Aussie History Podcast

From 1950-53, 17,000 Australians in the Army, Navy and Air Force fought in the Korean War. In this episode we delve into some of the battles Australians fought in and the stories of a number of Australians who served in Korea.

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Direct download: AHP_113_Korean_War_Part_2_-_9820_12.13_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:24pm AEST

June 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. The Korean War is often called the forgotten war. But, from 1950-53, 17,000 Australians fought as part of the United Nations Multinational Force, defending South Korea from the Communist forces of North Korea.

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Direct download: AHP_122_Korean_War_Part_1_-_19720_3.32_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00pm AEST

It's back to bushrangers. In this episode were are focusing on Frank Pearson also known as ‘Captain Starlight' and James Alpin McPherson who went by the moniker the 'Wild Scotchman'. Check out the following YouTube video on the 'Wild Scotchman' and his escape attempt from St Helena prison island:

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Direct download: AHP_111_Bushtangers_not_Ned_Kelly_-_21620_7.28_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

In this episode we take a gander at one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks – the Sydney Opera House. Sitting on Bennelong Point, the Sydney Opera House sits resplendent, with its white sails dominating Sydney Cove.

Take a look at Stevie Wright performing Evie Parts 1, 2 and 3 at the Sydney Opera House in 1979. .

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Direct download: AHP_110_Sydney_Opera_House_-_6620_12.48_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Francis Greenway was an English-born architect who was transported to New South Wales  as a convict for the crime of forgery. He was the colony’s first Government architect. Greenway is admired for his buildings such as St Matthew’s Church in Windsor and St James’ Church and the Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney. He was an extremely talented, but deeply flawed man.

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Direct download: AHP109_Francis_Greenway_-_16520_11.03_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

In this episode we learn about Douglas Grant, an Indigenous man who served in the trenches in World War I. He was treated as an equal in the AIF but faced discrimination upon his return home. Then there is Douglas Berneville-Claye, my English teacher at St Greg's Campbelltown. He passed himself off as a war hero. But he was actually a traitor, a British officer who joined the SS.

Direct download: AHP108_Grant_-_25420_9.18_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:23am AEST

The conflict between the British settlers and the local Indigenous people is heating up. The settlers push into the extremely fertile river flats along the Hawkesbury River near Windsor, Richmond and Wilberforce. This deprives the local people of access to traditional food sources.

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Direct download: AHP107_Sydney_Wars_-_18420_8.57_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:02am AEST

In 1813 Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth made the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains. Or did they? Were Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth really the first to cross the Blue Mountains? And what of the implications of their explorations for the local Indigenous people? 

Direct download: AHP_106_Blaxland_Lawson_and_Wentworth_-_15320_1.59_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 2:09pm AEST

On 17 February 2020, General Motors announced the end of the Holden brand. This has shocked the nation and it truly is the end of an era. Watch the Holden TV advertisement 'Football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars at

Direct download: AHP_105_Holden_-_22220_3.59_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

On Wednesday 26 May 1971, a man calling himself “Mr Brown" telephoned saying that Qantas Flight 755 from Sydney to Hong Kong was carrying a bomb. It was set to detonate as the plane came in to land and it could only be prevented if he was paid $500,000.

Check out the movie 'Call me Mr Brown' on YouTube at


Direct download: AHP_104_Mr_Brown_-_15220_10.57_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:06am AEST

Today we are into Aussie cryptozoology; the Bunyip and the Blue Mountain's Panther. Do they really exist? Well yes!. There is a real Bunyip right here in Canberra - Alexander the Bunyip - and you can find him at Gunghalin Library.

Check out the truly remarkable ABC cartoon 'Bluey'. For you parents and grandparents out there it provides great parenting tips for toddlers. You can watch episodes on the ABC website or the ABC i-view App for free. Here's a YouTube video of highlights:




Direct download: AHP_103_Bunyip_-_25120_11.07_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

The local Sydney people continue to find it tough going after the arrival of the British. A smallpox epidemic breaks out killing many Indigenous people. Bennelong is captured and Arthur Phillip is speared and recovers from his wound.  Arthur Phillip then orders reprisals after the apparently unprovoked killing of John McIntire.

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Direct download: AHP_102_Sydney_Wars_1789_-90_-_12120_11.28_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:37am AEST

Nancy-Bird Walton was one of the great pioneers of flight in Australia. Learn about her remarkable life and achievements. A youtube video aired by the ABC on the day of her funeral can be found at


Direct download: AHP101_Nancy-Bird_Walton_-_211219_2.25_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Episode 100! I never dreamed I would still be going after 100 episodes and 6 years.  In this episode we cover Australia becoming a nation. When the six colonies of Australia decided to federate and become a nation in its own right.

Thank you to all my listeners for your support and encouragement since I started this little podcast. A big shout out to Laszlo Montgomery from the China History Podcast who started me in this podcasting caper.

Direct download: AHP100_Federation_-_301119_10.37_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

In this episode we cover the history of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – or as local Sydney-siders call it, the coat hanger. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic bridge that joins the north of Sydney Harbour to the south. At the time of its completion in 1932 it was considered the epitome of modern bridge design and engineering ingenuity

Direct download: AHP_99_Coat_Hanger_-_161119_12.08_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

In this episode we finish our look at Ben Chifley. Chifley spends many years in the political wilderness before being re-elected to Parliament. After the death of John Curtin he becomes Prime Minister. 

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Direct download: AWP_98_Chifley_Part_3_-_201019_8.01_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

We continue our look at Ben Chifley. Chifley finally gets elected to Federal Parliament and enters the Minsitry as Minister for Defence. But disunity in the Labor Party costs Labor government, and Chifley his seat, all at the hands of Jack Lang. Chifley and Lang become bitter enemies.  

