Australasian Gazette: Sheep Dog Trial

Australasian Gazette: Sheep Dog Trial
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A largely static wide shot of a typical Australian showground captures a sheepdog trainer and his sheepdog herding three sheep into a pen. Summary by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers.

This black-and-white newsreel uses one static shot to capture a sheepdog trial event. Sheep dog trials have been part of Australian pastoral history for many years with trials held from as early as the 1870s. This brief clip records an aspect of country life that has been inherited from the Borders area between England and Scotland.

It was screened as part of an Australasian Gazette newsreel compilation including the clips Patriotic procession in aid of the French Red Cross and The Last Innings of Victor Trumper which are also on this website. This newsreel clip would have added some light-hearted entertainment to the more serious stories which preceded it.

This print has some visible nitrate damage (the ‘blistering’ of the image throughout the clip) caused by the deterioration of the fragile film base. The use of nitrate film was in common use until 1951.

Newsreels were an integral part of cinema programming in Australia before the advent of television in 1956. Issued on a weekly basis, newsreels enabled people to further engage with local and national political stories and events.Australasian Gazette began in 1913 and ran until the advent of talkies in the early 1930s.

Notes by Elizabeth Taggart-Speers