This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to Posie Graeme-Evans, creator of the smash hit TV shows McLeod's Daughters and Hi-5, which can now be seen around the world. Her medieval romance novels are best sellers. In one sense she lives in a fantasy world, dreaming up stories, but to sell those ideas she's had to become a formidable wheeler-dealer.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to one of Australia's 'National Treasures', jazz musician Don Burrows. Burrows isn't keen on being labelled a 'legend'. Even so, he's had an extraordinary career for more than 60 years, starting as a boy playing in smoky clubs during the war. Over the years he's helped lift the profile of jazz, bringing it just a little respectability and he's recorded more than 40 albums.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson is joined by one of Australia's finest country musicians - Troy Cassar-Daley. Born in Sydney to a Maltese-Australian father and an Aboriginal mother, Cassar-Daley spent most of his childhood growing up in Grafton on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. It's these twin themes of family and country that provide the inspiration for his music.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats to one of Australia's most loved comic actors, Garry McDonald. For part of the interview, McDonald is relaxing on his sofa, crocheting a bamboo and cotton shawl for his wife Diane Craig. It's an amusingly different side to the performer best known for his nervy characters Norman Gunston, and Arthur Beare in the series Mother and Son. But then, that's what Talking Heads is known for, showing what makes notable Australians tick.
Vera, who survived the Warsaw Ghetto and the cultural leap from Poland to Melbourne in the 1950's, has created spaces in her home with art, books and objects that remind her of the good friends she has made in Australia. Kit's love of toys led her to start collecting children's night lights, which glow in the dark, making her flat look like a fairy grotto.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson is joined by an author who describes her writing career as "having spanned 17 years, 48 wombats, 132 books, 23 languages, 3721 bush rats, over 50 awards in Australia and overseas, six possibly insane lyrebirds, assorted Burke's Backyard's segments, radio shows, newspaper and magazine columns, theories of pest and weed ecology and 27 shredded back doormats".
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson's guest is Wendy Whiteley. Together with her husband Brett, Whiteley was at the centre of the international arts world in the swinging sixties. They lived for a time at New York's Chelsea Hotel where their neighbours were Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Miller. But along with the success and the bohemian glamour came the eventual heroin addiction and the painful affairs that led to their marriage falling apart. Although they were divorced three years before Brett died, Whiteley has control of his estate and has set up the Brett Whiteley Studio as an art gallery and museum to honour his work.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson is joined by journalist Adam Shand who, despite never having written about crime, promised his media bosses he'd crack the story of Melbourne's gangland murders.
Facing a packed schedule, the roadtrippers drive to Canberra to interview federal MP and Minister for Housing Tanya Plibersek who proves an inspiration for Kay. En route for Melbourne they stop in Gundagai where they chat to waitress Emily. She reveals a small town Australian perspective when, oblivious of Kay as a person of Asian descent, she describes playing 'spot the Aussie' with her boyfriend.
Filmed over six months with Australia's front line squadrons, Real Top Guns joins a class of rookies who have been selected for fighter pilot school. Flying the British Aerospace Hawk-127 trainer jet, the ambitious young men are pushed to the limits learning how to dogfight and drop bombs. The is tough and any one of the students could fail at any time.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats with Jeffrey Smart, one of Australia's great living artists. Smart's unique, almost hyper-realistic pictures have sold for more than a million dollars in private sales, which he finds quite amazing. The high value of his painting is partly due to his own method of quality control, which as he tells Talking Heads, often involves a bonfire.
Actor and comedian Adrian Edmondson returns to his birthplace of Yorkshire to document another summer in the life of the Dales. He spends a day working on Ravenseat Farm with the Owen family, and meets Angela Baker, the original 'Miss February' in the world-famous Women's Institute calendar, as local theatrical group the Grassington Players prepare for the premiere of their Calendar Girls stage play.