I was struggling with a sore throat and I bit my tongue (ouch). So bear with my poor delivery in this episode.

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Direct download: AWP97_Ben_Chifley_Part_2_-_30919_7.20_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

In this and the next few episodes we are going to take a look at Ben Chifley. Chifley was born in Bathurst, New South Wales and worked on the NSW Railways for 25 years as an engine driver.

Chifley was Australia’s 16th Prime Minister who came to the Prime Ministership in July 1945 following the death of John Curtin. Chifley is an icon in Labor Party history. He is most famously remembered for his ‘light on the hill’ speech.

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Direct download: AWP_96_Ben_Chifley_Part_1_-_8919_7.57_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should note that that in this episode I mention the names of people who have or may have passed away.

In this episode we look at the life of Oodgeroo Noonuccal or as you might know her Kath Walker. She was a great poet, writer and activist who played a significant role in the 1967 referendum.

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Direct download: AWP_95_Oodgeroo_noonuccal_-_3082019_7.26_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:22am AEST

I've decided to rename the podcast to the Aussie History Podcast. Thanks to Artistic Visual Design Director Ken Dampier for the new artwork

In this episode my good friend Kate joins me to talk cricket and the infamous Bodyline series of the 1930s. Check out Six and Out's cricketing song 'Can't bowl, Can't Throw'. The band was made up of Australian Test and First Class cricketers, including Brett Lee. As a band they made good cricketers.


Direct download: AHP94_Bodyline_-_21072019_7.47_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:05am AEST

Would you believe that on the banks of Kati Thanda or Lake Eyre, South Australia, lies the world’s second-largest geoglyph? Did you know that from the 1940s until the 1970s cats lived in the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And finally, were you aware that at the end of WWI a French orphan was smuggled to Australia in a sack by Australian troops?

Direct download: AWP_93_Weird_Hstory_-_6072019_11.41_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this episode mentions the names of people who have passed away.

At school we learned that the the settlement of New South Wales was a pretty peaceful affair and that the local Aboriginal people accepted the colonists. Also that, where there was conflict, it was very much small scale and out of the ordinary. But was it really like that?

Direct download: Sydney_Wars_1788_to_1789_-_1062019_7.56_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Bushrangers!!  This time it's Captain Moonlite and Jackey Jackey.

And we say farewell to the Hon. James Robert Lee Hawke MP, one of Australia's best Prime Ministers who died several days before this episode was recorded. Vale Bob Hawke. Australia is a better place because of you.

Direct download: AHP_92_More_Bushrangers_-_18052019_1.10_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

It's election day today in Australia.  As we head to the polls learn about the first woman who is known to have cast a vote in an Australian election - Frances Finch.  Would you believe it actually happened in 1856, some 46 years before universal suffrage was introduced in Australia.


Direct download: AWP_90_Fanny_Finch_-_6042019_12.30_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

It's ANZAC Day. Marion Leane Smith is the only known Indigenous Australian woman to service in WWI.  Let's learn about her story.

Direct download: AWP89_Marion_Smith_-_23032019_1.05_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:30am AEST

We wrap up our series of episodes into the murder of Donald Mackay.  The inquest into the death of Donald Mackay gets underway, Bob Trimbole is finally found and Detective Inspector Ellis goes before the courts. Finally three men are charged over conspiracy to murder Donald Mackay.


Direct download: AWP_88_Giffith_Drug_Wars_and_Donald_Mackay_Pt_3_-_23032019_11.55_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

In this episode we follow the Royal Commission into Drug Trafficking in NSW. The findings from the Royal Commission were explosive and the identities of those responsible for Donald Mackay's murder are revealed at the Inquest into Donald Mackay's murder.  

Direct download: AEP_87_Griffith_Drug_Wars_Part_2_-_16032019_4.58_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:17pm AEST

On 15 July 1977, local Griffith businessman Donald Mackay disappeared from the car park of a local hotel. Blood was found on and around his mini-van. And there were three spent .22 bullet casings lying on the ground. This incident led to a Royal Commissioning the illegal drug trade in New South Wales. 

Direct download: AWP_54_Griffith_Drug_Wars_-_17022019_12.33_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:12pm AEST

In this episode we complete our look at Edward Eyre, focusing on 'The Great Northern Expedition' where he overlanded from Adelaide to Albany. We also cover his later career, particularly his time as Governor of Jamaica and his role in suppressing the Mount Bay Rebellion. How is it that the 'friend of the Aborigine' became known as the 'monster of Jamaica'?

Direct download: AWP85_Eyre_Part_2_-_28012019_12.05_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:22pm AEST

We finally start our look at Edward John Eyre one of the great explorers of colonial history. Despite his exploits he is largely forgotten these days. In Australia Eyre is often known as the friend and protector of Aborigines. But after his time in Australia he became Governor of Jamaica. Here he brutally put down a local revolt and became known as the 'monster of Jamaica'. 

A key source for this episode is Ivan Rudolph's book 'Eyre, The Forgotten Explorer'. Thank you to listener Gary for suggesting this topic.

So long to my dear friend Glen, a friend of nearly 35 years, who died this week. 

Direct download: AWP_84_Edward_Eyre_-_21102018_8.45_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:23am AEST

On 5March 1804, 233 Irish Nationalist convicts led by Phillip Cunningham staged an uprising at Castle Hill in the penal colony of New South Wales. Their plan was to steal a ship and head back to Ireland to rejoin the fight for Irish independence against the British.

Direct download: AWP_83_Castle_Hill_Rebellion_-_1092018_11.31_AM.m4a
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

On 21 June 1966 an assassination attempt was made on Arthur Calwell the leader of the Australian Labor Party and Opposition Leader. It was only the second political assassination attempt in Australian history

In this episode we are going to review the life of Arthur Calwell, including the events of June 1966 when an attempt was made on his life by a 19 year old factory worker called Peter Kocan.

