Dynasties - Series 3

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 Street Family
The Street family has produced three Chief Justices of New South Wales in three successive generations - a record unmatched by any other legal family. But the daughter-in-law, wife and mother of these men was none other than Jessie Street. She became notorious for her Cold War friendship with the Soviet Union. This is the family's own account of how it reconciled and survived the extraordinary tensions of such diverse allegiances.

The Clunies-Ross Family
The Clunies-Ross family ruled the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean for more than 150 years. The last ‘king’, John Clunies-Ross, was a feudal leader who walked the islands barefoot with a dagger in his belt, and had total control over the lives of his Cocos Malay workers. His reign ended in 1984 when the islanders voted to fully integrate with Australia, and Clunies-Ross went into exile in Perth, broken and impoverished. But for this program, John and his wife Daphne agreed to return to the Cocos for a moving reunion with the islanders.

The Ashton Family
This is the story of the western world’s longest running circus dynasty. The Ashtons have lived and survived together on the road for seven generations. They’ve balanced on the tight rope of family pressures and show business for all this time. This is a story of family endurance, the stamina required to hold on to tradition, and the forces that brought an Australian institution to its knees. The family fractured in the face of international competition, but the latest generation of Ashtons have restored the family pride.

The Frank Family
Lillian Frank is best known as Melbourne’s flamboyant society hairdresser, newspaper columnist and tireless charity worker. But behind the Frank family lies a terrible story of loss, dislocation and flight from persecution. This is the moving saga of two Jewish families from very different cultures, meeting in Melbourne and forging a new and influential life.

The Lee Family
This is the rare, inside story of a Chinese Australian family trying to keep hold of its traditional values in the face of extraordinary good fortune. Today the Bing Lee business is one of Australia's emerging retail giants. Its success reflects the story of Australia's post-war migrant boom - and a father-and-son team from rural China who overcame poverty and hardship to build a multi-million-dollar a year retail empire. But the latest generation have never been to China and have a very different, Australian outlook. This episode joins them on their first trip back to the land of their ancestors.

The Anthony Family
The Anthony family is Australia's oldest continuous political dynasty. Over nearly seventy years three generations of Anthonys have held the federal seat of Richmond in northern New South Wales, each serving as government ministers. But the patriarch and Gallipoli veteran Larry senior would not recognise the electorate he once represented. This is the story of how one family has weathered dramatic changes in Australian rural life … changes which have ultimately cost them their political birthright.

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

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