Actor and comedian Adrian Edmondson catches up with sheep farmers Clive and Amanda Owen and their five children, then follows estate agent Brian Carlisle as he takes on an unusual sale - a 40ft waterfall known as Catrigg Force in Ribblesdale.
A fascinating new six-part series that looks at contemporary solutions to age-old parenting problems by exploring the work undertaken by Karitane; an innovative service that offers practical help to families overwhelmed by the challenges of raising young children. Parent Rescue mixes just the right amount of drama and humour to show a diverse group of families, from a mix of different cultures, who are all touched by Karitane's unique approach to supporting, nurturing and promoting family.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to author Blanche d'Alpuget. D'Alpuget's life reads like a colourful novel replete with exotic locations, powerful people and bedroom scenes. To many she's 'the other-woman' who became Bob Hawke's second wife, but as she reveals on Talking Heads her internal journey is a long and deep spiritual one that almost led her to the priesthood.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to one of the world's leading Wagnerian sopranos, Lisa Gasteen. Lisa Gasteen brings the full power of her huge voice to the sweeping themes of German opera - lust, death and the vengeance of gods. The Brisbane singer has conquered the world, but talks frankly about the high personal costs of being a globe-trotting opera star and whether her immense talent is a gift or a curse.
At fighter pilot school, dogfight training puts all students under intense pressure and two rookies are in trouble. Nineteen-year-old "Seano" is on a do-or-die fight; a fail will see the end of his dream to be a real top gun. "Chetts", the course leader, misses class and is playing catch up. Meanwhile, "Tik" and seven other top gun Hornet pilots launch a practice attack on ships in the South China Sea. After a frenzied battle campaign the squadron retires to Singapore to honour fallen military men and women in the Anzac Day Dawn Service.
Real Top Guns takes you into the cockpit with some of the hottest fighter pilots in the world, flying some of the awesome war machines of today. Over six episodes, Real Top Guns explores the family lives and motivations of the men and women who belong to the inner circle of Australia's most elite combat flying units.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson's guest is Fiona McIntosh, an author who has become something of a superstar in the fantasy fiction world. McIntosh only started writing a decade ago. She was 39 years old and having a mid-life crisis, when one day at the dentist she noticed an ad for a summer writing course in Hobart. Leaving her husband and twin boys at home, McIntosh headed to the Apple Isle, armed with a loose idea for a fantasy book.
A rapidly expanding courier business is growing faster than its staff can handle and stress levels are rising. Founder Mark Thalmann is a real success story, but is anxious that his business and staff survive the pressure. Dr Niki Ellis has some probing questions and stern advice for him and his staff, but will they take it on board? There are some difficult decisions to make and delegation issues to sort before the company can resolve its troubles.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson is joined by one of musical theatre's biggest stars, Caroline O'Connor. Whether it's playing Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Velma Kelly in Chicago or Nini-Legs in the Air in Moulin Rouge, O'Connor has been wowing audiences worldwide for years with her stage and screen performances.
Peter Thompson talks to dancer Shay Stafford, who has just returned to live in Australia with her family after 12 years dancing as a Paris showgirl at the Moulin Rouge and the Lido de Paris on the Champs-Elysees.
For more than 50 years, the Jacobsen name has been synonymous with Australian entertainment - from the dawn of rock 'n' roll to big names such as Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand, to global hits like Dirty Dancing. But behind the glitz and glamour is the story of a working class boy from East Hills who was given the responsibility of caring for his extended family.
A series about collecting and the many collections people have. Today we meet Valli in suburban Bollywood. She is a classical Indian dancer who has created a home and workspace with furniture shipped from her homeland in Sri Lanka. Nick and Heather, who both lost their sight when they were young, live in a house which they helped design with their two sighted children.
From the English county of Cheshire, the three Manifold brothers packed their bags in the 1820s to try their luck in the colonies. In 1838, the gamble paid off. The brothers were amongst the first pioneers to ride into the rich pastoral country of the western district of Victoria. They immediately laid claim to all they could see, bringing the family unparalleled wealth and status.