The common view of Calwell is that he was a racist old style Labor politician. He once said "two Wongs don’t make a White". Calwell was a staunch defender of the White Australia policy, but he also implemented the era of mass migration to Australia in the post-war era.

Direct download: AWP82_Arthur_Calwell_-_19082018_12.23_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:29pm AEST

In this episode we are looking at the Battle of One Tree Hill. This was a battle fought by the Jagera people led by the warrior Multuggerrah in 1843. While Multuggerah and his forces defeated the white settlers it did not end well for a people who had inhabited the Darling Downs region of South East Queensland for some 30-40,000 years.

Direct download: AWP81_One_Tree_Hill_-_29072018_11.34_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:42am AEST

In the early to mid-1970s the NSW Builders Labourers' Federation imposed 'Green Bans' in Sydney. These bans were imposed by the builders labourers employed to construct t office-block skyscrapers, shopping centres and luxury apartments

The builder’s labourers refused to work on projects that were environmentally or socially undesirable.

The Green Bans movement was the first of its type in the world.

Direct download: AWP80_Green_Bans_-_8072018_11.15_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:59am AEST

Advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: this episode refers to people who have or may have passed away.

It's Reconciliation Day and we look at the Mabo Case which overturned the concept of Terra Nullius - which was that before white settlement the land was empty and belonged to no one. In its decision, the High Court ruled that native title had existed on Murray Island and throughout Australia since time immemorial and that native title continued to exist where it had not been extinguished. Join me as learn about the Mabo Case and the man behind it all - Eddie Koiki Mabo.

Direct download: AWP_79_Mabo_-_13052018_12.20_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

In this episode we wrap up our take on Ned Kelly. Was he really a larrikin hero? Or should he be more properly remembered as a common criminal and murderer?

Direct download: AWP_78_Ned_Kelly_Part_2_-_5052018_7.39_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

In this and the next episode we will be looking at the life and times of Edward 'Ned' Kelly.  We will be asking the question does Ned Kelly deserve his place in Australian culture as a larrikin hero who stood up to the British ruling elite because of oppression faced by him, his family and the broader Irish-Catholic community? Or was he a ruthless  criminal and cop killer who deserved what he got?

A big warning here:  I'm not a Ned Kelly fan!!


Direct download: AWP_77_Ned_Kelly_Part_1_-_29042018_11.36_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

It's ANZAC Day, 25 April 2018.  

Over the two days, 26 and 27 November 1942, Australian and American servicemen fought a 'battle' against each other on the streets of Brisbane. Find out what caused this little known incident.

Direct download: AWP_76_Battle_of_Brisbane_-_1042018_10.08_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

In this episode we wrap up the assassination attempt on Price Alfred by Henry O'Farrell.

We cover O'Farrell's trial, his hanging and ask whether O'Farrell was a Fenian terrorist or a man with significant mental health issues that led him into insanity. We also draw some modern day parallels between the anti-Irish-Catholic sentiment that existed at the time.

Direct download: AWP_75_Prince_and_Assasin_P2_-_31032018_8.37_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:11am AEST

It’s the 12th March 1868 and Prince Albert, the Duke of Edinburgh and second son of Queen Victoria is visiting Australia. It’s the first ever Royal Tour of the Australian colonies. He is invited by Sydney’s high society to attend a popular picnic spot at Clontarf.

But not all is well in Australia. There is sectarian strife between the Irish Catholics and the British Protestant elite. At the picnic an Irishman called Henry James O’Farrell draws his pistol and fires a shot at Prince Alfred. The shot hits the Prince in the back.

Direct download: AWP74_Prince_and_the_Assasin_P1_-_12032018_8.37_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:45pm AEST

Harry "Breaker" Morant was an Australian journalist, poet, drover and military officer. On 27 February 1902 he was executed by the British military for war crimes committed during the Boer War in South Africa. He did it in retaliation for the death of his commanding officer and close friend Captain Percy Hunt.

Direct download: AWP-73-Breaker_Morant_-_18022018_12.30_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:41pm AEST

Welcome to 2018 and Episode 72. It’s summer in Australia and that means cricket. Learn about the extraterrestrial origins of the game of cricket – yes aliens invented cricket. And my friend Kate joins me in this episode to talk about cricket and some of the memorable Ashes clashes between Australia and the old foe England at the WACA Ground. We also talk about cricketing songs and how bad I was at cricket.

Be warned!! This is a very long episode.

Here’s some YouTube videos of cricketing songs:

The 'Come on Aussie Come on' advertisement:

Greg Champion’s ‘I made a Hundred in the backyard at Mum’s’:

Sherbet’s ‘Howzat’:

Paul Kelly’s ‘Bradman’:

And of course 10CC’s ‘Dreadlock holiday’ – “I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it!!”

Remember you can email me at

Direct download: AWP_72_Howzat.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 1:46pm AEST

We finally finish our five-part series on the Eureka rebellion. In this episode we see what happened at the trials of the men charged for their role in the rebellion, the outcome of the Committee of inquiry, and just what happened to some of the main players. We also try and get a handle on why it happened in Ballarat and briefly reflect on the legacy of the Eureka rebellion for Australia. Was it really the birthplace of Australian democracy?

Direct download: AWP_71_Eureka_Rebellion_Part_5_-_9072017_12.10_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

It all finally comes to the battle. After a tense stand-off the Government forces finally storm the Eureka Stockade. The diggers are overwhelmed and at the end of it all 22 diggers and 6 soldiers lie dead. Though some put the death toll as high as 60.  13 men are charged with treason, but the key ring leaders including Peter Lalor (who is severely wounded) remain at large.

