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The Making Of Modern Australia -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) politics. For a second time, a jury job. But he says he's not quitting

in Melbourne has found a Winchelsea

father guilty of murdering his three

sons. The boys drowned when

41-year-old Robert Farquharson drove

into a dam on Fathers' Day five

ago. Farquharson maintained he'd into a dam on Fathers' Day five years

blacked out at the wheel. But his

estranged wife told the court he'd

killed the boys, to get back at her.

And there's new hope

And there's new hope tonight for

Australians who suffer from coeliac

disease. Researchers have worked out

the exact proteins that make gluten

toxic to coeliac sufferers. They're

now working on a drug to desensitise

them, but an effective treatment may

still be seven years away.

weather - Melbourne will have a still be seven years away. Tomorrow's

shower or two. In Sydney, light

showers near the coast. And for

Canberra a partly cloudy day after a

frosty start. More news in an hour. THEME MUSIC 'From the memories of its people, NARRATOR: a nation's history comes to life.' MAN: 'Come over to the sunny side.' PEOPLE CHEER in Australian life since 1945, 'These are stories of great changes told by the people who lived them. Second World War by having babies, Australia celebrated the end of the millions of them. had 3.5 kids. The average Australian family before television, And in the days in the great outdoors. their childhoods were spent was some physical activity. Everything that we did Wonderful days, wonderful days. were subject to strict discipline 'But post-war children to parents and teachers.' and unquestioning obedience and the strap. We were ruled by prayer rock 'n' roll, 'And then they discovered and a new attitude to sex.' teenage fashion at what those people are wearing! I would just be going, "My God, look look at what they're doing!" Oh, my God, "Yeah, right, liberation!" And I just went, having babies of their own, 'But when the Baby Boomers started a new kind of childhood was born. preferred to play indoors.' A generation of computer kids with a particular notion, If you've been brought up playing in the backyard, as in, "Childhood is about getting your hands and feet dirty," that my generation represents then obviously everything is an abomination of childhood. in the average Australian family 'Today, there are less than two kids with information and their world is so awash we're left wondering, and entertainment, "Are they growing up too quickly?" for kids to grow up in Australia seemed a great place after World War II. and there was plenty of room to play. The country was recovering the population was 7.5 million. In 1946, it would explode to 11.5 million. Within 20 years, and it produced a generation of kids This was the Baby Boom who would change things forever. were born in 1946. Bob Moore and Loretta Pendergast in the wilds of the Queensland bush.' Childhood sweethearts, they grew up on your own as a youngster, There was no problem with going out or getting birds' eggs catching crayfish and things like that. and birds' nests for miles out into the bush. You could ride your pushbike for children to be. It was just a wonderful way their peace baby, of course. Mum always told me I was the Japanese surrender. And I was conceived just after populate or perish, in those days. Australia was under the option of in our family There was five boys and a girl a fairly normal-sized family. and that was We didn't have TV. We had to make our own fun. We played rounders in the street under the light at night. kangaroo shooter at times, Dad worked in the bush, um, shearer's cook, drover. he'd take me. When he'd go out roo shooting, I was probably about nine or ten. out there. He taught me to shoot. I'd spend the school holidays left-hand drive Jeep. He taught me to drive a Jeep, it was just wonderful. Looking back now, endured global depression The Baby Boomers' parents had and a world war. to value hard work, Crisis had taught them respect and austerity, in their children.' qualities they encouraged we had to chop wood, do gardening, To get pocket money, make our beds. clean up after the dog, you know, grew up in suburban Perth.' 'Les Dixon and his younger brother at the trots. My stepfather was a bookmaker He was pretty strict with us. And as we got older, pocket money, we used to get two shillings a week which went a long way. my brother and I, buy a bottle of Coke, We could go to the movies, a packet of PKs to put in the Coke and a Phantom comic. to make it fizz up and be able to defend itself, 'If Australia was going to prosper that the country needed more people, the Government of the day believed preferably young, white and British.' MAN: 'While Australia is encouraging of the British community, a cross-section the accent is on youth. to overcome, As there's no language barrier adapt themselves immediately.' these British children can at the time 'An Immigration Department slogan "The child makes the best immigrant." was, cheaper to accommodate Children were easier to manage, ahead of them. and they had long working lives Between 1947 and 1953, without parents more than 3,000 working-class kids from the United Kingdom.' arrived in Australia My father died at the age of 35 and being one of five children, into the orphanage in Scotland. my mother just put us all Someone come up one day and said, for a holiday?" "Who'd like to go to Australia So, being little kids, eight years of age then - just after the war - I was only and we all put our hands up. "Do you want an ice-cream?" It was just like asking a kid, I arrived in Australia in 1947 to an orphanage in Subiaco. and then they took us up the next nine years. And that's where I spent were government-subsidised, 'The homes the children went to and voluntary organisations. but run by church by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.' Rose was brought up Sisters of Mercy with no mercy. CHURCH BELL RINGS Three times a day in church and you fell out of your bed onto your knees and you fell into bed on your knees. Very, very little schooling. We were really put to work. At the age of nine, we were down scrubbing and polishing floors. You'd get up, six o'clock in the morning. You worked in the laundry, you worked at the farming home, looking after little children. It was a pretty tough life, you know? We were ruled by prayer and the strap. 