Can you become a star without really trying? Australian tenor David Hobson comes closer to this description than most of Peter Thompson's guests on Talking Heads. Hobson is well known for singing in numerous operas and Carols in the Domain, and for his platinum-selling popular hits. But his meteoric rise to fame surprised many, not least himself. Hobson had planned to compose songs, not sing them, but a fateful event in his early twenties dramatically diverted his career path.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats with Australian writer Robyn Davidson. As a child Davidson had a well-developed fantasy of taking to the road with no possessions. Later her 1700 mile camel trek across Australia's red centre in 1977, described in her book Tracks, captured imaginations and hearts around the world. In the decades since, her journeys have ranged from torturous to extremely plush. On Talking Heads Davidson talks about her equally intriguing inner journey.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats with one of Australia's most prominent silks, Julian Burnside QC. Today Julian is a millionaire philanthropist who can command almost $9000 a day to appear in court, but depending on the cause, often charges nothing.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson's guest is showbiz legend Harry M. Miller.
Miller is the entrepreneur who introduced Australia to the phenomenon of rock opera with Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. He originally launched his career in Sydney in the early 60s.
Wensleydale Railway general manager Nigel Park and his team of volunteers put on an event to raise money to open up the old line between Leeming Bar and Northallerton, which would connect the Dales to the East Coast mainline. Adrian Edmondson spends a day with vet Amy Swales on her rounds in the Swaledale area, while the Wensleydale Young Farmers are given a lesson in the art of auctioneering by expert Maurice Scott.
Adrian Edmondson is shown how to repair a dry stone wall by local expert Dave Tait. Liz Bielby, the wedding co-ordinator at World Heritage site Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, prepares for her own big day, while Margaret Wooler opens her five-acre garden in Skipton to the public, hoping to raise money for the National Garden Scheme.
Adrian Edmondson travels to the Kilnsey Show in Upper Wharfedale, where farmer Carol Mellin tries her hand in the sheepdog trialling competition with her dog Maisie, and teenage shepherd William Wildman competes with his sheep.
As The Australian Ballet approaches the 50th anniversary of its first performance, Artscape looks back at its origins and goes behind the scenes during the company's latest take on the classical ballet, Swan Lake.
People with life-changing decisions to make are followed around by 50 strangers for a week who must deliver their verdict on the path to take. This episode follows Jane Mason who was born with a degenerative condition.
Actor and comedian Adrian Edmondson returns to his birthplace of Yorkshire to document a summer in the life of the Dales, meeting the people who live there all year round. Sixteen-year-old Phillip Mellin talks about running his family's farm alongside his mother, following the death of his father last year, while vet Neil Roberts is called out to an emergency calving.
Adrian Edmondson revisits Clare Gardiner in West Burton to find out whether she is enjoying success with her new shop, and Kirkby Malham farmer Will Wildman travels to Middleton to buy the sheep he hopes will improve his family's flock. Meanwhile, Swinithwaite Hall owner Bridget Thornton-Berry hosts the estate's first car rally.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats with footy and fishing afficionado Rex Hunt. A former policeman and Victorian Football League (VFL) player, these days he is a highly successful businessman, passionate environmentalist and media personality.
Art has always been a risky business and, for John Olsen, it's more precarious than most. Every time he picks up a paintbrush he has no idea where it will lead him. And he's lived his life exactly as he paints. This film joins the Olsen family as they reflect on the tumultuous and unpredictable consequences of their father's artistic impulse. Today, the risks seem to have paid off. John has realised his artistic fortunes and the family is back together again and counting its blessings. Here is a rare and intimate portrait of one family where passion, risk and art go hand-in-hand with a fortunate life.
Chief Yapa, Joel, Posen, Albi and Jimmy Joseph continue their tour of the UK with a look at the English 'working class'. In this second episode, the five tribesmen from Tanna travel to Manchester for a taste of British urban life with Julie and Ray De Silva and their two sons. Visiting their first British city is an exciting and eye-opening experience for the islanders but they are saddened to see homeless people living on the streets. How, they ask, can a city with so much wealth have so many homeless?
