Hughes, author of The Shock of the New and The Fatal Shore, has died aged 74.
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II, a modernized replica of the unsinkable Titanic.
While digging through the archive of the State Library of New South Wales, I came across these stunning public domain images of early 20th century bike culture in Australia, equal parts sweet (all those tandems!), inspirational (a record-breaking ride from Sydney to Melbourne in 3 days and 7 hours!), and scandalous (NB: Annie is wearing trousers!)
When Australia and India take the field today, the Sydney Cricket Ground will be playing host to a Test Match for the 100th time. Naturally, there have been some memorable games.
What kind of uniform did prisoners transported to Australia in the 19th century wear? How did you keep yourself in underwear despite WWII rationing? Check out the Australian Dress Register--it's more than just dresses!
Objects Through Time tells the story of immigration and the changing ethnic diversity of New South Wales, Australia through "movable heritage" - that is, artifacts and objects with historical resonance. While almost ignoring 50,000 years of aboriginal occupation, the site does a nice job of both familiar topics through a fresh lens (e.g., Captain Cook's "secret instructions"), but also takes pains to look at those lesser known topics which may be more accessible through material culture than through texts. [more inside]
Pioneers of Love - a three part documentary about relations between the Ngadjonji people of Far North Queensland, Australia & early white settlers. More about the Ngadjonji people can be found here, including early photos, language, traditional stories, ancient history & more. [previously]
It was one of the biggest riots in the nation's history. An estimated four thousand sailors and locals -- an unlikely alliance of the young and unemployed, the gay community, the rockers -- fought with police, threw rocks and burned cars. [more inside]
Sir George Julius's Automatic Totalisator, first used by the public in New Zealand, and quickly taken up by racetracks throughout Australasia and North America (warning hideous HTML), automates parimutuel betting.
Even after some deliberation it is difficult to find reasons to support the appointment of women Trade Commissioners. The Virtual Reading Room of the National Archives of Australia is a mine of information about Australia, its relationships and past attitudes.
Gallipoli: The First Day [flash] An ABC documentary site about the WW1 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915.
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?" ― Winston Churchill, 1935. The World War II Database connects people, events, photographs, and other elements of history in relational db form to tell the story of the 20th century's 2nd great war.
Australia now commemorates Battle for Australia Day on the first Wednesday in September. But what is 'the Battle for Australia'? Did such a thing exist? [more inside]
QANTAS, Australia's national airline carrier that was once refrenced by Dustin Hoffman's character Ray in Rain Man, is to be taken over by a private consortium called Airline Partners Australia (APA) after the Federal Government gave approval for the takeover yesterday. So what better time than to endulge in a little bit of QANTAS history? Founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 as 'Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited' with just one Avro 540k, QANTAS has played a prominent part in Australia's history, with its fleet being nationalised, privatised and even conscripted for national service during WW2. And although Ray was wrong when he said that QANTAS had never had a crash (indeed, it had 8 and has had several more since Rain Man), the 'flying kangaroo' was still considered an "iconic Australian company" (although there is some debate on that). Nonetheless, if you're really interested in checking out some more QANTAS history, head on over to the National Library of Australia's website, where they have plenty of QANTAS ephemera material online for you to gander at.
Good Morning everyone. My name is Olive Riley. I live in Australia near Sydney. I was born in Broken Hill on Oct. 20th 1899.
PictureAustralia lets you search across the image collections of a bunch of (mostly Australian, but a few international) cultural agencies. It's been running in various forms since 1998 and has just started accepting contributions through the Flickr groups PictureAustralia: Australia Day and PictureAustralia: People, Places and Events. [via Stuff v.3]
The Art of the First Fleet : On 13 May 1787, eleven ships, now commonly referred to as The First Fleet, set sail from Portsmouth to establish a colony in New South Wales, Australia. One of the unplanned but long-lasting outcomes of this event was the large number of outstanding drawings of aboriginal people, the environment and wildlife found on arrival as well as of the early foundation of the colony.
You say bodyline, I say leg theory. Either way, the origins of one of sport's most enduring rivalries (leading to a near diplomatic crisis) make for a fascinating read to the budding cricket enthusiast. No wonder people turned out in their thousands to queue in the early hours for the final day of another nail-biting test. It's turning into a hell of an ashes series.
Coalition of the willing (if they know what's good for them). A decent little collection of articles about one of the most shameful events in Australian political history: the Whitlam dismissal. From an article that begins with a quote from former CIA agent Victor Marchetti: "Australia is going to be increasingly important to the United States, and so long as Australians keep electing the right people then there'll be a stable relationship between the two countries." to an interview with Christopher Boyce, whose experiences and actions were recounted in the book The Falcon and the Snowman and in the later John Schlesinger film of the same name. Attach some platitude about the virtues of friendship.