The People Speak

THE PEOPLE SPEAK
 

PROGRAMME LENGTH
2 hours

SCREENING DETAILS
Monday April 29 at 9.30am EST/NZ

This “is a documentary initiative that celebrates and encourages the influence powerless people can effect when they rally for their cause through the spoken word and its dramatic delivery. It is a thematic history of dissent and protest as capture by the words people have used when they feel the need to be heard.”

That is how the USA version of this project was described in promotional literature.

The original USA version was inspired by Howard Zinn’s history of protest in USA, People’s History of the United States. There has been a UK version as well.

The format is simple. Some of Australia’s finest story tellers from stage and screen met on stage to revisit and interpret some of the “good fights” from Australia’s past found in letters, songs, poems, speeches and manifestoes.

This Australian version has an accompanying narrative context provided by Thomas Keneally.

The program has lofty ideals and intentions. “By re-creating the examples set by the fighters of yesterday, it hopes to celebrate their profound contributions and to inspire, today, a sense of personal responsibility for fairness in Australian society.”

The program is in seven sections:
1. Colonialism…anti-monarchy and Republicanism.
2. Labour…Eureka, 8 Hour Day and unionism.
3. Women…suffrage, feminism and Women’s liberation.
4. Outsiders…Irish rebels, BLF, Oz and GLBT rights.
5. War…conscription, moratoriums and “other people’s” wars.
6. Immigration…migrants and refugees…”One Nation”.
7. Indigenous Australians…dispossession, assimilation and land rights.

These can readily be linked to content areas in the Australian Curriculum: History in Year 9: “Making a Nation” and Year 10: “Rights and Freedoms: 1945 to the present” and “Migration Experiences 1945 – present”. For teachers and students in NSW there is Stage 5 “Depth Study 5: Rights and Freedoms”.

The full transcripts of the “speeches” from which the extracts were taken can be accessed at: http://thepeoplespeak.thehistorychannel.com.au/speeches/bill-simon/

Denis Mootz
 

Introduction.

Note the terms of the introduction.
What “omissions” from Australian history are highlighted?
How has change been achieved in Australia?
Note the “pedigree” of Thomas Keneally.
In what sense is democracy “not a spectator sport”? Implications?
Note the various definitions of democracy.

Conclusion

Note Keneally’s concluding remarks.
Note the sentiments of the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”. Implications?

Follow Up.

History of protest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protest
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/gallery/2010/nov/14/ten-best-protests
http://www.livescience.com/16153-10-significant-political-protests.html
http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/protest.html
Gandhi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolence
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0916-03.htm
Mandela: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela
http://www.moreorless.au.com/heroes/mandela.html

Colonialism

Note the history that is to be told.
Who are the speakers?
What great “distinction” does Australia have?
What were the aims of the transportation “system”?
Who were the people transported to New South Wales?
Why was Laurence Frayne sent to NSW?
What characteristics did Frayne demonstrate in his “protest” against tyranny?
Note the distinction drawn by Alexander Machonocie between punishment and training, and between fear and reform. Implications?
How did ex-convicts begin the fight for equal rights?
What did the emancipist William Wentworth warn of in 1819?
How could this “future discord” be avoided? Implications?
Why was the convict ship Hashemy not welcome in Sydney?
What is Robert Lowe complaining of in 1849?
How does he define freedom?
Who were the new arrivals in Australia after 1849?
What rights did migrants want?
What did George Black suggest were the faults of monarchy in1891? Implications?
Note the images that accompany John Jarret’s reading. Implications?

EXTENSIONS.

Settlement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Australia_(1788%E2%80%931850)
http://history-terra-australis.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/outpost-of-empire-why-was-australia.html

Convict System: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convicts_in_Australia
http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/convicts-and-the-british-colonies

End of transportation: http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/the_end_of_transportation
http://www.jenwilletts.com/hashemy_1849.htm
http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/convicts/shipNSW2.html

Emancipists and Exclusives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipist
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/197830/Exclusive

WC Wentworth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wentworth
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wentworth-william-charles-2782

Republicanism in Australia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_Australia http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/RP9596/96rp31

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of transportation to NSW.
3. Note details of the convict system.
4. Note details of the emancipists and “exclusives”.
5. Note details of the Republican movement in Australia.