Over the next few weeks In Conversation with Virginia Trioli features three revealing in-depth interviews with some major icons of the arts - actor, Sir Ian McKellen; singer, Marianne Faithfull; and visual artists, Gilbert and George. Tonight is the turn of Sir Ian McKellen and the veteran actor reveals to Trioli the roles closest to his heart and the important turning points in his life and career.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson's guest is singer, songwriter Leo Sayer. A shy, dyslexic child, Sayer had always dreamed of becoming a painter and even went to art school in Britain where he was taught briefly by David Hockney. But by the time he was 22, he had thrown it all away to pursue a career in music. And things happened fast. Suddenly the boy from Shoreham-by-Sea in County Sussex was an international pop phenomenon.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson talks to the founder of Crikey.com.au - Aussie stirrer - Stephen Mayne. Mayne shook up the media, politics and business when he set up Crikey.com and promised to reveal stories that others wouldn't. His mix of fact, rumour and suspicion came from powerful insiders themselves, often writing anonymously.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson talks to Australia's new king of swing, David Campbell. After discovering his dad was Jimmy Barnes, Campbell grew up in the spotlight and experienced a difficult journey to find himself and his groove. But with his infectious energy he is now one of the hottest entertainers in Australia and has brought a new energy to classic songs of the '50 and '60s.
Tony, who grew up in the north of England alongside a train line, has settled in Sydney in a weatherboard cottage surrounded with railway memorabilia. Rachelle has a passion for collecting 1930's Czech glassware and china.
This week on Talking Heads, Peter Thompson chats with Geraldine Cox AM, the President, Director and 'Big Mum' of the Sunrise Village Orphanages in Cambodia. Geraldine's life reads like a thick airport paperback - war zones, exotic locations, diplomatic cocktail parties, lots of men, love, prostitutes and sex, a bloody coup, adoption (multiple efforts), teenage rebellion, hedonism and selflessness, meetings with kings, generals and prime ministers. She could be described as part sinner, part saint. She's done it all and tells it with an extraordinary frankness.
This week on Talking Heads Peter Thompson is joined by one of the most talented musicians Australia has ever produced, Paul Grabowsky. Grabowsky was playing the piano as a toddler and grew up wanting to be an orchestra conductor. But along the way was seduced by jazz.
When Len Ainsworth started out he knew nothing of poker machines or gaming. He was a dentist's son with a mechanical bent who was meant to be studying to be a doctor. When someone suggested he build a poker machine he replied: 'What's a poker machine?' From building an international empire, to giving it all away to his family following a cancer diagnosis, this private family, for the very first time, has allowed filmmaker Simon Target into their lives to tell a fascinating personal story.
Resilience, rights and respectful relationships can be modelled at school to inform students about positive relationships at school, home and the world. Share this playlist that focuses on building positive relationships.
Encourage your students to develop their musical skills by exploring, imitating and recognising elements of music, including dynamic, pitch and rhythm with this collection. (ACAMUM080, ACAMUM084, ACAMUM088, VCAMUR020, VCAMUR024, VCAMUR028, VCAMUR032)
Bullying sucks whether it is online, at school or in a workplace, there is no space for it in our lives. Find more about bullying experiences and how to combat issues related to bullying in this playlist.
There is no space for bullying, whether it is in the playground, classroom or online. No way! View this collection, which deals with all aspects of bullying and how it can be prevented. (ACPPS074,VCHPEP092,VCHPEP109)
Space inspires our greatest scientific and creative minds. Take to the stars with NASA, or hop aboard Millennium Falcon in the best of space fact and fiction. (ACSSU188,ACSSU189,VCSSU127,VCSSU128,VCSSU129)
On April 27, 1994, millions of first-time voters cast their ballots in South Africa's first free elections, ushering in the presidency of Mandela. Learn about the enormous change from those who lived it.