The Victorian population do not take kindly to the Government's actions and there is concern that there might be an uprising.  

Direct download: AWP_70_Eureka_Rebellion_Part_4_-_8072017_7.59_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!  To celebrate here is part four of our five part series on the Eureka Rebellion.

Things are hotting up on the Ballarat goldfields and things inch closer to the ultimate battle.  Anastasia Hayes and two of her friends sew the southern cross flag - five stars and a white cross on a blue background. Then the diggers engage in a skirmish with the police and Redcoats.

On 30 November 1854 the miners meet and there is a mass burning of licenses in protest. The authorities under the command of Commissioner Rede launch another license hunt. The diggers construct a stockade on a hill on the Eureka Diggings. Peter Lalor leads 500 diggers to swear on the southern cross flag to stand by each other and to defend their rights and liberties.


Direct download: AWP_69_Eureka_Part_3_-_8072017_9.46_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Things are getting crazier and crazier on the Ballarat goldfields. A young miner called James Scobie is murdered and the diggers are outraged when the justice system fails them. Not only that the police rough up Johannes Gregarious the disabled servant of the local Catholic Priest. In retribution the diggers burn down the Eureka Hotel. 


Direct download: AWP_68_Eureka_Rebellion_Part_2_-_4072017_8.34_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:05am AEST

It's late 1854 and the Victorian town of Ballarat. A gold rush is on and we are the gold diggings, but things are extremely tense. The gold miners are mounting a strong oppostion against the Victorian Government because of the mining license fee it is imposing. Police are undertaking raids into the miners camps and demanding that miners produce their license.

So the miners respond by burning their licenses. On 30 November 1854 a mass burning of licences takes place at Bakery Hill. Under the leadership of Peter Lalor, the diggers march to the Eureka diggings. Here they construct a stockade and inside the stockade some 500 diggers take an oath on the Southern Cross flag

Then at dawn on Sunday 3 December the miliatry launch an attack on the stockade. The diggers are outnumbered and the battle is over in twenty minutes. Twenty-two diggers and five troops lie dead.

The Eureka rebellion is considered by some to be the birthplace of Australian democracy.


Direct download: AWP_67_Eureka_Part_1_-_1072017_5.02_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:12pm AEST

In this episode we remember the late Peter Richard Woolnough - or as you may know him Peter Allen.  Allen was one of Australia's most successful entertainers.  Amongst the songs he has written include: I Still Call Australia Home, Tenterfield Saddler, I Go the Rio and The More I see You.


Direct download: AWP_66_Boy_from_Oz_-_24062017_12.22_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 4:54am AEST

In this episode we look at two more bushrangers, Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall.  Both of these Bushrangers plied their trade around the Canberra region in the late 1850s and early 1860s.

Direct download: AWP_65_Bushrangers_not_Ned_Kelly_-_25062017_12.38_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 1:29pm AEST

In this episode we look at WWII coastal defences around Newcastle and in particular at Tomaree near Port Stephens.

Check out the NSW Parks and Wildlife site for Fort Tomaree at:


Direct download: AWP_64_Guns_of_Tomaree_-_24062017_10.32_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:30am AEST

Jack Lang was twice the Premier of New South Wales and was one of Australia's most controversial politicians. In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, he was dismissed from office by the NSW Governor Sir Philip Game. He was expelled from the Australian Labor Party in 1942 and only re-admitted to the Labor Party in 1971 a few years before his death.

Direct download: AWP_63_Jack_Lang_-_20062017_8.17_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

At 11 pm on 12 October 2002, three bombs were detonated on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Two went off in busy nightspots in Kuta – the Sari Club and Paddy’s Bar and the third in front of the American consulate. The explosions killed 202 people, 88 of whom were Australian.

Direct download: AWP62_Bali_bombings_-_29052017_8.43_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:19pm AEST

At the height of the Cold War, in April 1954 Vladimir Petrov a Soviet diplomat sought political asylum in Australia. Petrov, and his wife Evdokia, were working in Canberra at the Soviet Embassy as diplomats. But they were really spies. The incident had a massive impact on Australian politics. It ended the political career of the opposition leader and leader of the Labor Party Dr Herbert 'Doc' Evatt. And it led to a split in the Labor Party when anti-communist elements of the Labor Party, particularly the Catholic groups, split off to form the Democratic Labor Party. Partly as a result Labor languished in opposition until 1972. 

For those Russian speakers out there, apologies for mangling the pronunciation of Russian names.

Direct download: AWP61_Petrov_Spy_Affair_-_28052017_5.02_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

On 27 May 1967 a referendum to amend the Australian Consitution was held. This month is the 50th anniversary of that referendum, so it’s a good time to remember this important part of Australian history. The referendum allowed Indigenous Australians to be counted in the population and for the Commonwealth Government to make policies in respect to Aboriginal people.

Direct download: AWP_60_1967_Referendum.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:44pm AEST

On 5 August 1944, Japanese prisoners of war staged a breakout from the detention camp in Cowra, New South Wales. Armed with improvised weapons including baseball bats and sharpened mess knives, they stormed the perimeter fences and overcame the machine gun posts. In all 231 Japanese prisoners were killed during the escape attempt. Four Australian soldiers were also killed in the breakout

Direct download: AWP_59_Cowra_POW_Escape_-_1042017_10.45_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:30am AEST

In this episode we look at five inventions you may never have realised were made right here in the land Downunder. These are: spray on skin, the bionic ear or cochlear implant, the black box flight recorder, the pacemaker, and the cervical cancer vaccine.

