National Treasures


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2004, Total running time 75 Minutes (15 x 5 Minute short films)

Take a road-trip of discovery with the irrepressible Warren Brown - political cartoonist, columnist and history "tragic" - as he reveals a fascinating mix of national treasures drawn from public and private collections across Australia. In each episode, Warren's enthusiasm and humour shine a welcome spotlight on the sometimes forgotten gems that are an irreplaceable part of our national story.


Gallipoli Boat How did a lifeboat, left to rot on the shores of Gallipoli, come to have pride of place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra?

First Surfboard Surfing may well be a quintessential Aussie pastime but who introduced us to the modern-day art of boardriding? Warren Brown gets the lowdown from former world champion surfer Midget Farrelly. He tells the story of Duke Kahanamoku, a champion Hawaiian swimmer, who showed Australians how to ride a wave at Sydney's Freshwater Beach in 1914, using a board he built himself from a lump of local timber.

Thomson Car Football, meatpies, kangaroos and Thomson cars? Herbert Thomson was the first person to design, build and market a wholly Australian-made car, 50 years before the first Holden.

Convict Shirt In countless contemporary recreations, convict clothing is patterned with lots of thick black arrows, but is that what convicts really wore? Curator Bridget Berry shows Warren Brown a 160-year-old convict shirt, discovered in Sydney's Hyde Park Barracks.

Cuc Lam's Suitcase If you were forced to leave your home forever, what would you take with you? Vietnamese refugee Cuc Lam took family photos and jewellery but sacrificed one precious possession to buy a suitcase, now in Melbourne's Immigration Museum.

Magic Pudding Illustrations, The How did bohemian artist Norman Lindsay, famous for painting provocative nudes, end up producing one of Australia's best-loved children's books? Cartoonist James Kemsley reveals the legend behind the creation of the first great Australian anti-hero - Albert the never-ending pudding.

Endeavour Journal What is Australia's greatest book? In the National Library of Australia there is a 743-page volume that could lay claim to the title. It is Lieutenant James Cook's journal, written on board the Endeavour during his exploratory trip down under in 1770.

Phar Lap's Hide How did a New Zealand-born horse become one of Australia's most loved and enduring icons? Warren Brown visits Melbourne Museum where the legendary Phar Lap - or at least his preserved hide - stands in a glass case.

Sentimental Bloke, The Despite being one of the greatest Australian films ever made, the 1919 silent movie 'The Sentimental Bloke' was almost lost to the audiences of today. So how was it recovered? Warren Brown visits Screensound [National Film and Sound Archive of Australia] in Canberra to bring you this tale from the vault.

CSIRAC In the late 1940s CSIRO scientists invented a machine capable of processing complex mathematical calculations. Australia - a country that still rode on the sheep's back - was a global leader in computer technology. So what happened? Warren Brown finds out from scientist Peter Thorne, as he literally walks through the world's only surviving "first generation computer" - the massive CSIRAC in the Melbourne Museum.

HMAS Sydney's Carley Float One of the most poignant objects in the Australian War Memorial is the battered survivor of our worst-ever naval disaster. What happened to this life raft and why is it so special?

Vice Regal Rolls Royce Why would a Rolls Royce imported to Australia as an official vehicle for Queen Elizabeth's 1970 visit end up as a rally car?

Bradman's Bats Donald Bradman's status as an Australian icon is without question. But can just one of the bats he used to enter the record books sum up his unparalleled cricketing career?

Waltzing Matilda Songsheet Most Australians know that Banjo Patterson wrote the lyrics to Waltzing Matilda but who wrote the music? And what does it have to do with a rather oddly titled song called "Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself"?

Tom Roberts' Bailed Up If you were to nominate one painting as Australia's greatest, what would it be? Curator Barry Pearce of the Art Gallery of New South Wales explains why Tom Roberts' 'Bailed Up' would be a contender.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.



Year: 2004

Running Time: 75 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification


Sentimental Bloke, The

SKU 200400400
Brand Film Australia

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