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Alexander Pearce was one of our more notorious convicts, and one of very few convict escapees from Macquarie Harbour, who survived attempting to reach the settled districts.   As the last man standing from the eight that absconded together, his survival was only possible because he resorted to cannibalism. In Part 1 we look at his background, and what lead him to be shipped to Sarah Island, a place of harsh secondary punishment, attempting an unlikely escape.  We consider the terrain and conditions they had to face and consider his fellow escapees.
John Macarthur was a divisive character in the first decades of the New South Wales penal colony and he was instrumental in the overthrow of Governor Bligh (see the Bligh series Eps 52-55), along with the discomfort and early recall of a number of other Governors. But he and his family did manage to build a farming dynasty in NSW and he was often later promoted as the 'founder' of the Australian Wool industry.  This episode takes a look at the Macarthur family, the development of his sheep flocks and the early development of wool production in the new colony, and consider the impact of the Macarthurs in that important industry. (64 mins) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a   one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au  
The 'Great Ocean Road' is it one of Victoria’s, indeed Australia’s, most well known international tourist attractions, and a favoured coastal town drive for locals, dotted as it is with beautiful surf & swimming beaches, but you may be surprised to know, the road itself constitutes Australia’s longest War Memorial. This episode we talk about how the construction came about. The Great Ocean Road’s heritage listing states, it was “Constructed by workers including around 3000 returned servicemen, as a utilitarian memorial….     The Great Ocean Road is a significant reminder of the participation of Australian servicemen in the First World War, the Australian community's appreciation of their service, and the support provided for the continuing welfare of servicemen upon returning to Australia.” It's also a beloved destination for surfers, fishers, and those who just enjoy native Australian landscapes and beautiful coastal vistas. (44 mins) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a   one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au  
This episode is the final in the Bligh-Rum Rebellion series, and we take a closer look at how the day developed, how the arrest of Bligh unfolded at Government House, and what followed on from the revolt by the New South Wales ‘Rum’ Corp.  The British Government was slow to act, but inquiries were made, and the protagonists were expected to stand trial for mutiny, so we take a look at how that all proceeded too. (75 mins)
We reflect on the reforms Bligh had introduced and note the rising aggravation amongst the 'trading group', who were beginning to lose some of their previous dodgy income streams and privileged arrangements.  Many were challenging Bligh's authority, particularity through the courts and with appeals directly to England, and as tensions escalate, we begin to see the path to rebellion opening up.  Macarthur and his friend George Johnston, commander of the New South Wales 'Rum' Corp, are stirred to action. (61 mins) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a   one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au
This episode looks at William Bligh's background and his reputation as a Naval Captain.  He had some very difficult tasks ahead of him as Governor of the troubled NSW colony, and we need to consider if he had the requisite personality and abilities to introduce the reforms required.  The English were already aware there was a lot of resistance to the changes required, mainly from the members, ex-members and cronies of the NSW Corp, and Bligh was likely chosen for his tenacity.  So we look at how he was initially received by the influential people in the colony, by the struggling settlers and farmers, and how he began his Governorship in NSW.
William Bligh, the very same Captain probably best known for the mutiny on the Bounty, was to be recruited in his later life, as the Governor of the Colony of New South Wales. But it seems his days of attracting mutinous behaviour were not over.  Bligh would find himself again at the mercy of military men who felt they could do a better job. So we’ll talk in this series, about the New South Wales Corp – otherwise known as the Rum Corp, the Governors managing them, and the episode that we sometimes call the Rum Rebellion. This episode - Part 1 - we'll begin by considering the state of NSW during these years, and the lead up to Bligh’s arrival to take up the Governor's post. (55 mins) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au  
Australian Rules Football and the earliest clubs formed to compete, are said to be the oldest established football clubs in the world.  Started in the late 1850s, initially based loosely on the Rugby School game, within 20 years it had evolved to become the basis of Australia’s very own, different & distinctive code; Aussie Rules Footy.  (62 mins) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au  
