Study Guides

Free study guides accompany these programs.

Many of the programs below are designed to support Australian school curricula and are carefully styled with the appropriate young target audience in mind.

Online notes on documentary-style programs can be viewed and printed directly from the website by clicking on the link to view or download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Subject interests nominated for these titles are a guide only of how the program may be utilised in the classroom, lecture theatre, home study or staff training.

To find out more about the program select the title below:

  • 900 Neighbours

    Follows the Big Hart arts organisation as it works inside the troubled Northcott housing estate in Sydney, aiming to give a voice to its tenants, many of whom are mentally ill, ex-prisoners, recovering addicts and those battling serious drug and alcohol issue.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: English, Media Studies, Performing Arts, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (1.15 MB - application/pdf)
  • Accentuate the Positive

    Following the trials and tribulations of a diverse group of students at Timbertop school, Accentuate The Positive, explores not only a new approach to learning, but also potentially a new approach to living.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: English, Health & PE, Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (1.12 MB - application/pdf)
  • All Points of the Compass

    Chronicles the Lam family, who set out to all points of the globe after the Vietnam War, exploring the key socio-political events against which this one family's history unfolds.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: English, History, Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (645.05 KB - application/pdf)
  • Alone in a Crowded Room

    Alone in a Crowded Room explores the line between ability and disability and takes us beyond our preconceptions of one of the most mysterious and challenging disorders of our time.

    Level: Senior Secondary
    KLA: Health & PE, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (737.61 KB - application/pdf)
  • Andrew Denton's Gallipoli - Brothers in Arms

    Andrew Denton travels to Gallipoli to find out why more Australians are drawn to its shores each year.

    Level: Middle to Upper Secondary
    KLA: SOSE, History and English and Media

    application/pdf icon Download (1.16 MB - application/pdf)
  • Angels and Demons

    What does it feel like to lose your mind and can you get it back again? In seeking to answer these questions, Andrew Denton journeys into the world of mental illness, a world that's often invisible because - in our fear - we choose to look away.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: Health and PE, Media Studies, Science and Technology

    application/pdf icon Download (411.97 KB - application/pdf)
  • Art and Soul

    Hetti Perkins, senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, shares her knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.

    Level: Upper Primary, Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: History, Indigenous Studies, Politics & Government, Visual Arts & Design

    application/pdf icon Download (1.85 MB - application/pdf)
  • Art House

    A fascinating four-part series that goes behind the closed doors of the Australian Art Auction world to meet the key players who buy and sell art in the ferociously competitive art scene.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: English, Art, Economics, Australian Studies and Business Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (622.23 KB - application/pdf)
  • Art Life, The

    The Art Life allows artists to speak for themselves while setting their work in the context of Australian and international art.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: Visual Arts and Design

    application/pdf icon Download (224.33 KB - application/pdf)
  • Australia on Trial

    Australia On Trial is a three part drama series recreating three historic trials that throw light on aspects of Australia during colonial times. The three high-profile and controversial court cases, including the Myall Creek massacre and the Eureka Stockage, raised major issues of national identity in the developing colonial nation.

    Level - Secondary/Tertiary
    KLA: English, History, Legal Studies, Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (877.96 KB - application/pdf)
  • Battle of the Brains

    This four-part series tells the story of a unique group of brilliant teenage Australians, working towards competing against the best science scholars in the world at the International Science Olympiads.

    Level: Secondary and Tertiary
    KLA: Secondary: Science, media, studies, personal and social development and psychology
    Tertiary: science education, media studies, issues of teaching gifted and talented students, adolescent development, learning differences and the psychology of learning

    application/pdf icon Download (809.38 KB - application/pdf)
  • Behind the News

    Behind the News is a high-energy, fun way for upper primary and secondary students to learn about current issues and events in their world.

    Level: Upper Primary to Middle Secondary
    KLAs: Science, Design and Technology, Health and PE, Mathematics, SOSE/HSIE, Geography

    application/pdf icon Download (349.79 KB - application/pdf)
  • Big Lie, The

    Focusing on the initial success then failure of an Australian damages case against British American Tobacco then the revelations of an insider whistleblower about the company's policies and behaviour...and more.

    Levels:Upper Secondary
    KLA: English: Issues / Communication. Legal Studies: Civil proceedings / Justice. Health Studies: Health / Health ethics. Civics and Citizenship: Rights and responsibilities / Being a good citizen. Media Studies: The documentary film form. Economics: Corporate rights and responsibilities.

    application/pdf icon Download (460.73 KB - application/pdf)
  • Black Soldier Blues

    Told by the American and Australian veterans who were there, this is a tale of unexpected friendships and danger in a land with a government whose policy was to keep Australia “white”.

