Politics | 1980 | Sound | Colour + B/W
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A film explaining the three tiers of government in Australia; federal, state and local governments, and the legal system, including the Family Court and the unique Industrial Court.
Sea waves break on a rocky shore. A graphic illustration of an early map of Australia. An old map of New South Wales. A map of Botany Bay at the time of settlement. An early painting of ships in Port Jackson. A drawing of convict settlers with soldiers and a guard. There is a close up of four unsavoury-looking convicts. Another drawing of desperate convicts. An old print of a slightly more genteel convict couple. A drawing shows convicts with agricultural implements accompanied by guards. A water colour shows Sydney in the 1820's, an established colony with many buildings and a large windmill. A drawing of an Australian gold field. (from around 1850's and not Sydney) An earlier painting of a township, with women out walking and a soldier, small stones houses and picket fences. A close up of what appears to be an S T Gill painting, showing the goldfields. An early painting of Sydney, with buildings of several stories, from the first half of the 19th century. A water colour of Sydney Harbour from the same period. There is a sequence of close-up shots of a painting of the goldfields, once again very representative of S T Gills works, which shows various methods of alluvial gold mining, from panning to digging to cradle sluicing on a creek, and a bullock wagon, a tent city, timber houses and stores, aborigines etc. A early map of Australia shows the gradual development six states.
Old black and white footage of Federation on January 1, 1901 with marching soldiers in a street parade. Floats and riders celebrate Australia's first federal government. A horse-drawn open carriage carries dignitaries and their wives in the parade. Dignitaries and politicians walk down steps of a grand building and are saluted by officials. A wide shot of a still sepia photograph of thousands of people in a Federation ceremony.
Contemporary footage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip as they shake hands with dignitaries and move into an open car, the crowds cheer. A sequence of old Victorian buildings illustrates the political and legal systems of Australia, which are based on the British Westminster system. A brass plaque on a grand old building says "Government of Victoria". The state of Victoria Parliament House is an old Victorian building. A close up shows the ornate decoration on the federal or Commonwealth (old) Parliament House. Australia's coat of arms with the emu and kangaroo, on the top of the (old) Parliament House. A long shot of the old Parliament House shows the spacious city planning of Canberra. The official Canberra residence of the Governor General of Australia is resplendent as it is surrounded by trees with autumnal foliage. A secretary enters a room and gives the Governor General a file of bills that have been passed by parliament for him to sign. Australia's coat of arms on the old Parliament House again. The interior of the lower house, the House of Representatives is seen from a high point, Malcolm Fraser is in the Prime Ministers chair. The speaker of the House wears a long wig and is seated in the speakers chair. Another wigged male is pictured. The House of Representatives has oval seating and green carpet. Journalists and the public look on from the gallery. Stenographers sit at their machines and take record of the government proceedings for Hansard. Another view of the House of Representatives as the role of the house is explained.
The upper House, or Senate, represents the equality of the states in the Commonwealth of Australia and has red carpet, similar seating arrangements to the lower house but has less members. The speaker is seen wearing a long wig. A stenographer types at her machine. A further shot of the upper House. The House of Representatives has Malcolm Fraser in the Prime Ministers chair. Backbenchers read notes and listen to proceedings. A cabinet minister stands beside the Prime Minister and addresses the parliament. The leader of the opposition, Bill Hayden, (future Governor General) listens to the speech.
People hand out "how to vote " cards in front of a polling booth. An election poster with a candidates face encourages votes for him. A sequence of shots of many different people handing out "how to vote cards" is overlaid with the narrator explains the mainly three-party system in Australia. One of the sequences shows ex-Prime Minister William McMahon talking earnestly with a female voter.
Inside a polling booth, people queue to have their names checked off the electoral roll, others are already voting. A young woman is filling out her voting slips in a cubicle. A woman places her vote in a strongly sealed ballot box. People fold their two ballot papers and place them in the two voting boxes, one for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate. Aborigine woman fill in their voting slips in a cubicle. A woman places her vote in the ballot box.
The Willoughby Municipal Council is a modern multi-storied building and an example of the third tier of government. Municipal shires and councils are represented by shots of the Parramatta City Council, Ryde Municipal Council and the North Sydney Council Chambers buildings. A hand places a ballot paper into a ballot box; this represents the secret nature of the voting system.
An interior shot of the House of Representatives is used as the narrator explains the Westminster-based system and traditions. The golden rod is on the table in front of the Prime Minister. The speaker is William (Billy) Sneddon. A large hour glass is turned. Stenographers sit at he end of the opposition side of the table. The speaker looks about the House. Old black and white footage shows the opening of parliament in Canberra in 1927. Soldiers on horseback parade in the bare paddocks surrounding Parliament House. Dignitaries and horseman in splendid feathered head gear stand to attention at the opening of the Parliament House. An early architectural plan of the city of Canberra, the national capital, the site of which was chosen in 1908. Walter Burley Griffin's early plans of the city. Old film of the foundation ceremony in 1913, inside the newly completed Parliament House. (Confusing, as this footage looks very much like that used previously and referred to as film from 1927). Outside, the many horseman ride in formation. A colour view of modern Canberra.
People walk in front of a large modern courthouse. A close-up of the Australian coat of arms on the court house. A sequence of shots of legal personnel, many wearing wigs as they walk in the streets of a city law precinct. The North Sydney Petty Sessions office is shown as an example of the Magistrates Court. A close-up of a sign gives hours and details of the court. A sign "Court House" on an old Victorian building provides an example of intermediate courts of the legal system. A brass plaque with "Supreme Court of New South Wales" demonstrates the higher state courts. Another brass plaque of the "District of New South Wales" refers to the Full Court of Appeal. The splendid modern High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal and the guardian of the constitution.
A close-up of a court list in a newspaper. The same of the High court and Federal Court. A printed page explains legal aid. A multi-storied building with the Australian coat of arms is used as the narrator explains the role of the ombudsman. A large brass plaque has many courts listed. Children paddle in the shallows of a pond in a public park in the sunshine, as the principles of the family court are narrated. A succession of papers shows details of family law. An old children's court building is shown. A family court hearing takes place behind closed doors to represent the strict privacy of the court. Shots inside a family court show the minimum of formality. A female (!) legal representative asks a question in the family court.
In the heart of a city, the steel frame of a large modern building has a construction worker walking across a steel girder. ( a very unsafe work practice ) A group of builders labourers on a large building site vote to go on strike. The sign of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. John Halfpenny, a trade union leader, enters the commission building surrounded by television cameras and journalists. There are several shots of television news crews following John Halfpenny in the halls of the Arbitration and Conciliation Commission. A file titled "Metal Trades Award." The narrator explains awards as various pages of the Metal Trades Award of 1952 is shown. Other examples of legal papers concerning awards disputes.
In a sequence of shots of a modern steel plant the narrator explains the workings of the Industrial Division of the Federal Court of Australia, a man directs the process of the molten steel with electronic controls inside a work station. A wide panning aerial shot of Canberra looks past the James Cook Memorial Water Jet in Lake Burley Griffin, and the National Library to old Parliament House, with the deciduous trees magnificent in autumnal colours.
To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 9264.