Hosted by Tony Armstrong and featuring guests such as Nazeem Hussein, Benjamin Law, Jean Kittson and Kevin Kropinyeri, Great Australian Stuff is a four-part series that uncovers the surprising stories behind some of our most loved (and loathed) iconic ‘stuff’. Each episode is themed around a particular aspect of Australian life.
The first is all about our most iconic Food. This episode unpacks great Aussie classics like the meat pie, macadamia nuts, the Granny Smith apple, Chiko Rolls, Freddo Frogs and the one and only Vegemite.
The next episode, Land, looks at all the ways we’ve worked with and against this great southern land to create some truly unique stuff. We consider the dynamic versatility of the boomerang; our world-renowned wool industry; how we turned pests into prized hats and how, after all this time, First Nations’ knowledge about bushfire prevention is finding its way into modern land management techniques.
In episode three, Home, we tuck into the scrumptious nostalgia that is The Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. While it’s sure to bring up mixed feelings, this spin-off is undeniably a great piece of Aussie stuff. From cakes to cask wine, from the Hills Hoist and the humble Lightburn Zeta to bread-making grinding stones, there’s just so much great Australian stuff in the Aussie home!
The final episode, Play, kicks off with the AFL and then dives into our most iconic beachwear of choice - Speedos. From there we’re off to the races with Phar Lap, the best-known Australian racehorse, to explore why Aussies took him to their collective hearts during the Great Depression in the 1930s, and how his heart went on to become the most popular exhibit in our National Museum. To finish, we’ll be stepping out at the Sydney Mardi Gras and slipping into one of our great gay icons … the Lucille Balls costume.
Great Australian Stuff is recommended for upper primary and secondary school students.
The series is relevant to the teaching of the HASS, especially in the context of exploring the nature of Australian identity and way of life in the twentieth century. It is also a useful resource to support learning in Design Technologies.