    Level: General interest, Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: History, Race and Attitudes

    application/pdf icon Download (668.63 KB - application/pdf)
  • Bomb Harvest

    Over 35 years ago, during the Vietnam War, American bombs rained down on Laos in the 'Secret War', leaving it the most bombed country in history. The deadly legacy of this destruction continues, with the country still scattered with unexploded ordnance. Bomb Harvest vividly depicts the consequences of war and the unimaginable bravery of those trying to clear up the mess.

    Level - Middle to Senior Secondary
    KLA: Geography & Nature, History, Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (663.74 KB - application/pdf)
  • Boxing for Palm Island

    Follows the journey of four kids from Palm Island and their families, histories, experiences and issues, as they fight not only for the title but also for their own future.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: English, Health & PE, Media Studies, Politics & Government, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (768.83 KB - application/pdf)
  • Bush Law

    An exploration of the potential for cooperation between traditional Aboriginal law and the mainstream Australian criminal justice system.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: Legal Studies, Indigenous Studies, English, Society and Environment

    application/pdf icon Download (1.13 MB - application/pdf)
  • Carbon Cops

    A hybrid series that blends science, the environment and observational documentary, tracking what we can all do practically about global warming. Delivers strong scientific information and practical take-home tips in six half hour episodes.

    Level: Upper Primary, Secondary Students, General Interest
    KLA: SOSE, Environmental Resources, Science/English, Technology Studies and Civics and Citizenship

    application/pdf icon Download (1006.97 KB - application/pdf)
  • Cars That Ate China

    The story of The Cars That Ate China is told through a diverse group of characters whose lives have been transformed by the car revolution.

    Level: Upper Secondary, Tertiary
    SOSE, Economics, Business Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (1.37 MB - application/pdf)
  • Case For the Coroner, A

    A groundbreaking series, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the office of the New South Wales State Coroner.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: English, Legal Studies, Media Studies, Science & Technology

    application/pdf icon Download (470.84 KB - application/pdf)
  • Cassowaries

    This documentary focuses on the life of this endangered creature and on the threats to it, both natural and human.

    Level: Upper primary, Middle secondary
    KLA: Science & Technology, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (749.71 KB - application/pdf)
  • Contact

    Contact is constructed around the moment in 1964 when a group of Martu women and children walk out from their nomadic existence of millennia in the Western Desert into a new universe - modern Australia.

    Level: Middle and Upper Secondary
    KLA: English, Geography & Nature, History, Indigenous Studies, Media Studies, Politics & Government, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (932.63 KB - application/pdf)
  • Curtin

    The story of John Curtin - a driven and inspirational leader - as he struggles to battle his own personal demons while serving and protecting a country at war.

    Level: Year 10-12 Secondary
    KLA: History – Australia at war: the home front
    Politics – Political power; English - Biography

    application/pdf icon Download (3.02 MB - application/pdf)
  • Cuttlefish: The Brainy Bunch

    This global adventure brings to the surface the spectacular tactics of the cuttlefish and discover just how clever they really are. We explore the ecology, psychology and biology of cuttlefish.

    Level: Middle-Senior Secondary
    KLA: Biology, Psychology

    application/pdf icon Download (987.32 KB - application/pdf)
  • Divorce - Aussie Islamic Way

    With a third of marriages in Australia ending in divorce, how do couples from societies with different customs and religious practices, such as Muslims, go about getting divorced? Divorce: Aussie Islamic Way follows a number of Muslim women as they negotiate divorce through two very different cultures.

    Level - Senior to Tertiary
    KLA: Health & PE, Legal Studies, Religious Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (1.82 MB - application/pdf)
  • Dream and the Dreaming

    For over thirty thousand years, the Desert People of Central Australia had walked their lands, their life governed by ancient and immutable laws laid down by the totemic ancestors and their Dreamings.

    Level: Lower-Upper Secondary
    KLA: Indigenous studies, SOSE/HSIE, Religion, Media

    application/pdf icon Download (576.15 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dreamtime to Dance

    As their indigenous dance college, NAISDA, battles to survive a funding crisis, students Clarence and Rachel embark on journeys of cultural awakening as they strive to become professional dancers.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: Indigenous Studies, Performing Arts

    application/pdf icon Download (356.71 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dumb, Drunk and Racist

    Australians get a bad rap overseas, and our stocks seem especially low in India. In fact, a sizeable chunk of India’s 1.2 billion people think Aussies are dumb, drunk and racist. But doesn’t every country have its negative stereotypes?