'Most Baby Boomers attended schools than ran with an almost military discipline. Every Monday morning, they swore an oath to honour the flag, serve the Queen and cheerfully obey parents, teachers and the laws. Order was maintained by the threat and application of corporal punishment.' When I was in school, there was always 60 kids in the class. Well, in the State school, the discipline was severe. Somebody in the class got the cane every day, either for misbehaviour or for getting things wrong. And many the time I got the cane for getting, particularly sums, getting sums wrong. And I can remember in Grade 6, for getting two sums wrong, I got sent back to Grade 4 for the day because I got two sums wrong and my young brother was in that class. And I had to stay there all day. (LAUGHS) And he never let you forget it. No, he never let me forget it. It took me a long time to get over that. It worried me for a long time. There was marching competitions and we marched into class to the sound of one of the songs that the soldiers used to sing. ? Colonel Bogey March 'Geoff Stirling was born in 1942 and attended a local state school in a working-class suburb of Melbourne.' At the beginning of every year, with a new exercise book, it was almost like the promise that I was going to be learning something. And I didn't quite know what that was, but I guess it was a yearning to discover something that I hadn't been exposed to up until that time. But my curiosity about things, I don't think was properly fulfilled. There wasn't a real exposure to ideas. 'Geoff's unhappiness at school was something his father Wally didn't understand and would not tolerate.' He was clearly very disappointed in me. I know that I used to fear being hit over the head. You know, that used to terrify me. It was like a threat that hung over our relationship. His dad was a sergeant major in the Second World War and he ran, he ran his family that way. He was a tough character. I mean, it was black-and-white with Wal. Everything was, "This is the way it is or this is the way it is." That was no grey area, much, in the middle. He wanted me to join the Boy Scouts. I remember I was crying, you know. I didn't want to go to these organisations. But he was so determined that it would somehow improve me. 'Like many Baby Boomers, Geoff's childhood experiences would later radically shape the way he would bring up his own kids. But '50s children had little chance to question authority. Boys and girls sat quietly and apart and learned lessons that prepared them for very different roles.' MAN: 'At Parramatta Home Science High School, Sydney, girls up to the age of 16 put on a parade that's distinctly novel. These dresses are made as part of the intermediate exam. They all deserve full marks. But for any impressionable young bachelors who may be watching, a word of advice - don't kid yourselves. Once they're married, down goes the needle and thread and you're 30 quid poorer every time a shop puts a frock in the window and labels it "exclusive". Ain't education wonderful? 'Australian parents in the 1950s watched films that told them they were living in a wealthy and prosperous nation. Compared to the rest of the world, Australia was a lucky country, where hard work would provide their families with attractive rewards. The Government was helping them to secure their children's future by providing them with free medical examinations, chest X-rays and a bottle of milk at playtime. But the propaganda was illusory, and parents with teenage children were about to get the shock of their lives.' I'm a bodgie. I'm a widgie. So what? MAN: 'A bodgie is a male with long hair and unusual clothes. A widgie is a female with short hair and unusual clothes. Unlike the rest of society, the male is usually the more colourfully, even exotically dressed. Mostly they're teenagers - usually they come back to normal after 22. If they don't by then, sound the warning siren.' 'Les Dixon became a bodgie in 1956. He was 15.' People saw us as some sort of a threat. You know, we were going to be the downfall of society and mothers would warn their daughters, "Don't mix with any of those guys. They're bad news. Those bodgies will ruin you." 'But bodgies and widgies were just a flash in the pan compared with what happened next.' I was listening to the morning radio and Lionel Lewis, who was a disc jockey on 6KY, says, "Oh, here's the latest from America." ROCK MUSIC Straightaway, old people hated it and so, therefore, us teenagers absolutely took to it as a sign of a rebellion, I suppose. We suddenly had our own identity, our own music, our own clothes and from that moment on, it changed my whole life. ? JOHNNY O'KEEFE: Come on, everybody, it's six o'clock ? Uh-huh, uh-huh... ? 