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. Are Lowe and William Wentworth talking about the same thing when they talk of “freedom”?

2. Did the 1849 protest meeting actually bring an end to transportation to NSW?

 

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

 

1. What was the context of Black’s anti-monarchy speech?

2. Can the seeds of Republicanism in Australia be traced to the 1840s? Or to the 1890s?

 

COMMUNICATING.
 

1. Write a REPORT on transportation and the convict system.

2. For discussion: Australia seems to have a long anti-monarchy history.
Why was the recent “Republic” referendum unsuccessful?

3. What did “freedom” appear to mean in Australia in the 19th century?

Labour

What attracted immigrants to Australia in the mid 1800s?
What sort of people were these immigrants?
What did the miners in Ballarat believe was unfair about their situation? Result?
Note what these miners were called in Australia. Note their flag.
What did Peter Lalor demand in 1854? Why? Result?
How did the authorities respond? Result?
Note the result of the trial for treason. Result?
Note Lalor’s later career.
Note Mark Twain’s comments on Eureka in 1895. Implications?
Note the comments on the Ballarat gold fields.
Note the sentiments expressed by Charles Jardine Don in favour of the Eight Hour Day in 1855.
Implications? Result?
What caused the strikes of the 1890s?
Note the sentiments expressed in “Banjo” Patterson’s 1895 song “Waltzing Matilda”.
In what sense is the song paying “homage” to the defiant anti-authoritarianism of Australians?
Note the images that accompany Tex Perkin’s rendition.

EXTENSIONS.

Gold Rushes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_gold_rushes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_gold_rush
Eureka: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_Rebellion
http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/eureka-stockade
Peter Lalor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Lalor
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lalor-peter-3980
Victorian Parliamentary Reform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_Act_1856
http://foundingdocs.gov.au/item-sdid-20.html
Eight Hour Day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day#Australia
http://www.8hourday.org.au/history.asp
Strikes of the 1890s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_labour_movement#1890s_Great_Strikes
http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/interventions/nineties.htm

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of grievance claimed by the “diggers” at Eureka.
3. Note details of the Events at Eureka and after.
4. Note details of the case for an “Eight Hour Day”

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. Was it all human rights and democracy on the Gold fields? How were the Chinese treated?

2. What are political doctrines that celebrate the “dignity” of labour usually called? Implications?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

1. Is there a direct cause and effect between Eureka and parliamentary and other reforms in Victoria?

2. Why do the men carrying the Eureka flag in modern demonstrations have shaved heads and wear biker gear?

COMMUNICATING.

1. Write a REPORT on the “Eight Hour Day”.

2. For discussion:
“Waltzing Matilda” means to walk the bush track carrying a swag.
The “jumbuck” was stolen property.
What else could it be argued that this song pays “homage” to?

3. How significant was Eureka in the establishment of our democratic traditions?

Women

Why was Australia once viewed as a “working man’s paradise”?
Note the report from the “Vagabond” in 1882. Implications?
How would this obvious imbalance be redressed? Result?
Note the campaign of Mary Lee in 1888.
What does Lee complain of in 1893? Implications?
How would Mary Lee define “liberty”?
Note the status of women in South Australia in 1894.
What impact did war have on Australian women?
Note the areas where women were “unequal”. Implications?
Note the sentiments of Germaine Greer in 1970. Implications?
Why hadn’t women challenged “the masters”?
What mistake did “man” make? Result?
Note the comments on the status of women.
Note the sentiments of Kate Jennings in 1970. Implications?

EXTENSIONS.

