Colourised image of a thylacine in a pen at Hobart Zoo

Top Content for 2021

NFSA's Top Content for 2021

Your Favourite Collections and Articles
 Mel Bondfield


WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that this article may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons.

If 2021 gave you a sense of déjà vu, you were not alone – we were right there with you! So it has been our privilege this year to share so many fascinating finds from the NFSA collection that we hope have inspired and delighted you.

So, what got you all clicking in 2021? Here’s a rundown of our most popular new content of the year.

Top Articles

Did someone say déjà vu? After rediscovered footage of the last Tasmanian tiger topped our list for 2020, the colourised footage of Benjamin became our most viewed piece of content ever!

Painstakingly colourised by Paris-based company Composite Films, led by Samuel François-Steininger, we published this remarkable footage to honour Benjamin on National Threatened Species Day:

Footage of the last Tasmanian Tiger (thylacine) in Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart, 1933. Footage colourised by Composite Films, 2021. Please note: this clip is silent. NFSA title: 1652978

Earlier in the year one of our eagle-eyed curators came across a rare discovery within a 1956 home movie. The newly digitised 8mm film contained behind-the-scenes footage of feature film The Shiralee, starring Peter Finch. However, unlike the feature film, this home movie was filmed in brilliant colour.

Possibly the most remarkable discovery for the NFSA in 2021 was lost footage of The Easybeats on British music television program Top of the Pops in 1966 performing their hit ‘Friday on My Mind’.

The Easybeats on Top of the Pops
The Easybeats on Top of the Pops, 24 November 1966. Courtesy: BBC. NFSA title: 1653641

The black-and-white 16mm film reel containing the footage was found purely by chance by Australian artist Lucy Culliton, among the belongings of her late father Tony Culliton, a former Seven Network TV director.

In April 2021, family variety show Young Talent Time celebrated its 50th anniversary. Along with an online curated collection, the NFSA published this rare footage of the original Young Talent Team which had not been seen since it first aired in 1972.

Another long-running Aussie variety show to clock a half-century this year was the chaotic and much-loved Hey Hey It’s Saturday, which ran from 1971 to 2010.

To mark this milestone, the NFSA shared some rarely seen segments from the 1970s, including the earliest known surviving colour footage from a 1975 episode.

Top Curated Collections

As we've already seen, Young Talent Time's 50th Anniversary hit the nostalgia sweet spot for thousands of fans of the popular family variety show.

We marked the occasion with our Young Talent Time curated collection, which featured clips dating all the way back to the early 1970s and included footage of every single member of the Young Talent Time team:

Young Talent Time 50th birthday video compilation, 2021. Footage courtesy Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd. and Seven Network.

Our curated collection of Australian TV game shows explored popular hits like Sale of the Century and Pick A Box, as well as weird and wonderful offerings like It's a Knockout and Almost Anything Goes.

Portrait of Faith Bandler
Portrait of Aboriginal activist Faith Bandler (1920-2015).

Comedians Tony Martin and Mick Molloy are one of Australia's best-loved radio duos of all time. The Martin/Molloy curated collection contained some of the funniest and most irreverent highlights from their high-rating radio show, which was on air from 1995 to 1998.

Our Australian Film Music collection explores the power of film scores and cinema soundscapes. It covers film soundtracks ranging from Jedda to Happy Feet, The Man From Snowy River to Muriel's Wedding.

The year 2021 has been a significant one for Australian women, so it was no surprise that our curated collection Australian Biography: Women also made our list of most viewed content of the year.

The collection features in-depth interviews with remarkable women from Australia's cultural, political, artistic, sporting and social life who have played a part in shaping our nation over the past century. 

Thank you for sticking with us through 2021 and we look forward to bringing you more amazing content from the NFSA collection in 2022.