'The teenage rock 'n' roll rebellion spread like wildfire. The new medium of television was quick to exploit it. Australian society had a new force and it was stamping its foot, demanding to be heard.' ? Yeah, Junior said to Channel 2 ? Uh-huh, uh-huh... ? I started the band in 1956. I wrote a song called Stingy Mingy Mama. And cos we had the school dance and they'd bring in the girls from the school next door. Anyway, we're up there playing the old Glen Miller, Moonlight Serenade, and the young fellers are down the front, "Play some rock 'n' roll, Les. Play rock 'n' roll." ? Whoa, you're a stingy, mingy mama ? You don't want my love, ah... ? Well, the place exploded and the headmaster's yelling out, "Turn the power off! Turn the power off!" you know. And, boy, did I get into trouble for that one. (LAUGHS) ? You don't want me, but you never leave me... ? '17-year-old Rose Kruger used to sneak out of the Catholic orphanage to attend rock 'n' roll dances.' We were warned by the nuns when Elvis first started that rock 'n' roll was the devil's plaything. Woo! Oh, it just got your blood boiling, didn't it? And I think, as a rejection to the nuns, I took it up. ? Stingy mingy mama, uh-huh Woo! ? Yeah! ? We were the teenagers to have, like, a disposable income as well. Even though we weren't earning a lot of money, as such, a lot of our money did go on clothes, records, that type of thing. MAN: 'Whether it's a direct result of advertising or not, sales to the teenager are increasing and sales techniques are changing. As a consumer, the teenager now plays an extraordinarily important role in the economic life of the country.' 'By the early 1960s, middle-class Australian youth living in the cities had developed an identity and a voice that could not be ignored. But elsewhere, still living on the fringes of society, there was a group of Australian children whose status remained unrecognised. Occasionally seen, but seldom, if ever, heard.' My grandfather and grandma, they lived on a property. They were given permission to set up a camp, which was two very small tin shacks. The camp had, probably, about 20 people there. Women, my uncles, aunties, my mum and lots of cousins. So I remember lots of laughter. And every night, you were sung to sleep by the aunts and uncles. And their favourite was Joey's Song from Bill Haley And The Comets. It's just an instrumental. And whenever I hear it, I'm just transported back to the camp. (CHILDREN LAUGH) 'In 1960, there were fewer than 150,000 Aborigines living in Australia. The majority lived in reserves and missions, well away from major towns and cities. To assimilate Aboriginal children into white society, successive Australian governments had sanctioned the policy of removing them from their families.' I remember the night before, Mum kept saying, "You're going on a train ride." So in the morning, Mum dressed us all and we were just excited to go to the train and she kept saying, "Always remember your manners." And she kept brushing our hair, which she never used to do. I had on a new dress. I can still see the colour. And it had fruit all over it - pears, apples, oranges, cherries, the background was green and the top half was red and I had a red cardigan. My eldest brother, Barry, was nine. Widdy was seven, I was five. Robbie was four, Kevin was two and the twins were three months old. WHISTLE BLOWS We just looked up at this huge train and then, in time, Mum said, "Get on the train now. All you kids, get on the train." And so we got inside and we're running up and down, cos we've seen inside a train. We looked at the seats and we checked out the toilet. We were so excited with the toilet, cos we'd never seen a toilet. We were told to take our seats and then the train jerked forward. And I was looking out the window and I saw my mum and my aunties, um, just standing there and waving a white hanky. So my mum had lost seven children overnight and she didn't even have a photograph. That was the 22nd of April, 1960. 'It would be more than 20 years before Donna saw her mother again. In the 1960s, government films presented an idealised view of family life.' MAN: 'Our street is pretty typical of any new suburban road in Southern Australia.' 'White Australia was a country where parents could raise healthy, well-behaved children in quiet suburbia. The vast majority of married women were stay-at-home housewives. On average, they bore 3.5 children. And there was full employment for their husbands. It was a bountiful picture. The streets were clean and it was safe enough to leave your children unattended when you went shopping. The reality, of course, was a lot different.' My mother started having children when she was 16. By the time she was 29, she'd had eight children. And my father was fairly alcoholic and had really bad temper, so they tried to stay together, but it was a bit of a nightmare. They had no money. They were poor. Every year, we would go to my grandparents', my mother's parents, for Christmas and they would give us new underwear. A new singlet and a new pair of undies. That's sort of how poor we were. And there's a photo of us all lined up in our underwear. Um, yeah, it's sort of sad, but funny at the same time. I mean, I remember good times, as a little kid, with my brothers and sisters. But I don't remember much love, holding and, you know, hugging and... But a lot of families were like that, I think. There's no way you could talk to adults in the way that children, young adults talk to their parents now. You had to obey rules. You know, there were consequences, and in some ways, when my father was alive, it was violent consequences. You'd be hit with a stick or... you know, I remember once - it was pretty weird, actually, and it makes me quite sad... My father was not good at being kind if you did something wrong. And I remember, one time, he picked me upside down and was hitting me with a bread knife. And that was very disturbing. So, you know. And in those days, there was that thing about, "When you smack kids, it makes them better, makes them tougher." I don't agree with that. 'In the Australia of the 1960s, the family was the key element of society. Being married and having kids was not just a personal achievement, but also the fulfillment of a social obligation. But for Rose Kruger, who'd been orphaned at an early age, it went much deeper.' You've always got this want in you for a mum and a dad. You'd never call anybody mum or dad. But having your own children makes it a little bit lighter. Well, I married this guy who was a bit of a drinker and we had three children. Beautiful kids. But life just got worse. He got more into the drink, very abusive. I was told that if I did leave him, I would have to leave my children somewhere and get a job to support myself. My answer to that was, "My mother dumped me. I'm not dumping my kids." I stuck with him for 25 years. 