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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 understand the regional, global and environmental implications of being a citizen in a democracy.

Students explore how media and information and communication technologies are used to present issues and influence opinion.

Students evaluate ways in which individuals, groups and governments use the media and ICT to shape opinion and manage controversy.

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. Students, over one week, keep a record of all three of (a) the television programs & television stations they watch, (b) the videos/DVDs they hire and© the films they go to see. In small groups compare viewing habits and develop a selection process to group their viewings, for example, romance, documentary, Australian produced, country of origin, classification, etc. Record the class viewing habits on a master whiteboard.
(The results might make for an interesting article in a student magazine and/or parent newsletter).

2. View the video clip and record the opinions about Australian broadcast media made by the people being interviewed. Analyse the interviewees’ position and evidence, if any, of bias or using the interview to shape opinion.

3. Explore the contention that legislating for a high percentage of Australian produced media content is critical to preserve our unique Australian identity and develop active Australian citizens. How does this argument match up with the viewing habits as oulined in the first activity?

4. Some people have argued that the 2005 Free Trade Agreement between Australia and USA and the 2006 legislative changes to media ownership passed by the Howard federal government have the potential to seriously undermine Australian produced media programs. Investigate the details of both of these events and develop an opinion about the debates. Does it really matter who owns the media? We live in a global world why not watch global programs? What’s so unique about Aussie-made content?

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.