Australian History

Annette Kellerman

Australian Kellerman gets a lot of the credit for developing the women's one-piece bathing suit. But she was also a competitive swimmer, as well as a vaudeville and film star who designed her own mermaid costumes.

The Gallipoli Campaign

One of the most infamous aspects of World War I was its long, brutal stalemate along the enormous system of trenches known as the Western Front. The powers involved all expected the war to be over quickly, but it reached an impasse almost immediately.

Child Migrant Program

In the 19th and 20th centuries, 150,000 child migrants were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Many of these children ended up in far worse conditions than they left behind. Read the show notes here.

The Catalpa and the Fremantle Six

An international jailbreak! In the 1860s, a crew from the United States mounted a mission to Western Australia to rescue imprisoned members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood who had been imprisoned by Great Britain.

The Lady Juliana

Great Britain didn't only send criminals to Australia as punishment; they also wanted to colonize the continent. But to do that, they had to send women in addition to men. This plan involved some unsettling facts, and had some unexpected consequences. Read the show notes here.

The Mutiny and Massacre of the Batavia

While most of the survivors of the Batavia were scattered on a few tiny islands off the coast of Australia, a small group went all the way to Indonesia to get help.Meanwhile, a gruesome scenario was playing out among those they left behind. Read the show notes here.

The Wreck of the Batavia

The story of the Batavia is a perfect storm of nautical carnage: There's a shipwreck, a mutiny and a massacre. This first of two parts deals with the the first part of the voyage, the shipwreck and the rescue mission. Read the show notes here.

George Aiston: Outback Entrepreneur

A member of the South Australian Mounted Police, George "Poddy" Aiston was a friend to and advocate for Aboriginal peoples, a fairly accomplished photographer, and the owner of a fully-stocked store in the middle of nowhere.

Australia's Rabbit-proof Fence

Many English settlers brought animals and plants to Australia, including rabbits. The rabbit population exploded, and rabbit-controlling fences were started by the 1880s. Work on the State Barrier Fence began in 1901, and it's still maintained today.

After World War I, Australian and British soldiers moved to rural Australia. In 1932, about 20,000 emus began making their way through Campion and Walgoolan, severely damaging wheat farms. The military tried to help, but may have just made things worse.