'For married couples in the 1960s, being unable to have children was considered a great tragedy, but there were options. Good afternoon, Mrs Cole. I'm Miss Johnson from the Department Of Social Welfare. Do you remember meeting me in my office? Yes. I've come to talk about your application to adopt a baby. Would you come in? Thanks. You're not so particularly interested in the full-blood child, are you? It's the part Aboriginal that you feel is needing help more than the other. I believe that I could definitely bring up an Aboriginal child as much as a white. Have you had any experience of Aboriginals and their walkabout, their sort of general traits and behaviour? Do you know any Aboriginal families? No. WHISTLE BLOWS 'Five-year-old Donna Meehan was taken 500km from her family home in Central New South Wales before finally arriving in Newcastle after an overnight train ride.' I'm just sitting, watching people walking past, just looking at shoes. And, um, and I don't remember seeing many shoes in my childhood. But I was watching all these shoes and this busyness and I'm thinking, "Something's different. What's different?" And then I realised they were all white people. The white welfare lady brought a tall, dark man and a shorter white woman and she bent down and she said, "Donna, this is your new mum and dad. Go with them and they'll give you something to eat." That's all that was said. 'Donna's new parents were Elizabeth and Tim Popov, who'd migrated to Australia from Germany after the war.' This home was very different. Different food and cos my parents were New Australian, they spoke German to each other every night, so it was a new language, a different language. Our house was right beside the railway track, and I remember, often, just watching the steam trains go past and I used to think, "If I just follow that train, that would take me back to the camp." And I remember, when I came home from school one day, and I froze when I got to the back door because there was this song on the radio. ? BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS: Joey's Song And my adoptive mum, she made a point of buying me the record. OK, girls, open your books... 'In the 1960s, there was still a very big difference in the way boys and girls received an education.' MAN: 'Most boys will still be at school at the age of 15, but there'll only be one girl in three.' In those days, the girl got married and had children. That's what, you know? There was no other thing to it, was there? Mmm. It was a lot simpler than what it is now. Yeah. A lot simpler. 'But as for every generation, the one thing that wasn't simple was the moment when teenagers started thinking about having sex.' I was a virgin when we got married. There's no worry about that. But when we were courting, we used to go to the pictures and we'd come home, we'd sit in the lounge and listen to the radio or play records and get up to whatever nonsense we possibly could, sitting in the lounge. And Loretta's mother would be in bed in the room next door. The door would be open, the light would be out and she'd be asleep. But one night, she had the bed light on and I could see that she had the bedroom cupboard with the mirror adjusted so she could look out through the mirror and see us on the couch. (BOTH LAUGH) Pretty clever. 'Sex education during the 1960s was pretty basic. Christian-based, mother-and-daughter and father-and-son groups screened films about reproduction. The contraceptive pill had arrived in 1961, but was only available to married women by prescription. But for the first time, sex was being discussed openly.' And the boys I've spoken to said that they marry, they expected their wife to be a virgin or for her to have a very good reason why she wasn't. I don't think you can just say, "I'm going to be a virgin when I'm married." There is so much of life ahead of us. 'At the point where the 1960s became the 1970s, Australia experienced social and sexual revolution.' I would just be glued to the television, going, "My God, look at what those people are wearing! Oh, my God, look what they're doing!" And I started to realise there was a bigger world. And I realised I was pretty and I got a lot of attention. And, I mean, that's when I got my first miniskirt. And I remember this girl saying, "You've got to put it on and you put two fingers just below your mooshie - vagina - and that's as short as you have it. And I just went, "Yeah, right! Liberation! He had a car, he had a job and I used to nick off with him out into the bush. There was no birth control that I knew of. Not really. It wasn't - the pill wasn't talked about. I didn't know what a condom was. And that's when I got pregnant. Arrangements were made for me to get married. So I played house. I played Mum And Dad. 'Karen gave birth in 1973, when teenage pregnancies accounted for about 8% of the babies born in Australia.' There's so many people have ideas about how you should be a parent and everybody wanted to give me advice cos I was 16, you know. "Have you thought about this?" And then you think you're totally useless as a parent because you haven't thought about that. In some ways, I was so ignorant that it just happened. I fed the baby, I changed the baby, I got up and fed the baby, I changed the baby. You know, I did a sort of robotic thing because I didn't really want to listen to anybody cos I was over people telling me what to do. 