Women’s Suffrage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage_in_Australia
http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/austn-suffragettes
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lee-mary-7150
Equal pay for Women: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap_in_Australia
http://somethingincommon.gov.au/dig-deeper/equality/equal-pay-equal-work
http://www.actu.org.au/Campaigns/EqualPay/default.aspx
http://www.eowa.gov.au/Pay_Equity/General_Information_Stats.asp
Women’s Liberation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_movement
http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-109_t-290_c-973/the-women-s-liberation-movement-its-aims-and-methods/nsw/the-women-s-liberation-movement-its-aims-and-methods/changing-rights-and-freedoms-women/women
Germaine Greer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germaine_Greer
http://womensliberationnsbhs.wikidot.com/
http://www.skwirk.com.au/p-c_s-14_u-117_t-319_c-1080/nsw/history/power-people-and-politics-in-the-post-war-period/people-and-power/germaine-greer-women-s-liberation

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of the Australian Women’s suffrage movement.
3. Note details of the on-going campaign for “equal pay for equal work”.
4. Note details of the feminist movement.
5. Note details of women’s liberation movement in Australia.

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. Would Kate Jennings feel that the situation in Australia has changed since the 1970s?

2. What areas of gender inequality still need to be addressed in Australia?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

1. What evidence is there that the various women’s movements had any impact on the decision makes in Australian society?

2. What evidence is there that women’s liberation has had any impact in the modern world?

COMMUNICATING.

1. Write a REPORT on the vote for women in Australia.

2. For discussion:
“ Women’s liberation was a movement for educated middle class women
by educated middle class women.”

3. To what extent has gender equality been achieved in Australia?

Outsiders

Note the events of 1880.
Note how the “Jerilderie Letter” is described.
How did Kelly justify the murder of the police at Stringybark Creek?
Note the terms in which Kelly characterises the Victorian police.
Note Keneally’s description of the Kelly “rebellion”.
What evidence supports the use of the term “protest” in this case?
Note details of the struggle for the inner city of Sydney in the 1970s.
Note details of Jack Mundey.
Note the elements of Mundey’s argument for and against development.
Note the origins of “Green” as a colour in Australian politics.
Note details of the OZ magazine obscenity case in Sydney and London.
Note details of Richard Neville’s stance on “freedom”.
How would Rodney Croome define “freedom”?

EXTENSIONS.

The “Jerilderie Letter”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jerilderie_Letter
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Jerilderie_Letter
The Kelly “rebellion”: http://www.kellygang.asn.au/home.html
http://www.convictcreations.com/history/nedkelly.htm
http://prov.vic.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/ned-kelly/the-kelly-story/the-kelly-outbreak
http://www.gopetition.com.au/famous-petitions-in-history/234/petition-for-reprieve-of-ned-kelly-1880.html
Jack Mundey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Mundey
http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/subjects/mundey/
http://www.skwirk.com.au/p-c_s-14_u-117_t-319_c-1081/nsw/history/power-people-and-politics-in-the-post-war-period/people-and-power/jack-mundey-green-bans
Green Bans: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_ban
http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/green_bans_movement
Oz Magazine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oz_(magazine)
http://www.milesago.com/press/oz.htm
http://counterculture.wikia.com/wiki/Oz_Magazine_Trial
“Gay Rights”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_Croome
http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/
http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of the Kelly Gang and its activities.
3. Note details of the sentiments expressed in the “Jerilderie Letter”.
4. Note details of the campaigns of the Builder’s Labourers’ Federation to “save” Sydney’s heritage.
5. Note details of “Gay Rights” movement.

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. What is there about the “Jerilderie Letter” that suggests that it is a revolutionary manifesto?

2. Why do certain parts of the community oppose the extension of “rights” to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Australians?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

Questions of reliability and validity of the perspectives, evidence and sources presented in the video program need to be considered, tested and researched.

 

1. What evidence is there that the Kelly Gang had wide enough support in the community to be considered “rebels”?

2. How were the BLF campaigns regarded by most Australians at the time?
Why has our perspective changed?

COMMUNICATING.