Remember, you can always email me at



Direct download: AWP_58_Aussie_Inventions_-_26032017_8.21_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

Between 1952 and 1963 the British Government carried out 12 major nuclear weapon tests in Australia in the remote Montebello islands and in South Australia at Maralinga and Emu Field.

Why did the Australian Government agree to nuclear weapon testing in Australia? Let’s find out!

Direct download: AWP57_Nukes_-_18022017_11.53_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

Every Australian knows the words to 'Waltzing Matilda'. On the surface it's a song about a swagman who steals a sheep and drowns himself in a billabong to avoid capture.  But, it's more than just a quaint bush ballad.  Behind the story of the song lies politics, industrial unrest, class divisions and of course economics.  

Direct download: AWP56_Waltzing_Matilda_-_8012017_2.25_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:57pm AEST

In this episode we look at a man who was one of the most important people in Australia in the 20th century. But I doubt you have ever heard of him. This man is  Herbert Cole Coombs – or as he is most often called – Nugget Coombs.

Direct download: APW55_Nugget_Coombs_-_6012017_7.30_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:09pm AEST

In this episode resume our review of Robert Menzies. Menzies became Prime Minister for a second time on 10 December 1949. Menzies founded the Liberal Party and was the dominant figure in Australian political and social life for the next two decades.  

Menzies, was in many ways, a paradox. He was 'British to his bootstraps' but under his leadership we began to move closer to the United States and take our place in the Asia Pacific region. His period in office coincided with a long economic boom - but he was a poor economic manager. 

Love him or loathe him, he was and remains an extremely interesting figure!

Here's a link to Robert Menzies in full swing over his love for a young and blushing Queen Elizabeth II:


Direct download: AWP54_Ming_Dynasty_Part_2.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:00pm AEST

Welcome to 2017!

In this episode we recount the early career of Sir Robert Gordon 'Bob' Menzies, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister. Menzies served as Prime Minister twice –for a total of 18 years and it is still the record term for an Australian Prime Minister. Menzies totally dominated Australian politics and life for the better part of three decades. He dominated Australia so much that his second term as Prime Minister from 1949 to 1966 is often referred to as "the Ming Dynasty.

For a truly worthwhile cause visit 'Batting for Change' at Ryan Carters, a young Australian cricketer, is raising money to support education for disadvantaged women and girls in cricket playing nations.  You can donate just a dollar per six hit by the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League cricket tournament.  Since 2013 Ryan has raised over $350,000 and transformed the life of dozens and dozens of women. This year the target is $150,000.

Direct download: AWP_53_Ming_Dynasty_Part_1_-_30122016_8.12_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:48am AEST

In this episode we delve into an extremely controversial period in Australian history – the genocide of the Tasmanian Aborigines. We also look at Truganini, the most famous of the Tasmanian Aborigines. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this episode contains the names of people who are deceased.

Be warned!  This is a very long episode by AWP standards.  

Direct download: AWP52_Trugannini_-_11122016_10.23_AM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:49am AEST

It’s back to bushrangers - more bushrangers who were not Ned Kelly. In this episode we will be looking at four bushrangers: Jack Donohoe the ‘Wild Colonial Boy’; Mad Dan Morgan who roamed the Murray Valley area in the 1860s; Martin Cash the 'gentleman bushranger'; and Jimmy Governor – the last of the bushrangers about whom Thomas Keneally wrote his book "The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith".

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Direct download: AWP_51_More_Bushrangers_not_Ned_Kelly_-_12112016_8.14_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:15pm AEST

Episode 50 - half a century!

In this episode we cover Ronald Ryan’s hanging and the public outcry that accompanied his execution. We then ask did Ryan really kill prison warder George Hodson?

Check out this excellent 15 minute documentary on the Ryan execution:

Also this website that seeks to prove Ryan's innocence: 

Email me at: 

Direct download: AWP50_Ronald_Ryan_Part_2_-_19102016_7.06_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:36pm AEST

At 8.00 a.m. on 3 February 1967 Ronald Joseph Ryan was hanged in Pentridge gaol in Melbourne for the murder of a prison officer named George Henry Hodson. He had been found guilty of shooting Hodson with a rifle he had taken off another prison guard while escaping from prison. Ronald Ryan was the last person to be executed in Australia.

Email me at:




Direct download: AWP_49_Ronald_Ryan_Part_1_-_8102016_8.37_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:27pm AEST

On Fathers Day, the 2nd September R 1984, there was a shoot out between two rival motorcycle gangs at a British motorcycle swap meet in the Western Sydney suburb of Milperra. The shoot out had its origin in a bitter split within the Comancheros and Bandidos motorcycle or bikie gangs. At the end of the shoot out seven people were dead,including a 15 year old girl who was just standing by.

Check out the 60 Minutes documentary on the massacre – done in 2014 on the 30th anniversary

Direct download: AWP48_MIlperra_Bikie_Massacre_-_29092016_8.20_PM.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:56am AEST

On Saturday 19 March 1932 Captain Francis Edward de Groot, dressed in full military uniform, raced up on horseback, drew his ceremonial sword, and cut the ribbon declaring the Sydney Harbour Bridge open and proclaiming he was doing so "in the name of the decent and respectable people of New South Wales.”

Here is a YouTube clip that shows some of the footage:

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Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production and Emmie the AWP Wonder Dog for security.


Direct download: AWP_EP47_v2.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:30pm AEST

Warning to Indigenous Australians -this episode may refer to people who have passed away.

On Australia Day 1972, four young Aboriginal men erected a beach umbrella on the lawns outside Parliament House in Canberra and put up a sign, which read 'Aboriginal Embassy'.

Check out a short youtube documentary about this important political protest site (but ignore some of the stupid racist comments in the comments section):

Kenny Dampier, Executive Producer, is down with a bug. So apologies for the low production quality. But thanks to Emmie, the wonder dog, for helping with the recording. 