'By the mid '70s, the Baby Boomers had thrown out the rule book on sex and relationships and ideas about parenting were changing, too. The old maxim, "Children should be seen, but not heard" was fading and child psychologists and educators began asserting the importance of a child's individual needs and voice. Geoff and Polly Stirling were among a group of new parents determined to explore alternative ways of raising their children. They moved into a commune near Nimbin in New South Wales.' I consciously rejected the way that I was brought up. I was not a happy child. I found teenage years, particularly, extraordinarily difficult. So I didn't want that for my children. I had no family on this side of the world and Geoff's family were in Melbourne and we didn't see ourselves living, ever, in a city. I don't think it was working for us in the conventional, status quo way. We needed to have, you know, a replacement family, really. You know, and we'd already been interested in community. I kind of liked the idea of an intentional family, because the blood family doesn't always work for me and I don't think for Geoff, either. 'The Stirlings settled on 80 acres of rainforest, which they shared with 13 other families. They had three children - two daughters, Melina and Myfanwy, and a son, Paedor.' They had very strong values and very strong kind of ethics in the way they wanted us to grow up. GEOFF: The key is experimenting. There's no doubt that the main thing for the children here, their education, has been the community itself. Both of us took the view that, "Let's just find out what they're interested in." Expose them to as much as possible and then, you know, allow them to find their way. POLLY: They were like free-range chooks. They went out the door in the morning and we did not worry. PAEDOR: You couldn't tell me and my sisters apart. And we'd sort of go off on adventures, you know, and explore the world that surrounded us. The community I grew up on wasn't just a bunch of dope-smoking hippies that were running around naked, copulating. That's actually really far from the truth. My parents were quite strict, and especially my father. The conditioning is very much the thing that I was battling, because, like, in essence, my father, I'm not very much different from him. We couldn't talk back. There was no chance of swearing. I mean, there was strict guidelines to the way that our family operated. We didn't have a television till I was 14 years of age. But it wasn't that they were censoring everything, it's just that they, I guess they didn't want us to be influenced by things that they didn't believe in. 'Even in the more conventional families, the parent-child dynamic in the mid '70s had changed dramatically from the post-war model. Dr Benjamin Spock's seminal book on raising children as individuals had been written in 1946, but now it was a bestseller.' (CHILDREN MAKE DINGING SOUNDS) 'Unlike their Baby Boomer parents' regimented education, '70s kids were encouraged to express themselves. In high schools, a revised curriculum exposed students to adult topics that invited them to be more self-assured and assertive.' 'By the end of the 1970s, corporal punishment in Australian schools had virtually disappeared. There was widespread recognition that like everyone else, children had rights and could expect that their physical and emotional wellbeing would be protected. In this respect, Donna Meehan had been lucky. Her adoptive parents loved her. But growing up in Newcastle, New South Wales, as an only child had been lonely and confusing.' They were good, kind, loving. They had, you know, they told everyone, "Yes, we've adopted Donna, but we couldn't love our own flesh and blood any more." But I just felt different. I felt like a fish out of water. Everywhere we lived, I was the only Aboriginal person. Every school I went to, every church I went to, I was the only Aboriginal person. By the time I was 13, I was in denial. I would never say I was Aboriginal. You know, I had European parents who were workaholics. My parents, in the end, had a service station and worked 365 days a year, 18 hours a day. I was serving hundreds of people every day and they looked down on me. And I just knew it, before people would even ask the question, they'd edge around it and say, "Oh, excuse me, if you don't mind me asking, what nationality are you?" And I just used to hate that question. And I certainly didn't feel like I belonged. I believe, in my teenage years, I was sitting on a fence, just watching society. 'In Donna's world, the old racism was still entrenched. But elsewhere, Australian society was undergoing an upheaval.' ALL: What do we want? Freedom! When do we want it? Now! 'An irrepressible women's movement had emerged, demanding changes at home and in the workplace and the new feminism provoked spirited opposition.' A mother's primary responsibility is the full-time care of her own very young children. And almost every married woman is driven to this, to want this, by her own innermost instincts. There is no substitute for the unifying factor of the mother in the home. The typical Australian female, you know, she looks after the house, she has children, you know. The pregnant and bare-footed image in the homes and off the streets. The things we can't do, like have children. It seems to be the role she more readily adopts anyway, looking at, particularly, the average Australian female. Looking at history, she's always had this role and they haven't, before, tried to change it. The women of their older years seem to, you know, they're satisfied with having brought up children and having fed them. They feel good about the matter. These women's liberationists are trying to change our system. It seems to me that what you're saying is that you men are superior in every way to all women. That's putting it very simplistically, but, basically, yes. ALL: Women's rights now! Women's rights now! a great raft of social and legislative reforms affecting women had arrived. Laws governing equal pay, abortion and paid maternity leave all gave women new freedoms.' ALL: Women's rights now! At 19, I realised there was more in the world that I needed for me other than just being a parent. I'd had two kids and I was bored out of my brains with my partner. And I left him at 20. 