Dynasties - Series 5

An inside look at some of Australia's most powerful families, which reveal the story of some of Australia's great dynasties, the ways they have shaped our society, their private motivations and their ongoing influences.

The Ansett Family (1 Hour Special)
How much does a father owe his family? Sir Reginald Ansett was the son and grandson of Victorian transport pioneers. With extraordinary leadership he built Ansett Airlines into one of Australia's leading companies. But this man, who commanded the unswerving loyalty of his workers and family, left his own children with comparatively little. This is the remarkable story of Australia's last great aviation baron, an extraordinary legacy and the family he left behind.

The Bullen Family
This is the story of two brothers who grew up in the shadow of magnificent dreams, but must now discover a future of their own. For three generations, the Bullens made their fame and fortune on its unique ability to work with animals. It began with a circus but reached its zenith with Stafford Bullen who thrilled generations of Australians with his lion safari parks and animal shows. But Stafford’s was always going to be a hard act to follow. Today, as one son transforms himself into a leading animal trainer for Hollywood films, another is left to care for the largest surviving members of the Bullen family: it’s three remaining elephants.

The Hayes Family
As consummate champions of the turf, the Hayes family’s success is built on pedigree and training. And this outlook applies to people as much as to horses. A once humble Port Adelaide boy, Colin Hayes built a horse-racing empire at Lindsay Park, a regal estate in the hills of the Barossa. By the 1960s he was hailed as one of the country’s top trainers and had a stud that was producing winners. Colin brought up his children to continue his legacy, but only one of his two sons could truly emulate the sire and inherit a kingdom.

The McGuigan Family
This is the tale of how a poor family of Hunter Valley wine labourers became Australia’s third largest wine company. It is the story of great success and personal tragedy. Brian and Fay McGuigan devoted their lives to building Wyndham Estate into one of the world’s most recognisable wine businesses. Then, in 1990, their 21-year-old daughter died of cancer and, in a hostile takeover, they lost their company. Out of despair, the McGuigans fought back, and ogether the family built a new multi-million dollar wine empire. But today the McGuigans must face a new truth: that work can no longer be the family’s salvation.

The Zeccola Family
It was in his birthplace, a humble southern Italian village, that Antonio Zeccola first got a taste for film. Every weekend of his childhood, he would watch movies screened by his father in the village church hall. When the Zeccolas migrated to Melbourne, they brought their passion for film with them. Over the next fifty years, Antonio Zeccola built his own cinema chain. Today Palace Cinemas is a family enterprise run by Antonio, his wife and their four children.

The Leahy Family (1 Hour Special)
In the 1930s, nineteen year-old Dan Leahy and his brother became the first white men to walk into the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Their arrival in search of gold brought cataclysmic change. Before long, the Leahy's gold mine had become the centre of a new outpost in the Australian colony. But unlike other colonialists, Dan Leahy openly embraced local custom. Uncaring of scandal, he raised a family of ten children from three village wives. Today, thirty years after Australia gave Papua New Guinea its independence, his descendents still call the Highlands their home. This is the story of a unique colonial legacy and a family that must still bridge the divide between two very different worlds.

This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.

Production Year: 
2006
Duration: 
6 x 28 mins
Series Episode
Standard $88
Schools $66
Home $44


To fax or mail your order, download our form here:

Order form