Direct download: _AWP-46-Aboriginal_Tent_Embassy.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:13pm AEST

Sixty years ago Melbourne hosted the Olympics. In this episode we look at two events– one in the lead up to the Olympic games and the other during the games. The first is the Olympic Torch Hoax and the second is the ‘blood in the water’ water polo match between the Soviet Union and Hungary.

Here’s a few YouTube videos of the water polo match, including one from a movie made about it all:

Executive Producer Kenny Dampier is still on other projects. So apologies for lower production quality than usual.  

Email me at:


Direct download: AWP_Melbourne_Olympics_-_7082016_8.36_pm.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:10am AEST

On the 7th of July 1986, Australians Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were hanged in Malaysia for possession of 141.9 grams of heroin. They were the first ‘Westerners’ to be executed under new and tougher drug laws introduced in Malaysia in 1983.

Production quality is a little lower for this episode. But Ken Dampier, Executive Producer is busy on other projects.

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_44_Barlow_and_Chambers_-_7082016_11.46_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 12:12pm AEST

In this episode we review the cycling career of one of the greats of Australian cycling – Phil Anderson. Anderson was the first Australian to wear the maillot jueune, or the yellow leader’s jersey, at the Tour de France.

Vive la France, Vive le Tour!!!

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier, Executive Producer, for post production.

Direct download: AWP_EP43_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:19pm AEST

In this episode we are going to look at four bushrangers you might never have heard of - John Cesar, Sam Poo, Mary Ann Bugg, and John Gilbert. John Cesar was our first bushranger, Sam Poo our only Chinese bushranger. and Mary Anne Bugg our first Indigenous female bushranger.

Some sources:


Direct download: AWP_EP42_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:29pm AEST

The entire Dampier family has been ill with a really nasty virus. So apologies for taking this long to get this episode out.

You may never have heard of Howard Florey. But chances are you owe this Australian your life or the life of someone close to you. His work on the development of the first penicillin-based antibiotic medicines in the 1940s has probably saved millions of people worldwide.

We also revisit the Hilton Bombing. A new book by Rachel Landers called ‘Who Bombed the Hilton’ puts forward the case that it was actually the Ananda Marga that carried out the bombing. It seems I may have been wrong!!

Direct download: AWP_EP41_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:00pm AEST

In this episode we are looking at some strange Australian history that show just how weird a place Australia is. This includes: the Great Emu Wars, when female convicts mooned the Lieutenant-Governor of Tasmania, the woman on the $20 note, our Prime Minister who held a Guinness World record for beer drinking and how the Western Australian town of Esperance tried to fine NASA for littering when Skylab crashed.

Here’s a YouTube video on The Great Emu War, very funny:'

A picture of the $20 note featuring Mary Reibey:

Bob Hawke sculling a schooner in 10 seconds:

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production, and for his ever lasting knowledge

Direct download: AWP_EP40_Template_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:20pm AEST

It’s the ANZAC Day long weekend. And it's also family history time!!

Find out how my grandfather Company Quartermaster Sergeant Major William Cook was captured in North Africa in November 1942, was made prisoner of war, and escaped via the Vatican. An amazing story and one I did not believe until my family was recently able to retrieve official War Office documents!! I’ll post these documents on the AWP Facebook page.

I know it isn't strictly Australian history, but it is a great story.

Direct download: AWP_39_Escpae_via_Vatican_-_24042016_7.41_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:01am AEST

At 12,40 am on 13 February 1978, a bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. The bomb killed two garbage collectors and a police officer. The Hilton Hotel was the site of the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting.

Two members of the Ananda Marga Hindu religious sect, Tim Anderson and Evan Pederick were convicted of the bombing. Anderson was subsequently acquitted. Controversy and conspiracy theories have surrounded the incident and some have claimed that ASIO was responsible.

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_EP38.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:55am AEST

Do you know what the capital city of Australia is? If you live overseas you will probably answer Sydney. Wrong! It’s actually Canberra. Some people say that Canberra is a good sheep station spoiled. In this episode we learn about how Canberra came into being, how it got its name, and why it is located where it is.

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier, who is currently on holidays in Thailand, for post-production.


Direct download: AWP_Ep37.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:38pm AEST

Maybe you have seen a photo of the medal ceremony for the men's 200 meters at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. U.S. sprinter and Gold medallist Tommie Smith and his compatriot John Carlos, the Bronze medallist, stand on the dais. They have no shoes on and each is wearing a single black glove on one hand. They are thrusting their fists into the air in a black power salute and their heads are bowed in protest as the Star Spangled Banner is played. It was an act of defiance aimed at protesting against segregation and racism against African Americans back home in the United States.

But let’s take our gaze away from Tommie Smith and John Carlos. You will see a small guy from Australia standing still. It’s Peter Norman. What few people realise is that Peter Norman is the forgotten hero of that medal ceremony.

Sources for this episode include:

 Email me at:

 Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

 Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.


Direct download: AWP_EP36.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:00am AEST

On the morning of 19 February 1942, just 10 weeks after the Japanese navy launch its attack on Pearl Harbour, mainland Australia came under attack from the sky. Japanese forces mounted two air raids on Darwin. The raids involved 54 land-based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft, which were launched from four Japanese aircraft carriers in the Timor Sea.

For more details visit the Australian War memorial website at:

Email me at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_EP35_mixdown.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:00am AEST

Juanita Nielsen was an Australian newspaper publisher and conservationist who was leading a campaign against high rise development in Victoria Street, Kings Cross in Sydney. On the 4th of July 1975 she disappeared, never to be seen again.  A coronial inquest found that Nielsen had most likely been murdered. But the case has never been officially solved.