'Karen's husband filed for divorce in 1976, a process simplified by the new 1975 Family Law Act, which enabled the quick and inexpensive dissolution of a marriage.' Divorce, for me, was great, cos it meant that he was out of my life. But for the kids, it was not good. They didn't have their dad and, you know, he wasn't a bad person. But in those days, people didn't understand co-parenting. It was all about almost nastiness, you know, who could get the most and how many times you could have the kid or, you know, pulling... I felt, during my time, that there was a lot more people that were nasty to each other. And I was nasty to him and he was nasty to me. And that affects your kids. It affected my kids. Parenting's not easy. Not easy at all. 'Bob and Loretta Moore started their family in 1970.' There's no course that sort of prepares you for it, is there? Not so, not one single thing. No. We played the whole lot by ear. Yeah. I had all my children at a small hospital two suburbs from here. And he dropped me at the door, he opened the door of the hospital, put me in in the port and said, "See you later." No place for a man. No place for a man. In those days, that's the way it was done. 'Bob and Loretta had three children - Stephen, Richard and Joanne. Three different children with three different personalities. What worked for one didn't work for the other. It was very difficult to tell Joanne anything because the minute you started to tell her, she knew it. So, you know, some things that you have to tell your girls, you go to tell her and, "I know that, Mum." I said, "Well, when you want to know something, come to me." She's never been to me. (LAUGHS) My mum will kill me for saying this, but I do remember, when I was about ten, my older brother was going off to a boys-only high school at Grade 5 and I didn't understand why wasn't I going off to an all-girls school? I was after Year 7, but he was going earlier and I couldn't understand. And Mum said, "Oh, well, his education is more important than yours because he's a boy and he'll have to support a family." And I thought, "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I'm going to show you and I'm going to do really well." 'Joanne would go on to graduate from law school, but like her mother before her, she formed a high school romance with a man she would later marry." Great Gatsby-style, I had an enormous 18th birthday party... Oh, don't! ..for the sole purpose of Joanne coming along and me getting some moments alone with her where she was lubricated with illicit alcohol so I could work my teenage charm. So I proceeded to drink way too much and was very, very ill... Yes. ..just as my father came to pick me up, at his feet. So I got a 1950s-style talking-to from Joanne's father. Yes. "I've got a shotgun and a shovel." "You won't be missed." I was pretty confident with Joanne that she would do the right thing. And, of course, in our days, there was none of this "living together". But when Joanne said that she was moving in with Ben before they got married, then you roll with the blows and said, "Yeah, that'll be just fine." 'In the space of a single generation, traditionally accepted social mores had been challenged and overturned. The majority of Australian kids now had both parents working. Preschoolers were left in day-care centres and child-minding became an industry. The average post-war family had had 3.5 kids. Now couples averaged less than two. Nevertheless, Australia's population continued to grow, bolstered by a new wave of immigration. Between 1980 and 2000, almost 2 million people arrived, many of them fleeing desperate circumstances in their homeland and eager to give their children a better life. Helen Hyunh's family began leaving Vietnam immediately after the war.' After 1975, there was no future for my family, so my uncle left on a boat. 19 years of age, younger than I am now, and threw his future out to sea and said, "A better future for our children." Basically, an entire generation has laid out its body as a bridge for us to walk over. My generation has this sense that you have some incredible obligation to justify all the sacrifice that they've made to give you everything that you have. There's this sense that you make it through in life through your education and if you have to work harder for it, then you work harder for it. After school, I'm sitting here, washing the dishes, and the kids next door, they're on the trampoline every day and I thought, "I never had a trampoline." I was studying so hard from even a really young age. (CHILDREN RECITE) You know, "Mum, I don't want piano lessons." Or, "Mum, I've already studied for, like, eight hours. It's enough." And, you know, the notion of free time, you come home with your 99.8 and your parents go, you know, "Where's the other 0.2?" You know, it's, like, an incredible level of pressure to do well.' ? You'll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me ? As he stands as he watch ? And wait until his... ? You only realise in hindsight the uniqueness of the set of responsibilities you have growing up in Australia because your parents did come from another country. So you played the cultural mediator, you played the linguistic mediator, as a kid. Say there's a traffic infringement in our household. I'm the one that writes the letter. All right? And then I'll tell my mum to sign and she'll sign. She knows that I'm there to sort of read the 50-page energy and content policy for the gas and electricity bill because she can't be bothered doing it. So I'll do that or I'll read the insurance or you, you verify things over the phone for your mum in your mum's voice. (LAUGHS) Don't kids always have to do that sort of stuff? That's the kid's job, right? ? Out on the board the old shearer stands ? Grasping his shears in his long, bony hands... ? 'In the years after the Second World War, the lives of Australian kids were dominated and regulated by adults.' ? Click go the shears, boys, click, click, click ? Wide is his blow and... ? 