30+ films to learn about Australian history

30+ Films For Learning About Australia


Mini series include:

  • My Place
  • All the Rivers Run - also a book
  • A Fortunate Life - also a book
  • The Dismissal
  • Against the Wind
  • Seven Little Australians - also a book
  • A Town Like Alice

Films that are about the first Australians include:

  • Charlie's Country
  • First Footprints
  • Ten Canoes
  • First Australians
  • Rabbit Proof Fence

Early colonial Australian films that portray the life of the convicts and early settlement include:

  • For The Term Of His Natural Life
  • Robbery Under Arms
  • Under Capricorn
  • The Little Convict
  • Playing Beatie Bow
  • The Man From Snowy River Return to Snowy River
  • My Brilliant Career
  • Back of Beyond
  • I can jump puddles

Films that show Australia after federation include:

  • Country Life
  • Brand Nue Dae
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock
  • The River Kings
  • The Dismissal (mini series)
  • The Dish
  • Dad and Dave
  • On our Selection
  • Shadows of the Heart

Films based on historical characters who left their mark on Australian history include:

  • Burke and Wills
  • Ned Kelly
  • Mary Mackillop
  • Phar Lap
  • Wild Boys
  • The Last Outlaw (Mini Series)
  • We of the Never Never
  • Charles Kingsford Smith and those Magnificent Men

Australian war movies include:

  • Australia
  • Breaker Morant
  • The Digger: A History
  • Gallipoli
  • Light Horsemen
  • Kokoda
  • The fighting Rats of Tobruk
  • A Town Like Alice (mini series)
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Australia Day inspired filmmaking ideas to do with your class

1. Re-enact a scene from the Gold Rush

2. Create a Game Show focussing on Australian history – Q&A on a timeline of historical events

3. Do a Book Review on ‘Meet Ned Kelly’ or a film review on ‘First Australians’

4. Using green screen recite famous Australian poetry against a montage of poetry inspired artwork or photographs

5. Create a news report on the First Fleet’s journey to Australia and the events that unfolded – see example below…

These stage 2 students creatively explored issues of “European Settlement” by using the green screen and drama to embody the world and times of European settlement. Imagine what the nightly news item would be in our newly formed 18th Century colony… well these students did!

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