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  • Dirty Business
  • Dirty Business

Dirty Business

SKU: SG966
    Dirty Business is the story of mining. Beneath our feet is a treasure-trove of unimaginable riches. But this story is about much more than precious minerals and dusty mine shafts. For 150 years mining has changed the lives of us all in unexpected and extraordinary ways. It sparked waves of mass immigration and ignited political revolt. But mining has also toppled prime ministers and it has wrenched Aboriginal people's land away. It has saved Australia from financial ruin and made people rich in the most unpredictable ways. Mining's rich history is a battleground that has divided, and yet forged, the nation. Land, money and power – this is the epic history of mining.

    This series explores that history over three one-hour episodes from the Victorian goldfields to the Western Australian Pilbara. The three episodes, in broadcast order, are 'Money', 'Power' and 'Land'. The series reveals how these three things are interwoven in Australian history. Dirty Business asks two fundamental questions:

    • Who owns the minerals and potential wealth beneath our feet?
    • Who should benefit from the wealth such resources generate?
      • Curriculum guidelines

        Dirty Business is a resource that could be used with middle and senior secondary, and tertiary students in a number of study areas, including:

        • Australian History: Using evidence to understand how mining has changed the nation over the past 200 years; exploring the connections between economic and social development and the impact of mining on Indigenous Australians.
        • Media Studies: Exploring how the documentary format can bring historical events, people, places and politics to life in visual terms.
        • Geography: Developing an understanding of how different people use, manage, develop and respond to the environment for different purposes. Becoming aware of the profound consequences of mining to land and people – of the diverse ways in which manufacturing industries throughout the world have created an enormous demand for mining's products, while at the same time mining has often conflicted with Indigenous people's rights over the land. Many varied activities could be undertaken in relation to a study of mining in Australia, such as mapping and studying land use, transportation and environmental effects.
        • Indigenous Studies: Episode 3, Land, investigates the issue of land rights for Indigenous Australians and contextualises this struggle within the issue of mining and resource development.
        • Economics and Politics: Exploring the nexus between the economics of mining and political power; understanding how wealth creation through mining and selling minerals from gold to iron ore and bauxite has shaped and continues to shape Australian economic development and political stability.
        • Environmental Studies: Understanding the consequences of often competing demands of people, governments, residents and developers to preserve environments and generate businesses and employment.

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