'But in the last two decades of the 20th century, life became faster, more urban and more complicated.' MAN: 'Information has become an increasingly important part of our world and a computer an increasingly important tool of handling that information.' 'Since the 1980s, kids and computers have become inseparable. Children are born into a world that delivers instant information and entertainment. They've become digital natives and the new technology is child's play.' If you've been brought up with a particular notion of what childhood is in terms of simplicity, as in childhood is about playing in the backyard with your fingers and getting your hands and feet dirty, if you define childhood in that really narrow way, then obviously everything that my generation represents is an abomination of childhood, because we are inside on our computers. We, at the press of a button, can communicate to someone on the other side of Australia, the other side of the world. We're connected through mobile phones, through Facebook, through the internet. Technology does define our childhood. So it's someone's birthday, I go, "Happy birthday," send. That's communication for me and I'm happy with that. I don't know any better. 'The childhood images of the post-war Baby Boomers have become distant memories. Bob Moore and Loretta Pendergast are now grandparents. Their daughter Joanne married Ben in 1999. To do better in her career, she waited until she was 35 to have kids. Their daughter Georgina is three and they're raising her in ways that Bob and Loretta could never have imagined.' When we we Georgina, I took 12 months off and so I was at home, sole, you know, carer for her for the first 12 months and then we got a full-time nanny, Debbie, who's still with us and who's fantastic. World's greatest nanny. Would you like some blueberries? Yes, blueberry. They're fruit. Debbie is full-time and she arrives at eight in the morning and gives George breakfast and we head off to work. Can I have the holder? But I get her, I get Georgie up and get her dressed in the morning, which Debbie says it's a first for a family she's worked with. Usually kids are in bed, not dressed. Can I just rinse off first or would you like to come and help me? There we go. The cost of having a full-time nanny is horrendous. Um, it's more than a lot of people earn. It's almost the cost of paying a mortgage off on an average house. But she's worth every cent in terms of helping Georgina grow and develop those innate skills that we think will help her be a healthy, happy person. Then we have lots and lots of energy. They live six storeys up. It's a nightmare, where she lives. It's a nightmare. I'd be happier for her to be brought up in a country town. But what she - she's not missing anything, cos she goes to the horses and they've got them in Centennial Park. Yes. We try not to buy her too much stuff. Well, she doesn't have a lot of stuff. She has a lot of experiences, I think. Yeah. Monday morning, she has... She has music. ..a music class. Tuesday morning, she has Mandarin. (BOTH SPEAK IN MANDARIN) Wednesday, we have play day, don't we? Mmm. And we go to parks. Yes. And on Thursday, we go to Mandarin again. And then Fri...then Thursday afternoon, we go to ballet! 'Georgina is living a childhood that is a world away from the one experienced by her grandparents 60 years ago. She is better educated, more articulate and more confident. And her parents have made sure she stays connected to the history of her family.' What Joanne did with the TV, she put photos of all the family - grandparents, uncles, aunts - so Georgie got to know all her relatives, too. 'Donna Meehan struggled with the loss of her Aboriginal family for over 20 years. Then one day, her birth mother knocked at the back door.' She just arrived on the doorstep. I didn't know she was coming. I just opened the door and there she stood. And, um, and her eyes just filled with tears and she just said, "I don't know why they took youse. They just took youse." And we played Joey's Song and she said, "They used to play that after the children were taken away, just wail and wail and wail." I don't know how she got through, day by day. 'The consequences of Donna's childhood were finally acknowledged in February, 2008.' As Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry. When he said the words, "I apologise to the mothers," I thought, "That's for you, Mum," you know? Two years later, the Australian Government acknowledged another of the cruelties inflicted on children after the Second World War. WOMAN: 'They came to remember lives wounded by neglect and abuse, wounds finally acknowledged by the nation with an apology. KEVIN RUDD: Today and from this day forward, it is my hope that you will be called the Remembered Australians. I didn't have a childhood. Didn't have a name. I was a number. My number was 92. You can forgive quite easily, but I'll never forget the life I've had. 'In the 1950s, when babies were booming, children accounted for 35% of Australia's population. Today, they are only 20%. Perhaps it is because they are fewer that they are so closely watched and their futures so hotly debated. Like earlier generations of Australian children, today's kids have a voice that grows with them and challenges the preconceptions of their parents and grandparents.' (ALL CHEER) 'But if we've observed anything in the last 60 years, it's that children adapt to whatever situation they are born to. These kids will confront problems unique in their time. And like the generations before them, they will find their own solutions. Next time, The Making Of Modern Australia explores the Australian Dream of home ownership.' Oh, very important. It's a wonderful feeling to have your own home. 'But has the dream turned into a nightmare?' My fear was, "I don't want to lose my home, I don't want to lose my home," but I did. Closed Captions by CSI - Cassie Britland