    Note: The series contains language and violent behaviour that without guidance, may be confronting or offensive to younger students, and teacher descretion is advised in grades Years 10 and below.

    Level - Senior Secondary to Tertiary
    KLA: Health & PE, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (1.29 MB - application/pdf)
  • Dust Echoes

    Dust Echoes is a children's animated television and online series that brings to life four Indigenous Australian Dreamtime stories.

    Level: Upper primary to lower secondary school
    KLA: SOSE, media studies and studies in idigenous culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (682 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dust Echoes - Morning Star

    The rising morning star signifies the cycle of life and the connection between people, animals, plants and the Universe.

    Level: Upper primary to lower secondary
    KLA: SOSE, media studies and studies indigenous culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (151.35 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dust Echoes - Namorrodor

    Namorrodor is a shooting star that transforms into a terrifying spirit creature that hunts for babies.

    Level: Upper primary to lower secondary
    KLA: SOSE, media studies and studies in indigenous culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (554.79 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dust Echoes - The Be

    We see how songs and dances help build and maintain the necessary relationships between humans, nature and country.

    Level: Upper primary to lower secondary
    KLA: SOSE, media studies and studies in idigenous culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (680.42 KB - application/pdf)
  • Dust Echoes - The Wagalak Sisters

    The Wagalak Sisters are creation sisters, who carry their power in their dilly bags. When they walk, they use the contents of their dilly bags to create the landscape.

    Level: Upper primary to lower secondary
    KLA: SOSE, media studies and studies in idigenous culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (714.37 KB - application/pdf)
  • Fairweather Man

    An intimate portrait of the life and work of one of Australia's greatest painters.

    Level: Secondary students
    KLA: English, Media Studies, Visual Arts & Design.

    application/pdf icon Download (951.73 KB - application/pdf)
  • Fine Body of Gentlemen, A

    Deals with the three year odyssey of 13 black cricketers and the white men who encouraged their skills, and their love the game of cricket.

    Level: General interest, Secondary and Tertiary Level
    KLA: Indigenous and Non Indigenous relationships in Colonial Australia, SOSE - Time and Continuity, History and Sport Studies.

    application/pdf icon Download (383.85 KB - application/pdf)
  • For the Juniors

    This booklet contains an extensive list of synopses for each episode of this ongoing series of programs produced for 4-8 year olds.

    Level: Primary School, 6-8 year olds
    KLA: All subjects

    application/pdf icon Download (1.21 MB - application/pdf)
  • Gallipoli Submarine

    The incredible true story of an Australian World War 1 submarine, lost in the Dardanelles for nearly 100 years.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: History, Science & Technology, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (679.07 KB - application/pdf)
  • Girl in a Mirror

    A beautiful constructed documentary exploration of the life and times of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems.

    Level: Tertiary, Senior Secondary, General Interest
    KLA: VCE SOSE, Media Studies, Art and Technical Photography, Cultural Studies Tertiary: Cultural Studies, Art and Photography

    application/pdf icon Download (645.96 KB - application/pdf)
  • Good, the Bad and the Ugg Boot, The

    A spaghetti western following the funny, tragic and heroic efforts of a bunch of feisty small family businesses, in Australia and America, as they fight a giant US corporation over who owns the weird Aussie cultural icon - the Ugg boot.

    Level: Middle to Senior Secondary
    KLA: Australian Studies, Media Studies, English, Business Studies, Economics and Legal Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (781.58 KB - application/pdf)
  • Hard Choices

    We follow ordinary Australians as they deal with the agonizing everyday choices which most of us hope never to have to face.

    Level: Upper Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: (SOSE), Multicultural Studies, Indigenous Studies, Health, including Indigenous Health, Religious Studies, Legal Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (964.93 KB - application/pdf)
  • Hoover's Gold

    A look at the future US President, a West Australian Goldfield, Italian migration and the results that mix in Australian history.

    Level: General interest, Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: English and Media Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (1.2 MB - application/pdf)
  • Inside the Firestorm

    On 7th February 2009, Australia suffered its worst peacetime disaster. 'Black Saturday' claimed 173 lives, left almost 8,000 homeless and destroyed close to half a million hectares of Victorian bush-land.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: Geography & Nature, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (765.49 KB - application/pdf)
  • Just a Game

    In downtown Dallas Texas, 3000 “gamers” from 55 countries have come to compete, to conquer, to kill.

