Episode 2 - Land Tuesday 18 April 8.00pm
In this episode, Tony Armstrong explores all the stuff from the land that’s become iconic and recognisable as Great Australian Stuff.
With a history stretching back several millennia, is it any wonder so much iconic stuff originates from the land? In the second episode of Great Australian Stuff, Tony Armstrong saddles up to find out how the boomerang went from First Nations tool to tourist must-have; how an ecological disaster literally divided the nation and gave us that internationally recognised icon, the Akubra; how the Kelpie became a canine icon and how merino sheep went from pest to social media phenomena.
Tony then explores how the firestick is lighting the way for better bush fire management, how the land gave us a tale of industrial intrigue, improved the national wardrobe by giving us the Permanent Pleat and, finally, how the land inspired an iconic jumper which inspired a nation, which charmed a British Royal, and looks damned good on our host, too!
Supported by acres of fantastic archive, shed-loads of wit from Kevin Kropinyeri, Nazeem Hussein, Dee Madigan and Jean Kittson, and horizon-expanding insights from experts. Join Tony Armstrong as he gets back to the land and uncovers the little-known stories behind some of our best-loved icons.
Episode 3 - Home Tuesday 25 April 8.00pm
It’s ‘sweet’! It’s where the heart is! Yes, it’s the Home. Host Tony Armstrong opens the front door onto some of our best-known, strangest, and daggiest icons inspired by all-things domestic.
Home ownership has long been the Australian dream so, unsurprisingly, the home has been the birthplace of some of our most iconic stuff.
In this episode, Tony leafs-through domestic bible, the Australian Women’s Weekly - once the highest circulation magazine in the world – and its popular supplement, the Children’s Birthday Cake Book where he discovers a cake even its inventor thought too difficult to make!
Tony mixes it with the grinding stone - the world’s first portable food processor, unscrews the cap on Cask Wine, and uncovers the unsavoury truth behind every home’s flexible favourite, the Hills Hoist.
Behind the net curtains, Tony discovers the tale of an amphetamine which killed 20,000 Australian housewives, tracks the demise of the dunny, and laments the icon that never was: the Lightburn Zeta – an Australian-designed and made car that never quite found a home in the hearts of ordinary Australians.
So, join Benjamin Law, Nazeem Hussein, Daniel Browning and others around at Tony’s place to celebrate some of our greatest domestic stuff!
Episode 4 - Play Tuesday 2 May 8.00pm
We’re a nation that loves to play, which is why it has given us some of our most memorable icons like Speedos, the Sherrin football, a dress made from polystyrene balls, and our most popular museum attraction: a horse’s heart.
In the final episode of Great Australian Stuff, Tony Armstrong grabs his guernsey and delves behind the story of the Sherrin AFL football and its origins in the Indigenous game of Marn Grook; Tony dips his toe into the surf with the story of Speedos which caused a prudish backlash in ‘60s’ Australia, and explores how a series of surf deaths inspired the Surf Life-Saving Reel.
We’re a nation of gamblers – 35% of us have a flutter every month – so no surprise that the racetrack provided two of our greatest icons: the Totalisator (or TAB machine) and, weirdly but not unexpectedly, Phar Lap’s heart - the horse that won 37 out of 51 starts and got a nation through a devastating economic downturn.
And, lastly, Tony explores that iconic playground for diversity – the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – which gave us one of our most glittering icons: the Lucille Balls costume.
So, grab your boardies and join your captain, Tony Armstrong, guest players, Nazeem Hussein, Benjamin Law, Jean Kittson and a clever team of experts for a historical kickabout with our greatest Aussie stuff!