26 January History Line-Up

HISTORY has put together the best of Australian programming to celebrate this beautiful land we live on.

The Irish In Australia

Writer, actress and comedian Fiona O’Loughlin, mother of five and third generation Australian, was conscious of her Irish heritage but not sure what it meant.  Her eight great grandparents migrated from Ireland in the closing decades of the Nineteenth  Century, but what influence has that fact had on Fiona?  More broadly, what influence has Irish migration had on Australia’s way of life?  As Fiona puts it on her journey from coast to coast: what have the Irish ever done for us?  A question she asks of writers, comedians, historians, nuns and bushmen as she discovers the stories of Settlers, Survivors, Saints, Squatters, Sportstars, Storytellers, Sermonisers, Sinners and Scoundrels – the Irish in Australia.


The Jewel of The Mountain

The Jewel of the Mountains traces the fascinating history of The Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales; a treasured destination for countless visitors over several generations. Opening its doors for the first time on the 4th July 1904, ‘The Hydro’ was originally a world class Hydropathic Establishment before transforming into a luxury hotel for the rich and famous of the period. The Hydro’s creator was Mr Mark Foy (1865-1950) of Sydney retailing fame; a self-made man of considerable wealth and influence.  Foy’s flamboyant nature remains very much at the heart of the Hydro Majestic even today – long corridors and sweeping views still whisper secrets from a magical bygone era.


Barry Humphries’ Flashbacks

Barry Humphries examines four decades of Australian history from the 50s to the 80s in this four part series.

  • The 50s – 24 Hours Of Sunshine
  • The 60s – Does Anyone Still Wear A Hat?
  • The 70s – On The Map At Last
  • The 80s – The Party Of A Lifetime

The Australian SAS: The Untold History

Raised in 1957 during Communist subversion in South East Asia, the small and little understood SAS quickly became the Ugly Duckling of the Australian Army. The SAS proved itself in 1965 in the undeniable jungle war in Borneo during Indonesian Konfrontasi.

Follow the Australian SAS missions from inception through to the 2015 rise of the brutal ISIS caliphate.

A War Of Attrition
Fighting The Asymmetric War


Your Shout: The History of Australian Beer

Whether it’s Fosters, XXXX, Coopers or VB, today, Australian beer is loved and enjoyed around the world. Is there anything closer to the heart of Australians than beer?


Coast Australia – Albany To Esperance

In the opening episode of the third season of Coast Australia, Neil Oliver heads offshore and ticks a big one off his bucket list.  He’s on the trail of that most majestic marine creature – the mighty Orca.  Neil also examines the notion that the ANZAC spirit was forged – not on the beaches of Gallipoli – but in the port of Albany where Australian and New Zealand troops gathered for their departure to World War One.

Brendan Moar reimagines the night Skylab fell to earth in Esperance in 1979.

Marine Ecologist Dr Emma Johnston investigates the now politically incorrect industry of whaling in the Western Australian town of Albany.  Dr Alice Garner travels to Lucky Bay to test whether it can legitimately claim the title of ‘whitest sand in Australia’.  And Professor Tim Flannery makes the journey offshore to Bald Island in search of an endangered marsupial with a taste for truffles.

Making Tracks – The Ghan – Through The Heart Of Australia

From the capital of South Australia to the capital of the Northern Territory, the train known as ‘The Ghan’ bisects a continent north/south, a journey of 3,000 kilometres.


Men of Wood & Foam

Men Of Wood & Foam follows the story of six friends from Brookvale who shaped the history of surfing in Australia. We dive into a golden decade when surfing was transformed into a sport and a culture with its own music, movies, fashions and heroes. From the primitive factories in a former market garden at Brookvale, bordering the favoured wave spots of Dee Why Point and Fairy Bower, these pioneers became known as “The Brookvale Six”.

LAWLESS – The Real Bushrangers

Australian colonial history is full of stories of violent murders and gun toting mayhem, foundation tales of those that make and break the law. From the birth of the Ned Kelly legend to the violent death of Ben Hall, these pivotal events are often shrouded in mystery and folklore. How do we separate fact from fiction?

The brutal gunfight between Ned Kelly’s gang and Victorian policeman on the banks of Stringybark Creek is the pivotal event in the Ned Kelly story, transforming Kelly from a petty thief to wanted outlaw and eventually a national icon. But were the killings an act of self-defence as Kelly later claimed?

Folklore holds Ned Kelly to be a hero, endlessly mythologised. But what if he was a clear-eyed killer?


Mike Munro’s real surname is not Munro: it’s Kenniff. The notorious Kenniff brothers were the last of Australia’s ‘wild colonial boys’ roaming remote north Queensland at the turn of the century, stealing cattle and horses with the confidence and skill of organized criminals. Their careers culminated in a showdown in the Carnarvon Ranges that left one policeman and a civilian dead. Their victims’ bodies were found burned and chopped into pieces.

Patrick and James Kenniff were caught and tried for wilful murder –  but they maintained their innocence to the bitter end.


Les Darcy: The Maitland Wonder

In an era when boxing champions held a celebrity status even greater than that of today, one man’s success made him a legend in his lifetime – Les Darcy, The Maitland Wonder.

With extensive archival footage and accounts from people who shared his life and saw him fight we reveal the man behind the legend. This documentary depicts his progress from the blacksmiths workshop in Maitland to the thunderous applause before a full house at Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay Stadium.

A hero to some, a coward to others. This is one of the most amazing stories in Australia’s sporting history.

Cities of The Underworld – Alcatraz Down Under

As we descend beneath our modern day cities, we are met with ancient and hidden secrets. Journey with us back through history and rediscover cities of the underworld.