1. Write a REPORT on Green Bans.

2. For Discussion:
“Gay Rights is a “No-brainer”! Let’s pass the laws and all get on with life!”

3. Why does the Kelly “rebellion” still resonates for many Australians?

War

How many Australians volunteered for service in WW1?
Note the mechanisms that were intended to promote voluntary service.
Note the commentary of Lt. J. A. Raws on war in 1916.
Why were the “poor wounded wretches” laughing on their stretchers?
What is obviously worrying Raws?
Why did the Australian government attempt to introduce conscription in 1916/1971?
Note the arguments put forward in the “No Conscription Manifesto”.
What ideology underpinned the Vietnam War?
How was this war different from any previous war? Result?
Note the sentiments of Sgt Billy Hacking. Implications?
Why was LBJ in Australia in 1966? Results?
Note details of the Vietnam Moratoriums.
Note details of Dr Jim Cairns.
Note Jim Cairn’s definition of democracy.
What issue galvanised protesters? Why?
How was conscription introduced?
Note the actions of SOS. Result?
Note the argument put forward by Joyce Golgerth.
Note the sentiments of “A Walk in the Green (I was Only 19)”.
Why did so many Australians gather in 2003? Implications?
What has not changed in Australians’ experience of war?

EXTENSIONS.

Conscription: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_Australia
http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/conscription/
http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs161.aspx
http://ergo.slv.vic.gov.au/explore-history/australia-wwi/home-wwi/arguments-over-conscription
https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/conscription/ww2/
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/conscription/
Vietnam Moratoriums: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moratorium_to_End_the_War_in_Vietnam
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/conscription/birthday-ballot.php
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/conscription/moratoriums-and-opposition.php
“All the Way with LBJ”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Holt
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/all-the-way-with-lbj/index.php
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lbj-came-all-the-way-to-aust-20120610-204e1.html
SOS: http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/conscription/save-our-sons.php
http://www.rmwebed.com.au/web_resources/y10history/vietnam_war/9.html
Australia at War: http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/
http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/
http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au/public-opinion/index.php

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of the wars that Australia has fought since 1788.
3. Note details of the reasons for Australia’s involvement in war
4. Note details of issue of conscription in Australian history.
5. Note details of opposition to Australian involvement in the Vietnam war

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. Why has conscription generated so much dissent in Australian history?

2. What aspects of our participation in the Vietnam War were unpopular in Australia?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

1. Has there been opposition to our participation in wars other than Vietnam?

2. Is there any evidence to suggest that the opposition to the Vietnam war had any impact on Australian decision makers?

COMMUNICATING.

1. Write a REPORT on opposition to the Vietnam War.

2. For discussion:
“The individual cost of war is too great for any rational society to contemplate participation.”

3. Explain why Australia has been involved in so many wars.

Immigration.

What was the 1950s “ad” for migrants to Australia advertising?
Note the role of migration in our history.
Why have attitudes to refugees changed?
Note the Labour Government attitude to non-European immigration in the 1940s.
Why were the ships that brought Chinese to Australia in the 19th century taxed?
How were Chinese considered and treated in Australia.
Note the sentiments of Cheok Hong Cheong. Implications?
When was the Immigration Restriction Act enacted? Result? Implications?
When did Australia begin to accept Asian migrants? Result?
What claims did Pauline Hanson make in 1996?
For whom did she claim to speak for? Implications? Results?
In what field does Australia lag behind the world? Why?
Note the experience of Najaf Mazari.
Why did he “jump the queue”?
Note the sentiments of Charlie Teo in 2012. For what did he ask? Implications?

EXTENSIONS.

“White Australia”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Restriction_Act_1901
http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/hotwords/unpack/White.Australia.Policy
http://www.racismnoway.com.au/teaching-resources/factsheets/59.html
Chinese immigration: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_immigration_to_Australia
http://museumvictoria.com.au/origins/history.aspx?pid=9
http://www.chaf.lib.latrobe.edu.au/education/history.htm
One Nation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Nation_(Australia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Hanson
Refugees: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49da0e466.html
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1954/5.html
http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/61protection.htm
“Queue Jumpers”: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/docs/news&events/rw/2010/4%20-%20Myths%20and%20facts%20about%20refugees%20and%20asylum%20seekers%202010.pdf
http://www.sbs.com.au/goback/about/factsheets/10/are-refugees-who-arrive-by-boat-queue-jumpers
Charlie Teo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Teo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Teo

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of Chinese migration to Australia.
3. Note details of the “White Australia” policy.
4. Note details of the One Nation Party political platform.
5. Note details of how refugees are defined.
6. Note details of the concept of “queue jumping”.
7. Note details of the sentiments expressed by Charlie Teo in his Australia Day address.

