When clearing mallee stump for agricultural crop land was proving to be a challenge, Richard Smith came up with the solution to the formidable problem of how to plough such impenetrable land. The stump-jump plough is one of the inventions that enabled the development of Australia's wheat belt, from WA, across to Victoria and into NSW.
From the harsh outback to warzone frontlines and Olympic champion podiums, the Akubra hat has adorned Australian heads for over a century both here at home and around the world. The Akubra success lies in the efforts of hat maker Benjamin Dunkerley and his ingenious fur dressing invention. Dunkerley's partnership with Stephen Keir built the Akubra empire that continues today.
Have you ever wondered how fireworks have different colours or what chemicals are flammable? find out the answers in this clip
Graeme Clark's bionic ear (or cochlear implant) is a neural prosthesis designed to produce hearing sensations by electrically stimulating nerves inside the inner ear of profoundly deaf patients. It consists of a receiver-stimulator that is surgically placed under the patient's skin behind the ear, and an external sound processor that sits behind the ear, similar to a hearing aid.
John O'Sullivan and his CSIRO team developed wi-fi in 1992. Wi-fi is a way of getting broadband internet to a device using wireless transmitters and radio signals. Once a transmitter receives data from the internet, it converts that data into a radio signal that can be received and read by wi-fi enabled devices. Information is then exchanged between the transmitter and the device.
Since 1680 in Britain, and adopted in Australia just over a century later, the postal system was post-paid. That meant, the recipient paid for the letter. The system was expensive and vulnerable to fraud. James Raymond, colonial postmaster-general of NewSouth Wales, introduced the world's first pre-paid postal system selling envelopes marked with the post office's stamp for use throughout Sydney.
Although the lawn mower was not a new invention, its technology was revolutionised in 1952 by Mervyn Victor Richardson. He invented and eventually patented the rotary action blades designed to cut long thick grass in his lightweight, petrol-powered version. Victa Mowers Pty Ltd opened for business in 1953. By 2011, more than eight million mowers had been sold. This backyard inventor transformed the concept of the Aussie backyard, by making a tidy lawn achievable for a mass market.
The toilet really came into its own in the 20th century, making it the most important fixture in our homes. Now, the dual flush toilet saves up to 67 percent water per flush. It's the handy work of Bruce Thompson and colleague Steve Cummings, who invented the system, with the help of a government grant, while working for bathroom product company Caroma.
It's being described as a radical new experiment in education, the Catholic school that has done away with tests, grades and even year levels. St Luke's Catholic College is delivering a personalised curriculum for every student and it's all being delivered in a brand-new, open plan school with life coaches. But critics are questioning the radical approach to learning.
Rock fishing is one of Australia's most dangerous sports. But a team of rock fishers have created a safety vest that allows them to traverse the rocky terrain required without any apparatus holding them back.
A team of cattle farmers worked with agricultural technologists to create this innovative way of herding large groups of cattle from a computer or tablet.
Would-be parents are often left in the dark during the early stages of IVF treatment. But this Australian innovation attempts to bring them closer.
Jimmy Barnes explains why his parents relocated their family from Scotland to Australia, revealing the "official" reason as well as the context of poverty, alcohol and violence in which the decision was made.
Jimmy Barnes describes how he would spend his time as a child in Adelaide with other migrants, and recounts the time a lion escaped from a circus, likening the emaciated condition of the lion to the health of migrant children.
Jimmy Barnes describes life in Elizabeth, Adelaide, and the "horror house" he grew up in, detailing a fight between his parents, linking the alcoholism and violence to the shame of poverty in a new country. (Coarse language.)
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