    Level: Middle to Senior Secondary, Tertiary, General Interest
    KLA: Health and Physical Education, English, Media, Psychology

    application/pdf icon Download (1.01 MB - application/pdf)
  • Leaky Boat

    This documentary chronicling the Tampa incident is about the old dance of democracy between the people and our leaders. And its fundamental puzzle – who is leading and who is following?

    Level: Senior Secondary
    KLA: English, Health & PE, History, Media Studies, Politics & Government, Religious Studies, Society & Culture.

    application/pdf icon Download (429.52 KB - application/pdf)
  • Life at 5

    Over two episodes, Life at 5 tracks our group of children against contemporary scientific discoveries and findings from two areas of child development: childhood resilience, and the factors that enhance school readiness.

    Level: Senior Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: Health and Human Development, Biology, General Science, Values Education, Psychology, Sociology, Exploring Early Childhood (secondary), Studies of Society and Environment/HSIE (secondary), Child and Family Services (tertiary), Child Development Studies (tertiary) and Community and Family Studies (tertiary).

    application/pdf icon Download (918.57 KB - application/pdf)
  • Lucy Culliton's Big Skies

    Journey back with the painter to her childhood farm as she works to capture on canvas the big skies and open Monaro plains with the help of the farmers who own it.

    Level: Middle and Senior Secondary
    KLA: Society & Culture, Visual Arts & Design

    application/pdf icon Download (685.26 KB - application/pdf)
  • Machete Maidens Unleashed

    The first detailed examination and celebration of Filipino genre filmmaking.

    Level: Senior Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (1.4 MB - application/pdf)
  • Machine to Die For, A

    Perpetual motion is the holy grail of science. It has sent many an obsessive and eccentric inventor to madness and suicide. A successful perpetual motion machine would alter the entire social and political balance of the world. It has been described as a "machine to kill for".

    Level: Middle to Senior Secondary, General Interest
    KLA: Science (Physical Sciences) History and Materials Technology

    application/pdf icon Download (475.68 KB - application/pdf)
  • Make it Real

    The poignant story of Kevin Sumbah, an AIDS orphan. He is one of more than 15 million such orphans in the world, seeking a better life.

    Level: Secondary
    KLA: Health, Politics, Economics, SOSE/HSIE, Media (documentaries, personal journey) and English.

    application/pdf icon Download (120.94 KB - application/pdf)
  • Not Quite Art

    This three part series explores life outside the galleries.

    application/pdf icon Download (205.98 KB - application/pdf)
  • On a Wing and a Prayer

    On A Wing And A Prayer follows the incredible life cycle of the Carnaby's cockatoo through the engaging story of one small cockatoo family.

    Level: Middle Primary, Secondary
    KLA: Environmental Studies/Science - endangered species management and recovery, Science/Biology - breeding and habitat requirements, human impact, Humanities - Social Science (social conflict), Geography and Media Studies - Wildlife documentary.
    Learning Areas include Geography & Nature, Media Studies, Science & Technology,

    application/pdf icon Download (556.96 KB - application/pdf)
  • Our Boys

    Welcome to Canterbury Boys High, former Prime Minister John Howard's old school and the setting for this compelling series.

    Level: Upper Primary - Secondary
    KLA: English, Media, Cultural studies, Careers, SOSE/HSIE, Psychology

    application/pdf icon Download (755.69 KB - application/pdf)
  • Political Football

    Political Football follows the story of six Rugby Union footballlers who represented Australia in the 1969 Wallaby tour of South Africa.

    Level: Senior Secondary, General Interest
    KLA: SOSE/HSIE, Australian History and Society, Cultural Studies, Politcal Studies, Media, English

    application/pdf icon Download (304.16 KB - application/pdf)
  • Rampant: How a City Stopped a Plague

    Rampant is the story of AIDS in Australia, and how our response to the disease made us world leaders in controlling the virus, which had the potential to become a plague.

    Level: Upper Secondary, Tertiary, General Interest
    KLA: Health, Politics, SOSE/HSIE

    application/pdf icon Download (430.07 KB - application/pdf)
  • Real Life Water Rats

    Real Life Water Rats is a documentary series that looks at the work of Tasmania's elite Marine Police Unit set against the unique backdrop of some of the world's wildest and most treacherous oceans, rivers and lakes.

