Fourteen sound recordings with cultural, historical and aesthetic significance were added to Sounds of Australia for 2010.
They include landmark songs 'From Little Things (Big Things Grow)' and 'Eagle Rock'; Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) reading one of her poems; and speeches by prime ministers Robert Menzies, John Curtin and Paul Keating.
Established in 2007, Sounds of Australia is the NFSA’s selection of sound recordings which inform or reflect life in Australia. Each year, the Australian public nominates new sounds to be added with final selections determined by a panel of industry experts.
See the Complete Sounds of Australia list.
Kevin Carmody and Paul Kelly discuss the song 'From Little Things Big Things Grow’. They also discuss the Wave Hill walkout, when the Gurindji people – led by Vincent Lingiari – went on strike to get their land back from British Lord Vestey. Black-and-white footage of the actual strike is juxtaposed with the interview with Carmody and Kelly.
This clip is in three parts:
Part 1: Keating answers this rhetorical question by outlining the abuses that have occurred since the time of colonisation to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. He cites a failure of imagination on the part of settler colonial society to be able to imagine these things being 'done to us’. However, he asserts that guilt is not a productive emotion, that ‘what we need to do is to open our hearts … All of us’.
Part 2: In this section of his speech, Keating documents the remarkable contributions of the Indigenous people of Australia in history, sport, the arts, the armed services, in all areas of Australian life.
Part 3: This clip includes the ending of the speech. This is the section where Keating continues with his message of hope for significant change in Australian society. He outlines some of the changes that he can see already, such as a growing appreciation of the diversity and depth of cultures in Indigenous Australia, of the richness of our national life and identity with the participation of Indigenous people, their music, art and dance.
The genius and resilience of people who have survived many thousands of years, including cataclysmic changes, for example, helps us to learn to live with our environment. He references, importantly, ‘the wisdom contained in their epic story’ and how much colonial settlers have lost through living apart.
Summary by Vicki Grieves
Among the works performed at the official opening concert at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on 29 September 1973 was the celebrated aria from Act Two of Wagner’s opera Tannhauser (1845). ‘Dich, teure Halle’ was sung by Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson.
Summary by Vincent Plush
'Wrap Me Up With My Stockwhip and Blanket’ was recorded by Tex Morton in August 1936 for Regal Zonophone at EMI Studios in Sydney. Morton sings and plays guitar on this recording of the song. The song is a reworking of a 19th century folk song, with melody by Jack O’Hagan and Australian-flavoured lyrics adapted from Banjo Paterson’s poem 'The Dying Stockman’ (1905). This clip features the final thirty seconds of the song, including the last verse and yodelled chorus.
Summary by Graham McDonald
In this clip, Oodgeroo Noonuccal reads her poem ‘We Are Going’ in full to an appreciative audience at the Harold Park Hotel in Sydney in 1986.
Summary by Michael Weir
This 30-second clip includes the instrumental introduction and first verse of 'Bye Bye Baby’, as performed by Col Joye and the Joy Boys with backing vocals from the Sapphires.
Summary by Graham McDonald
'Mother Send the Doctors Away' is a track from Apodimi Compania’s album Rebetika: Songs of Greece (1986). It is a Rebetika song from the 1940s, played in a style typical of the genre, with guitar, tzouras and baglama backing the voice.
Summary by Graham McDonald
Bob and Dolly Dyer welcome the audience and introduce the first contestants. Dentist Raleigh Matthews is defending his win and prizes from the previous week’s show. He is up against teacher Francis Shipton. Dyer asks a series of questions which both contestants try to answer. Sound-proof headphones stop them from hearing each other’s answers.
Summary by Kate Matthews
There is no audible ceremony on Menzies’s arrival in the room, just a short introduction by another speaker. Menzies settles at the microphone and we hear a faint rustle of his papers. In his speech, Menzies exercises his skills as a civic leader to convince the Australian people of why they must go to war. He identifies Australia with other ‘civilised nations’, in particular France and Great Britain.
Summary by Carla Teixeira
In a national broadcast Prime Minister Curtin announces that Australia is now at war with Japan.
Summary by Maryanne Doyle
This is Passing the Bach, the opening track on the Don Burrows Quartet’s seminal jazz album ‘Just the Beginning’ (1971).
Summary by Brenda Gifford
This clip features two complete sides of a gramophone record. In Hinkler’s Message to Australia, pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler describes the importance of aviation to the future of Australia. In Incidents of My Flight, he recounts key events in his record-breaking solo flight from England to Australia.
Summary by Matthew Davies
This clip includes the final 30 seconds of commentary of the 4 × 100 men’s swimming medley relay at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Summary by Martin Ford