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, Tony Jones with a

Lateline update former prime

Lateline update former prime minister Kevin Rudd's conduct at crucial

national security committee meetings

has been called into question.

Government sources have told the ABC

that Kevin Rudd showed an almost

casual disregard for the national

security committee of cabinet and

that several times, Mr Rudd allowed

his 31-year-old chief-of-staff

Alistair Jordan to stand in for him.

Commonwealth officials complained at

the time because they believed it

compromised the serious work of the

committee. Kevin Rudd has confirmed

he's been approached to be on a

climate change panel with the UN.

climate change panel with the UN. But Mr Rudd's spokesman says he would

Mr Rudd's spokesman says he would not have to live overseas and could

have to live overseas and could still fulfil his duties as a member of

Parliament if he's elected and could

also serve as a minister. The shadow

foreign affairs minister, Julie

Bishop says he can't do both and

Bishop says he can't do both and that it's a potential conflict of

it's a potential conflict of interest just how big Australia should be has

been a key election campaign issue

today. The federal health minister,

Nicola Roxon, rejected comments from

the former labor leader, Mark Latham,

on Labor's population strategy. Mr

Latham has called the Prime

Minister's comments on sustainable

population a con job on the people

population a con job on the people of western Sydney. And tonight we'll be

featuring a special campaign debate on population live with Rachel is my wife. Rachel is someone to fight with. She's the only person I've ever loved. As far as I know now, she's the only person I'm ever going to. She's, um, yeah, she's friend, lover, wife, mother of my children. Occupier of most of my time. (LAUGHS) A privilege to be married to. And a breeder of fine sons! Bring them up. Bring them up. Push them up. Dad, wet dog incoming. OK. Don't dive in, Kieron. Rachel was very drunk at the Bundarra Pub one particular evening, that was the first night I met Rachel. I think it was Rachel's 18th, or 19th? 18th...18th birthday. I was a shearer at that stage. Yeah, a young shearer. I had a Holden ute, that was a big attraction as well. You can't pull a bird in the bush without a Holden ute. Rachel and I became pregnant, we decided we'd get married. Chris was into his eighth month of uni, Rachel was just finishing her course, and, um, 24 hours after they announced their pregnancy and engagement, Rachel had the stroke. She had a clot which travelled to the brain stem. So the only reason that Rachel survived was that she was working in the hospital as a nurse and they got her straight onto a ventilator. I went in one day by myself to see her and, um, she was sitting in the chair like a rag doll. And, ah, she this. That's the picture that sticks with me. You think, "No, it's going to be all right, Rachel's going to be Rachel again." And then you sort of thought, "Oh, well, after the baby's born, she'll do something and because of the baby it'll bring her back." Trevor and Jan and us, we all expected something, not as good as what we got, not near as good. We said we would look after Kieron and Chris said, "No, he's mine and Rachel's child and I'm going to look after both of them." And he said, "We're going to get married." These rings are a symbol, or a sign, of a promise of love and faithfulness which Chris and Rachel just made to each other. LAUGHTER EVERYONE LAUGHS CHEERING AND WHOOPING HORN BEEPS A bit rough? BABY CRIES It's not a wet nappy. What's his problem, then? He's just had a feed. Comfy? That better? He didn't like being disturbed. How's that? Good? BABY CONTINUES TO CRY (MOANS) Hello. Where will I put him? Just over here. Chum, you're going to have to move, mate. Just whack him in there. He's stopped crying now. He knows he's going to his mum. Just throw him in there with his head up this way. Up this way? Yeah. When I say throw, just gently put him in. Yeah. I get what you meant, Dad. We always wanted children, and actually a lot more, and having one, having Kieron was a real bonus because nobody ever thought that we'd get him, and actually, with Liam, I really don't think family planning happens, but he was another accident, but a great accident because we had the one child and we thought that was going to be it, so it's great to have the second one. But I'm not sure, Rachel, I don't know, would you have stuck with me if it wasn't for Kieron? You might've got sick of me and left. She still threatens to leave every now and again but I say, "If you go, you've got to take the dog and the kid." And now it's the dog and the two kids. It's that hot in here, he's not going to want anything else on, Rachel. Ready, mate? Oh, I think he's hungry. So, is he on properly? BABY HICCUPS Oh, don't start the hiccups already. He was willing to give anything a go so he could have Rachel home with him. And with us. We didn't want her in a home. We didn't want her in a home, but it was scary bringing her home. Wasn't it? No doubt about it, Rachel drew the short straw, but she seems happy and contented and she's certainly got a devoted husband, which, I think, probably most young blokes would've grabbed their bag, their knapsack and run, you know, but he stuck with her the full time. Don't scratch your mum, just stand there. She wasn't letting you go for anything. (CALLS DOG) You can still see this light that Rachel lights up with whenever Chris is around. It's love and trust. She just trusts him so implicitly in everything that he does. It wouldn't matter, he could take her out in a raging flood in a tractor tube and she's quite easily go. Because he was there, but anybody else, she'd be terrified. Yeah, yes, and as long as Chris is there, she's fine. Timber! This is a brothel we're building at the moment. As you can see, we're only halfway through the building. Probably, yeah, probably halfway through the building and one third through the money. It's finishing a building off that costs a lot. All the working rooms, there's four working rooms, they're all the same size. We'll probably do things like have a mirrored room and we are talking about at some stage, if the demand is there and also if we can afford it, put a spa in one room. At best, in 12 or 18 months' time it will be making good money, it will be running smoothly, our wives will still be with us. (LAUGHS) Or they won't have kicked us out, or they won't have left or anything. At worst, it won't make money and we'll have to wind the business up and sell the premises. We don't want to be a house of ill-repute, we want to have a very good reputation for service. Look at your chair. What's Daddy doing? OK, is there some trick to this? It's all news to me. We didn't have those kind of chairs in my day. In the olden days. What, did you used to prop them up against a rock in the cave? ALL LAUGH Did you like that, Rachel? Too easy. Whoa, he's not going to fit in there. He won't fall out, will he? Oh, no, that's a bit tight. We'll see how he goes with it. What are you doing? He says, "Look at me." Oh, he can sit up. There you go. Look at me. He says, "Right, feed me." Oh, very clever. Aren't I clever? There you go. Bye, baby. See you, Rachel. I'll be back about lunchtime. HAMMERING Shit! What? I measured from the truss and not from the wall. She's right. Cut me a piece of gyprock. That's what you get for employing amateurs. Hell, what's happening?!