Australian Histories Podcast
Ep 58 Alexander Pearce - Cannibal Pt1: Australian History

Ep 58 Alexander Pearce - Cannibal Pt1: Australian History

May 9, 2022

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.

Ep 57 Macarthur & Wool: Australian History

Ep 57 Macarthur & Wool: Australian History

March 28, 2022

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)

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Ep 56 Great Ocean Road Memorial: Australian History

Ep 56 Great Ocean Road Memorial: Australian History

January 11, 2022

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)

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Ep 55 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 4 - Final: Australian History

Ep 55 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 4 - Final: Australian History

December 10, 2021

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)

Ep 54 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 3: Australian History

Ep 54 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 3: Australian History

October 23, 2021

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)

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Ep 52 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 1: Australian History

Ep 52 Bligh & the Rum Rebellion - Part 1: Australian History

August 2, 2021

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)

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Ep 51 Australian Rules Football: Australian History

Ep 51 Australian Rules Football: Australian History

June 20, 2021

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)

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Ep 50 WW2 Salvage Operation: Australian History

Ep 50 WW2 Salvage Operation: Australian History

April 30, 2021

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)

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Ep 49 Convict Mutineers - Part 2: Australian History

Ep 49 Convict Mutineers - Part 2: Australian History

March 31, 2021

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)

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Ep 48 Convict Mutineers - Part 1: Australian History

Ep 48 Convict Mutineers - Part 1: Australian History

February 26, 2021

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)

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