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Rum, Rebels & Ratbags
Rum, Rebels & Ratbags is history not for the faint-hearted. Historian and author of 'Girt' David Hunt and ABC Radio Sydney's Dom Knight uncover the characters and events left out of your high school history class.
Jun 23, 2015
Mothers of a nation
Women in the convict colony initially had a hard life, but for many New South Wales presented undreamed of opportunities. They had a greater say in relationships, property, business and government policy than back in Britain, so it is no surprise Australia was a world leader in women’s suffrage.
Jun 22, 2015
Let's call it Macquarie
Lachlan Macquarie was a hard drinking, penny pinching Scottish army officer with syphilis and an impressive history of financial fraud. Yet he became the colony’s most successful governor, erecting new towns and buildings, integrating ex-convicts into society, and naming just about everything Macquarie.
Jun 21, 2015
The Bounty bastard
William Bligh was an incredible navigator, breadfruit fancier, coconut hoarder, reforming governor and utter bastard. The mutiny prone swear-bear was brought down in Australia’s only military coup by John Macarthur and the Rum Corps, who finished off what Fletcher Christian started.
Jun 20, 2015
The man who bought Australia
John Macarthur, a.k.a. Bodice Jack, had two favourite things: alcohol and money, both of which came in brown paper bags. Macarthur and the New South Wales Rum Corps ran dodgy land deals, intimidated government officials, stole from the public purse and introduced 'corruption on a scale probably unexceeded until the days of Eddie Obeid'.
Jun 19, 2015
There are more statues of Matthew Flinders in Australia than of any other man. And there are more statues of his cat, Trim, than of any other cat. Flinders circumnavigated and named Australia, discovered that Tasmania was an island, and spent a lot of time in a very small boat with his 'good sailing buddy', George Bass.
Jun 18, 2015
The Eora ambassador and the rainbow warrior
Australia's Indigenous people dealt with the white ghosts from across the sea in different ways. Bennelong pursued a path of accommodation and was the first Indigenous man to visit England, whilst the warrior Pemulwuy, dressed in his Amazing Technicolor Dreamingcoat, fought a bloody 12-year guerrilla war.
Jun 17, 2015
Naked and starving
New South Wales' first governor, Arthur Phillip, dreamed of an antipodean utopia. Instead he founded Sydney, a town full of drunk, starving and naked criminals.
Jun 16, 2015
Tea, taxation, criminals and cannabis
Did you know the colony of Australia only came about because of tea, taxation, criminals ... and cannabis?! And, find out how a cockney hypochondriac whaler ended up as the first Governor of NSW.
Jun 15, 2015
Australia's worst serial killer
More than 140 years before Captain Cook sighted the Australian coast, Dutch merchant Jeronimus Cornelisz murdered over 120 shipwreck survivors off the coast of WA in a killing spree that makes Lord of the Flies look like Mary Poppins.
Jun 14, 2015
Sir Joseph Banks, the playboy botanist
Australians might know Banks as 'that plant guy’ but he was actually a wealthy playboy who inspired Star Trek and discovered surfing. Captain Cook just steered the ship for Banks and his groupies.