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. How have the Chinese been regarded in Australia since “white” settlement?

2. Why did Australia legislate to keep “non-whites” out of Australia?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

1. What have migrants and refugees contributed to Australian society since 1788?

2. What “queue” are refugees supposed to “jumping”?

COMMUNICATING.

1. Write a REPORT on migration to Australia.

2. For discussion:
“The refugee situation could be solved by increasing the number we admit each year.”

3. What appeal and impact did the One Nation Party have on Australian politics?

Indigenous Australians.

Note the action of Burnum Burnum in 1988.
What does he complain of in his speech? Implications?
Note the advice given to Aborigines by George Gawler in 1838. Implications?
What did he promise?
How was the Aboriginal population of Australia affected by “settlement”? Implications?
Why was life for Aborigines “restricted”?
Note the sentiments of Robert Lyon in 1838. Implications? Result?
Note the details of the 19th century “land grab”.
Note details of the Aborigines Day of Mourning in 1938.
Note the actions of Charles Perkins in 1965. Result?
Note the official policy towards “mixed race” Aboriginal children from 1910 – 1970. Result?
Note the experience of Bill Simon. Result?
Note the sentiments of Lowitja O’Donohue in 1998. Implications?
What cultural assumptions and notions should white Australia abandon if they want to understand Indigenous Australians? Implications?
What did the Wave Hill “walk off” signal?
Note the description of his life by Captain Major. Implications? Result?

EXTENSIONS.

Useful, interesting, challenging, books, sources and websites will provide materials to supplement and complement the History presented in the video program.
The data collected here should be used in the notemaking below.

Wave Hill: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurindji_strike
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Lingiari
http://indigenousrights.net.au/section.asp?sID=11
http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs224.aspx
Australian Aborigines League: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_Mourning
http://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/day_of_mourning_1938
http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-114_t-308_c-1044/nsw/history/australia-between-the-wars-1930s/an-event-in-the-1930s/aboriginal-day-of-mourning
Freedom Rides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Ride_(Australia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Perkins_(Aboriginal_activist)
http://www.freedomride.net/
The Stolen Children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Generations
http://www.daa.nsw.gov.au/publications/StolenGenerations.pdf
http://www.culturewars.org.uk/2002-12/stolengeneration.htm
http://www.carmelbird.com/stolen01.html
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/stolen-children-suffered-like-war-victims/2008/04/16/1208025283465.html

“Dog License”: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani/themes/theme3.htm
http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani/themes/theme3.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/civics/democracy/struggle.htm
“Land”: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/land/meaning-of-land-to-aboriginal-people
http://reconciliaction.org.au/nsw/education-kit/land-rights/

 

NOTEMAKING.

1. Draw up a timeline / chronological chart of the events described and discussed in this program.
2. Note details of the relationship between Indigenous Australians and the “Land”.
3. Note details of and impact of the 19th century “land grab”.
4. Note details of the problems caused by attempts to assimilate Indigenous Australians.
5. Note details of the means by which Indigenous Australians have claimed “rights”.

ISSUES & INQUIRY.

1. What is funny about Burnum Burnum’s claiming of England? What is not so funny?

2. Was Bill Simon’s experience common to children who were “removed”?

PROBLEMS of EVIDENCE.

Questions of reliability and validity of the perspectives, evidence and sources presented in the video program need to be considered, tested and researched.

 1. Have the concerns of Robert Lyon from 1838 been addressed in Australian society?

2. Have the concerns of captain Major been addressed in Australian society?

 

COMMUNICATING.

 1. Write a REPORT on the Wave Hill “walk-off”.

2. For discussion: There a number of notions or ideas that non-Aboriginal Australians have to put aside if they want to understand Indigenous Australians?

3. Why were Indigenous Australian expected to assimilate into “white” Australian society?
 

 

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