Map of Australia, showing names of its capital cities, regional centres, states and territories
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2016/hero_2.jpg

Life in Australia series

Life in Australia series

An idyllic vision of the 1960s

In the 1960s, the Australian government created Life in Australia as a marketing tool to sell potential 'New Australians' from Europe the idea of a prosperous, happy life down under.

All 12 films focus on our capital cities and regional centres, and follow the same formula, showcasing employment and industry, education, sport, health care, shopping, religion, night life, and art. Traditional genre roles determine how the members of the films' fictional families occupy their time: father was the head of the house, and although women studied and worked, they only did so until they were ready to become devoted housewives.

These films present carefully selected aspects of the Australian experience 50 years ago. They do not represent 100% of what life in Australia was, but they do capture the spirit of a nation aspiring to fulfil its potential.

 

Melbourne: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
55538
Year:
Year

This film shows an idyllic picture of life in the Victorian capital of Melbourne in the mid 1960s.

The female lead is played by Adelaide born actress Elspeth Ballantyne, who would find success in the ABC soap opera Bellbird (1967-77), followed by the iconic role of Meg Jackson/Morris in Prisoner (1979-1986).

Part of the Life In Australia series, made for the Department of Immigration, to entice immigrants from Europe. There’s no denying that these films were a marketing tool; Australia (and its cities and rural centres) was the product, and as such, it was presented as an idyllic destination where everyone led prosperous, happy lives.

Each film covers employment, industry, education, sport, health care, shopping, religion, night-life, and art.

Directed by Douglas White and now available in 4K HD. Film Australia Collection © NFSA.

Buy a copy of Life In Australia: Melbourne or of the whole Life In Australia series at the NFSA online shop.

Notes by Miguel Gonzalez

Sydney: Life In Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
16951
Year:
Year

Its famous Opera House was still under construction, but Australia's largest city was already a busy metropolis in 1966.

Sydney's population had just reached three million, and while its skyline was not as tall as it is today, it was already on its way to become a modern city. The film visits all of Sydney's most iconic locations, from its beautiful harbour to Circular Quay, Martin Place, Kings Cross and Bondi beach.

Part of the Life In Australia series, made for the Department of Immigration, to entice immigrants from Europe. There’s no denying that these films were a marketing tool; Australia (and its cities and rural centres) was the product, and as such, it was presented as an idyllic destination where everyone led prosperous, happy lives.

The scripts for each film are almost identical, covering employment and industry, education, sport, health care, shopping, religion, night-life, and art. Australia had everything anyone could wish for!

Directed by Joe Scully and now available in 4K HD. Film Australia Collection © NFSA.

Buy a copy of Life In Australia: Sydney or of the whole Life In Australia series at the NFSA online shop.

Brisbane: Life In Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
27797
Year:
Year

Episode 1 of the Life in Australia series.

This series was made to encourage immigration to Australia and to highlight the various social activities, employment and educational opportunities and lifestyles of the various cities and regional centres throughout Australia.

This film shows an idyllic picture of life in the Queensland capital of Brisbane in the mid 1960s.

Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1964. Directed by Robert Parker and now available in 4K HD. 

Film Australia Collection © NFSA. Buy a copy of Life In Australia: Brisbane or of the whole Life In Australia series at the NFSA online shop.

Adelaide: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
47356
Year:
Year

The festival city, where horses roam free at the beach. Wait, what!?

Perth: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
49014
Year:
Year

Perth is closer to Jakarta than it is to Sydney. They also have great ice cream!

Hobart: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
55723
Year:
Year

Warning: this film contains images of delicious food, particularly chocolate, which may be dangerous to your diet.

Features the famous Cadbury chocolate factory in Claremont, water sports and the beloved Cat and the Fiddle clock.

Mount Gambier: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
56978
Year:
Year

Sports cars, sheep and cattle. Just another day in Mount Gambier.

Geelong: Life In Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
51964
Year:
Year

The Ford factory in Geelong, which operated from 1925 to October 2016, is prominently featured in this film.

Wagga Wagga: Life In Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
13309
Year:
Year

Impossible not to love this girl's artistic interpretation of 'the land of many crows', Wagga Wagga!

Life In Australia: Cairns
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
55619
Year:
Year

Life in Cairns is 'sort of relaxed', says the narrator.

Geraldton: Life in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
13304
Year:
Year

From 7 inhabitants in 1850 to 7,000 a century later, Geraldton was 'on the move' in the 1960s!

Launceston: Life In Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
44007
Year:
Year

They didn't have a drone, but that didn't stop the filmmakers from shooting this great aerial view from a moving ferris wheel!