    Level: Senior Secondary, General Interest
    KLA: Geography, Social and Cultural Studies, Studies of Society and Environment, Health and Human Development, Media Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (1.73 MB - application/pdf)
  • Sacred Ground

    Filmed over four years, Sacred Ground questions what right one culture has to destroy the burial grounds and ancient sites of another.

    application/pdf icon Download (3.14 MB - application/pdf)
  • Seed Hunter

    A highly entertaining one-hour documentary following agriculturalist Dr Ken Street as he hunts for the wild chickpea which could save the world from mass starvation in the event of global warming.

    Subject Areas – Biology, General Science, Horticulture, Agricultural Science, International Studies, Environmental Studies/Science

    Key Topics - Biological adaptation, Agricultural ecosystem diversity, Plant Genetics, Plant research and breeding, Habitat loss / plant extinction, International Aid, Landforms, Land use – Tajikistan, Svalbard, Climate Change, Food Security

    Level - Middle to Senior Secondary

    application/pdf icon Download (1.05 MB - application/pdf)
  • Singer - A Dangerous Mind

    A thought-provoking and challenging film which will arouse strong passions and generate vigorous classroom debate.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary, General Interest
    KLA: English, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Religious Studies, Science

    application/pdf icon Download (586.92 KB - application/pdf)
  • Sounds of Aus

    The cultural DNA in this country is in the sound of the way Australians speak. But why do we speak the way we do? And what exactly is the Australian accent? These and other issues are explored with the assistance of Narrator, John Clarke in this informative and entertaining documentary.

    Level: Upper Primary and Junior Secondary, General Interest
    KLAs: English, Australian History, Studies of Society and Environment (Human Society in Environment) and Cultural Studies.

    application/pdf icon Download (637.46 KB - application/pdf)
  • Stories from the Stone Age

    An exploration of the revolutionary period of prehistory that began when humans abandoned the nomadic hunting and gathering existence they had known for millennia to take up a completely new way of life.

    application/pdf icon Download (2.74 MB - application/pdf)
  • The Accused

    This is an "anatomy" of a jury trial, which gives us a behind-the-scenes perspective of defence counsel and defendant, and the prosecution, in their preparations for the case.

    Level: Middle - Upper Secondary
    KLA: Legal Studies, English Studies, Media Studies (VCE Legal Studies)

    application/pdf icon Download (386.39 KB - application/pdf)
  • Tibet: Murder in the Snow

    In September 2006, two unlikely groups of people crossed paths in the snow-capped Himalayas, one seeking freedom, the other adventure. A brutal murder threw them together, changing their lives forever.

    Level: Primary, Secondary
    Learning Areas: English, Geography & Nature, K - 6, Science & Technology, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (992.79 KB - application/pdf)
  • Trial by Fire

    Studies how a community is shaped by the experience of a bushfire, and how such a situation as the potential to generate positive social outcomes by binding communities together.

    Level: Primary, Secondary
    KLA: English, Geography & Nature, K - 6, Science & Technology, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (525.56 KB - application/pdf)
  • Unfit to Command

    In January 1964 the flagship of the RAN, the aircraft carrier Melbourne, collided with the destroyer Voyager off Jervis Bay in NSW.

    Level: Upper secondary. Tertiary, General interest
    KLA: English, Media, SOSE/HSIE, History, Politics

    application/pdf icon Download (738.87 KB - application/pdf)
  • Wedding Makers, The

    The Wedding Makers goes behind the scenes of this highly competitive, often glamorous, sometimes garish industry and examines how it shapes and influences today's bride.
    This study guide provides information and suggestions for learning activities in English, SOSE, VET Hospitality, Media and curriculum projects exploring identity, gender and relationships.

    Level: Secondary, Tertiary
    KLA: English, Health & PE, Media Studies, Society & Culture

    application/pdf icon Download (367.1 KB - application/pdf)
  • Weeping Women

    The controversial phenomena of weeping statues and the people who turn to them in search of hope - or amusement.

    Level: Secondary and Tertiary level
    KLA: English and Religious Studies

    application/pdf icon Download (505.88 KB - application/pdf)
  • Whatever: The Science of Teens

    Using entertaining segments and accessible language, Whatever! The Science Of Teenstaps into the most up-to-date scientific investigations of the teen brain, and the latest research into family and society, to reveal that much 'aberrant' teenage behaviour is really quite normal.

    Level: Secondary
    Learning Areas: English, Health & PE, Science & Technology.

    application/pdf icon Download (580.54 KB - application/pdf)