In this episode we are going to look at the criminal underbelly of Sydney in the late 1960s and 1970s. We will try and get to the bottom of just what happened to Juanita Nielsen and why.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:


Direct download: AWP_EP34.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:01pm AEST

On Christmas Eve 1974 Tropical Cyclone Tracy destroyed the northern Australian city of Darwin. The cyclone took Darwin by completely by surprise and 71 people died. This was before the internet and it took the rest of Australia a while to find out what happened.

Check out the you've video of the song Santa never made it into Darwin by Bill and Boyd at:

For more images and sounds of Cyclone Tracy visit:

Finally, take a moment during the Christmas-New Year Break to have a look at Steve Lee's Gremlins Toolbox on Facebook. If you like fantasy fiction I think you will enjoy some of the uploads on this Facebook page

And also take a listen to the talented Mr Lee's podcast, Audiolair. You can download it from iTunes, Google Play or any other podcast App.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:


Direct download: AWP_EP33.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:33am AEST

In this episode we will be looking at what happened immediately after the dismissal and how it al played out in the December 1975 election. We will also investigate the ramifications of the 11th November dismissal, including a number of crucial questions about Australian democracy and the Constitution.

Check out Sir John Kerr's letter dismissing Whitlam as Prime Minister:

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Direct download: AWP_EP32.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:01pm AEST

At 1.15 pm on the 11th of November 1975, 40 years ago, Edward Gough Whitlam, the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was dismissed by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr. The Dismissal of Whitlam and his Government was one of the most dramatic and controversial political events in Australian history. And this is the 40th anniversary of that event.

Checkout the excellent Tandberg cartoon on the dismissal at:

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:


Direct download: AWP_Ep31.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:37pm AEST

Remember The Seekers? Only if you are over 50 years old, probably. The Seekers was one of the first Aussie Pop Groups to make it big overseas. I used to think their music was way too lame. But maybe I did them a disservice. The angelic voice of Judith Durham took them to the top of the charts in Australia, the UK and the US. For this episode listen to a few of their hit songs at:

Very 1960s wholesome music.



Direct download: AWP_EP30.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 6:28pm AEST

On the 21 October 1978, 20 year old frederick Valentich dissappeared while on a training flight over Bass Strait.  Some say he was taken by a UFO. 

Direct download: AWP_Ep29_Compress.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 1:41pm AEST

On 22nd August 1966, Vincent Lingiari, led a walk-off of 200 Aboriginal stockmen, domestic servants, and their families from the Wave Hill cattle station in the Northern Territory. The protest was about the poor work and pay conditions on the cattle station. But it was much more than that. It was also a struggle for Indigenous land rights and it changed Australia forever. Let’s see how ‘from little things big things grow’.

Check out the YouTube video of the Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’. The didgeridoo solo at the end is pretty darned cool: 

Also check out the original petition from the Gurindji people to the Governor-General Lord Casey:,_1966-75/a_petition_to_the_governor-general


Direct download: AWP_EP28_Final.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:14pm AEST

Over the course of two days –the 28th and 29th of April 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people at and near the historic Port Arthur convict prison site some 100 kilometres north east of Hobart.

This tragic event had significant implications for Australia. It enabled the introduction of tighter national gun control laws to ensure that an event like this never happened in Australia again.

In its aftermath conspiracy theories have arisen that challenge whether Martin Bryant was the killer. We take a quick look at some of these conspiracy theories. For a concise debunking of these conspiracy theories visit Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid podcast at:

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at: 

Direct download: AWP_EP27_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 9:28pm AEST

It’s Tour de France time and this gives us an opportunity to remember a man who many consider was Australia’s best ever, competitive professional cyclist, Sir Hubert Opperman, or as he is more commonly, and affectionately known, Oppy.

Then we look at the life of Margaret McLachlan. McLachlan was a female cyclist who in the 1960s tried to enter the world of competitive cycling. But back in those days the cycling establishment was not a welcoming place for women. She was banned from competitive cycling despite the protestation from other cyclists. Margaret McLachlan with the support of her husband John then went on to set long distance records. Hers is an inspiring story of overcoming the odds despite discrimination against women.

Check out an article on Margaret McLachlan at:*ignore*%7C*ignore*%7C%7C%7Cfromdd%7C%7C%7Cfrommm%7C%7C%7Cfromyyyy%7C%7C%7Ctodd%7C%7C%7Ctomm%7C%7C%7Ctoyyyy%7C%7C%7Cl-word=*ignore*%7C*ignore*%7C%7C%7Csortby


Direct download: AWP_ep26_Compress.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:15pm AEST

In this episode we are in the Philipines - the birthplace of my gorgeous wife Nilda. We are visiting close friends and relatives in Kalibo on the island of Panay and in the province of Aklan. We also visit the beautiful island of Boracay. I had hoped to record some interviews but it didn't quite work out. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this overview of Filipino history.  I know it ain't Aussie history - but I do make some tenuous links to Australia in the episode.

Check out the photos on the AWP Facebook page.

Email me at: 



Direct download: AWP_Ep25_Compress.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:29pm AEST

On the night of 31 May 1942 – some 73 years ago - World War II came to Sydney when the Japanese navy launched a daring attack on Sydney Harbour. That night three Japanese midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour to destroy Allied naval and merchant shipping. While the attack inflicted minimal damage on shipping, 27 people died, including all of the crew of the Japanese submarines.

At the time of the attacks many Australians were outraged that the Japanese submariners were given a funeral with full military honours. But over time Australians have come to respect the courage and bravery that these men displayed.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Direct download: AWP_EP24_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 10:12pm AEST

The Ode of Remembrance is recited every ANZAC Day to to commemorate those Australian women and men who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Ode Of Remembrance

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.