Early in World War 2, German Raiders were laying sea mines around Australian & New Zealand coastal waters.  Here we tell the story of one ship that was sunk by those mines, and the exceptional salvage operation that was undertaken to recover precious cargo that had gone down with the ship. (65 mins) -------------------------------------------------------------------- Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation --------------------------------------------------------------------- AustralianHistoriesPodcast.com.au
In Part 2 we will follow William Swallow and his fellow mutineer convicts on the commandeered ship, the Cyprus.  Swallow and his men were delighted to be heading into the Pacific, away from the dreaded Macquarie Harbour, and his sailing skills were put to the test as they made their way across the ocean.  But they ran in to unexpected trouble around the Japanese coast. (60 mins) -------------------------------------------------  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation
In part one of Convict Mutineers, we learn about a felon who just could not bear the idea of a life in exile, willing to take all necessary risks to try to return to England.  And his efforts were extraordinary.  I think you will enjoy hearing about this Houdini like convict, a man the authorities had trouble keeping hold of.  Today we look at what brought him to Van Diemen's Land, and how he created opportunities to try and escape the penal servitude there. (60 mins) ------------------------------------------------------------  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation -------------------------------------------------------------------------
As an appendix to Episode 44, Henry Lawson, today's episode presents two final readings, two more humorous offerings.  We read a Banjo Paterson poem, called 'The Man from Ironbark' which I mentioned in Ep 44, and then a short story by Henry Lawson, titled 'The Loaded Dog'. (23 mins)  
This episode is an appendix to Episode 44- Henry Lawson.  We read poems that contributed to the 'Bulletin Debate', discussed in the earlier episode.  We include Banjo Paterson's 'Clancy of the Overflow', 'In Defense of the Bush' & 'An answer to various Bards', as well as Henry Lawson's 'Up the Country' & 'The City Bushman'. (26 mins)
Following Ep 44 on Henry Lawson, this episode will be a reading of Henry Lawson's short story (or sketch), The Drover's Wife, published in the Bulletin, July 1892.  Please listen to Ep 44 first, for the life & times of Henry Lawson. (20 mins)
Henry Lawson was a 'bush poet' and writer from the 1880s-1890s.  One of a number of writers that were focusing on the Australian experience and fostering a pride and understanding of the emerging Australian identity.  Today's episode looks at Henry's complicated life, and the times in which he was writing.  (62 mins)  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation  
In 1796, the Calcutta merchants Campbell & Clark, sent a boat load of attractive goods, including much needed home and personal wares, and much desired rum, to sell to the isolated people in the new penal colony at Port Jackson (now current day Sydney). The Sydney Cove foundered and the men were obliged to take refuge on Preservation Island.  Some of the crew continued on, in a longboat & on foot, to raise the alarm & affect a rescue.  This month we retell the story of their epic journey. (70 mins)  
This episode concludes the series exploring the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme; the vast hydro electric, and irrigation project, that began in 1949 and was under construction for 25 years.  As well as providing much needed electricity  and irrigation water to a soon to be booming Australia, the international workforce helped usher in the era of Multiculturalism, and the project developed engineering expertise and pride, at a time of great optimism in Australia. (52 mins)  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation
Today we turn our attention the workers' arrangements.  At the peak of construction, over 1959/60, there were 7300 people employed on the project.  So that’s a lot of people to keep fed & watered, and entertained.  But it was hard and sometimes dangerous work, so we consider some of the human costs on the project too. (56 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past!  www.australianhistoriespodcast.com.au  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation  
The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme began construction at Guthega, with a Norwegian contractor, and before too long, power was being delivered to the people.  Workers and families got used to the new environment and the working conditions as the construction projects multiplied across the project sites, while others had to get used to their relocated townships.  (60 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past!  www.australianhistoriespodcast.com.au  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation
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 make way for the Snowy Scheme. (47 mins) Brilliant stories from Australia’s past!  www.australianhistoriespodcast.com.au  Enjoying the podcast?  Help support the show with a one-off donation
Comments (3)

Terry Jones

Great stories, well researched and well presented. Excellent work, and one of the sweetest voices in podcasting.

Apr 3rd
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Matthew McNeill

great episode thanks

Jan 22nd
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Rob Pedder

Loved this! It is just so well written and paints a vivid picture.

Sep 25th
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