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Video clip synopsis – Australian film and television production is competing in a globalised world with big international production companies who market their product effectively to the world market.
Year of production - 2004
Duration - 3min 7sec
Tags - audiences, broadcasting, children, culture, filmmaking, globalisation, identity, media and society, media ownership, television programs, see all tags


Aussie-made content

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About the Video Clip


The interviews with Trevor Barr and Mac Gudgeon were recorded for the website From Wireless to Web, produced in 2005.

Trevor Barr is an author, professor and the Director of the Creative Industries Research & Applications Centre at the Queensland University of Technology. Mac Gudgeon is a screenwriter and a community television advocate. You can view their full biographies at From Wireless to Web

The website is a selective history of broadcast media in Australia. Decade by decade, from radio and newsreels to TV and the internet, this history shows how the Australian broadcast media developed and shaped the way Australians see themselves.

From Wireless to Web is a Film Australia production in association with Roar Film.

Curriculum Focus


Students will:

  • learn the importance and relevance of Australian-made TV content to Australian audiences
  • research and synthesise written material, and re-present it for a specific reading audience
  • imagine and develop the script for a dramatic scenario
  • rehearse and deliver an oral presentation.

Reading Standard: students read, view, analyse and discuss a wide range of informative and persuasive texts and identify the multiple purposes for which they are created. They compare and contrast the typical features of particular texts and synthesise information from different texts to draw conclusions.

Writing Standard: students write sustained and cohesive narratives that experiment with different techniques and show attention to chronology, characterisation, consistent point of view and development of a resolution. They write persuasive texts dealing with complex ideas and issues. They plan and deliver presentations, sequencing and organising complex ideas.

Speaking and Listening Standard: students compare ideas, build on others’ ideas, provide and justify other points of view, and reach conclusions that take account of aspects of an issue. They draw on a range of strategies to listen to and present spoken texts, complex issues or information imaginatively to interest an audience.

The activities in this digital resource are relevant to the Interdisciplinary Learning strands of Level 6 Communications (Listening, Viewing and Responding standard; Presenting standard), and Thinking Processes (Reasoning, Processing and Inquiry standard; Creativity standard).

The activities are also relevant to the Physical, Personal and Social Learning strand of Level 6 Interpersonal Development (Building Social Relationships standard; Working in Teams standard), and Personal Learning (The Individual Learner standard; Managing Personal Learning standard).

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


To meet Australian content quotas, commercial broadcasters devoted extra timeslots to news, current affairs and sports programs, plus numerous versions of new-format 'lifestyle’ programs.

In the mid-1990s the commercial networks also renewed their commitment to producing serial dramas. Nine developed several successful dramas including Water Rats, Stingers and the high-rating series of telemovies Halifax FP, while Seven produced Blue Heelers and All Saints. Police and crime series Janus, Phoenix and Wildside went to air on the ABC.

During this period television comedy was revitalised with sketch comedy programs such as The Big Gig, The Late Show and Fast Forward. The ABC also scored a major hit with Frontline, a spoof current affairs program. On Seven, Acropolis Now gently poked fun at ethnic communities in Australia’s dominant Anglo culture.

Classroom Activities

  1. Getting started
    As a class, view the interviews then discuss and write notes on the following:
    1. In Trevor Barr’s view, what is the ‘worst thing that could happen’ to the Australian broadcast media, and why is it important to prevent this from happening?
    2. Explain why Mac Gudgeon is critical of Australian television network executives.
    3. Which Australian-produced TV programs of any type do you watch? Explain whether you would regard them as uniquely Australian, or derived, inspired or copied from overseas.
  2. Writing a magazine article
    Research the possible effects of the January 2005 Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the USA on Australian-made television content, and write a 450–500 word article about the subject for a popular magazine for Australian teenagers. This means you will need to present the article in ways the specific reading audience will find interesting and relevant. (You will find some information on the topic in websites listed in the Further Resources section.)
  3. Imagining a scenario
    Imagine that new regulations were suddenly introduced that ordered all Australian commercial TV channels to screen only Australian-made programs every day between 6am and midnight. In pairs, plan, draft, edit and proofread the script for a three-minute telephone conversation between two commercial TV network executives depicting their reactions, their feelings and thoughts, and what they think they will do about the situation.
  4. Presenting a script reading
    Rehearse then deliver a reading of your pair’s phone conversation script to the class. You should consider appropriate facial gesture, movement, posture and voice control.

Further Resources


Go to From Wireless to Web for more about the history of broadcast media in Australia.

Australian Communications and Media Authority, Content Regulation

Australian Content on TV, Episode 11, Mondo Thingo, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Garry Maddox. Australian content faces a changed landscape, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 2006.

Free Trade Agreement with the United States, media release from The Hon Mark Vaile MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Trade, Australia, 8 February 2004.

Choice, Free Trade Agreement, January 2005.