Age Shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them.

Lest we forget.


Direct download: AWP23_supplemnt_Anzac_Day_-_25042015_11.49_am.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 11:49am AEST

On  25 April every year, Australians commemorate ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 during World War 1. This is the 100th anniversary of those landings.

Visit the amazing Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABCs) Gallipoli interactive website:

And watch Channel 9’s Gallipoli series at:


Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Enter the AWP coffee mug giveaway by emailing me. Entries close on 31 May 2015. Unfortunately it is only open to Australian listeners.

Direct download: AWP_EP23_ANZAC_1_2.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 1:00am AEST

In this episode we examine the aftermath of the Rum Rebellion. There were a series of trials and court martials after the coup and these had profound effects on the major players – particularly Bligh, Macarthur and Johnston. 

Enter the AWP coffee mug competition. Entries close on 31 May 2015. It’s easy to enter – just email me. Unfortunately this completion is only open to Australian listeners. The cost of postage to international destinations is just too high.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at: 

Direct download: AWP_Ep22_RumRebellion3_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:05pm AEST

As a schoolboy growing up in the Macarthur region on the outskirts of Sydney, John Macarthur and George Johnston were considered heroes who had deposed the cruel, villainous and cowardly tyrant William Bligh. But was it really like this? Were Johnston and Macarthur right to overthrow Bligh or have we got it completely wrong? Maybe Bligh should be seen as the man who stood up to the wealthy and powerful Macarthur?

In this episode we are going on a journey to the moment Major George Johnston and the NSW Corps entered Government House in Sydney and ousted William Bligh from office on 26 January 1808. This was the only military coup d’état ever to occur in Australia.

Enter the AWP coffee mug competition.  Three coffee mugs are on offer.  Entries close on Sunday 31 May 2015 - not 30 April which is what i say in the podcast.  To enter email me at

Unfortunately this competition is only open to Australian listeners – the cost of postage to international destinations is just too high.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Direct download: AWP_ep21_RumRebelion2_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:31pm AEST

On 26th January 1808, exactly 20 years to the day after the arrival of the first Fleet, Governor William Bligh (of the Mutiny on the Bounty infamy) was deposed in a coup d’etat by the New South Wales Corps - under the command of Major George Johnston and with the backing of John Macarthur.

The history we learned at school was that Macarthur and Johnston were the heroes of the day. Bligh was a villainous and cruel tyrant.  The real story is far more complex.  The Rum Rebellion was really about political and economic control of the colony of New South Wales.

Music courtesy of Dano at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post production.

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Direct download: AWP_EP20_RumRebellion_128kbps.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:30am AEST

In this episode we reflect on the First Fleet and come to some conclusions about it all. Then we look at two men – Pemulwuy and Bennelong. Both were Aboriginal men who played important roles in the early years of the colony of New South Wales.

Check out the YouTube video of Mirusia Louwerse singing the old Aussie folk song Bound for Botany Bay. It’s a song about a convict being transported to Australia:

Email me at and visit the Aussie Waves Podcast Facebook page at:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_Ep19_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:49pm AEST

On the morning of 13May 1787 the First Fleet weighed anchor and set sail from Portsmouth, England.  On 26 January 1788 the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour. In this episode we relive the journey out to New South Wales and see what it was like for the colonists in the first few years of the new colony. Needless to say, it was pretty hard going. There was a constant threat of starvation and there were skirmishes with the local Aboriginal people – the Eora. 

For this episode check out the Sydney Museum website. There is an exhibition on the First Fleet ships at:

Email me at and visit the Aussie waves Podcast Facebook page at:


Direct download: AWP_EP18_Compress.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:00am AEST

In this episode we are embarking on a voyage to Botany Bay with the First Fleet.  On 13 May 1787 eleven ships commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip set sail  from Portsmouth, England and headed for Botany Bay. On board were 1420 people of which 755 were convicts. Eight months later they arrived in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to found the penal colony of New South Wales.

For this episode I recommend Robert Hughes’ book The Fatal Shore.  This can be downloaded as an e-book from Amazon and can be purchased in bookstores in Australia. Check out a YouTube video of the Australian folk song 'Bound for Botany Bay' at:

And since it's the Australia Day Long Weekend also have a look at a song called 'We Are Australian" written by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers fame and Dobe Newton from The Bushwackers and sung by Australian Soprano Marusia Louwerse:

Email me at:

Music courtesy of the talented Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_Ep17_1.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 7:01am AEST

In this episode we remember Gough Whitlam’s visits to China – the People’s Republic of China - in 1971 and 1973. The 1971 visit, when Whitlam was Opposition Leader, paved the way for the diplomatic recognition of China and sowed the seeds for a thriving cultural and economic relationship. In 1973 Whitlam became the first Australian Prime Minister to travel to China.

Visit the Whitlam Institute website – where much of the material for this episode was sourced:

Also check out the It’s Time TV commercial from the 1972 election campaign. Whitlam shakes hands with Premier Zhou at around the 1 minute 15 second mark:

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.

Direct download: AWP_Ep16_128kbps.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 8:27pm AEST

In the late 1800s Indian labourers were sent to work in Fiji in the sugar cane farms as indentured workers. Following the 1987 military coup and the coups that followed many have moved to Australia. According to the 2011 Census 57,000 Fijian born people live in Australia and of this 36,000 are Indian.

For this episode I recommend:  – a website dedicated to preserving the history of the Indian Fijians.

You can always email me at

Music courtesy of Dan-O at:

Thanks to Ken Dampier for post-production.


Direct download: AWP-15-Indian_Fijians_Dec.mp3
Category:History -- posted at: 5:33pm AEST