Chores, business and employment

This subtheme contains clips and stills from the My Place TV series, teaching activities and associated student activity sheets. These resources show the expectations on children to work and complete chores. It also explores the changing nature of employment and workers' rights in Australia.


  • The dough machine [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    2:53

    The dough machine [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    Franklin and Henry invent 'The spoon cranking dough churner', which explodes when they fail to take into account the fact that dough expands when heated.


  • The penny-farthing [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    2:39

    The penny-farthing [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    Henry and his uncle make a sprung leather saddle for a penny-farthing. When Henry brings news of his success to Franklin, he is shocked to discover that his friend is still angry for the trouble he has landed them both in.


  • Food and chores [Episode 3 | 1988 : Lily]

    2:05

    Food and chores [Episode 3 | 1988 : Lily]

    Lily and her cousin are working in the family restaurant, creating rice-paper rolls. The rolls are tricky and delicate to make and need an experienced hand. Phoung is congratulated for her skilful making of the rolls and Lily is embarrassed by her efforts.


  • Eggs for tuppence [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    2:53

    Eggs for tuppence [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    After foraging in the forest for plover's eggs, Ben competes with Leck to sell them to the local populace. He then gets into trouble with his father after he repeats an ugly stereotype about Chinese people that he learnt from Mr Wilson.


  • Working together [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    2:39

    Working together [Episode 16 | 1858 : Ben]

    Ben and Leck work together to repair Mr Owen's broken clock. Leck corrects Ben on the truth behind the ugly stereotype he learnt from Mr Wilson.


  • Torment [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    2:15

    Torment [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    Johanna carries out a variety of chores around town. While delivering vegetables, she overhears a piece of gossip about her father. The local boys tease and attack her because of her bright-red hair.


  • My father's house [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    2:39

    My father's house [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    Johanna asks a number of locals about her father but is concerned by the inconsistencies in the information she receives. When she confronts her grandmother about her father, she is given just one enigmatic fact. Johanna's aunt dresses her down for her pranks.


  • Horsewhipping [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    2:15

    Horsewhipping [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    Mr Owen has Davey demonstrate whip cracking to his grandsons but then gives Davey some sad news about his favourite horse, Duchess. Despite Davey's protestations, Duchess is headed for the tannery.


  • The bushranger [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    2:53

    The bushranger [Episode 18 | 1838 : Davey]

    While out walking Duchess, Davey and Alice witness a bushranger on the run from some local soldiers, and they misdirect the soldiers to ensure his swift escape. Davey is confronted by the Owen boys who tease him about the imminent fate of Duchess.


  • This little piggy [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:15

    This little piggy [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Alice and her family are delivering food to the indentured convicts working at the stone quarry when they have the idea of organising a pig race for the half-day holiday.


  • A Greek garden [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    1:37

    A Greek garden [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    Michaelis and his father are working in their garden when Janis reminds Michaelis that it is time for The Adventures of Robin Hood on TV. When his mother comes to congratulate her husband and son on their work in the garden, she realises that the baby is coming.


  • The bets [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:53

    The bets [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Alice is training her piglet Wilhelmina for the pig race but is unable to convince any of the local workers to bet any money on her. Freddie the bookie is concerned at the thought of losing money as most of the locals have bet on Oink, the favourite.


  • Pig forgery [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:39

    Pig forgery [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Freddie tells Alice about his forging history while they paint a piglet black. They then switch it with George's piglet Benny in order to fix the race. When Alice awakes she's shocked to find there is something wrong with Wilhelmina.


  • Fencing [Episode 20 | 1818 : Charles]

    2:15

    Fencing [Episode 20 | 1818 : Charles]

    Unlike his posh older brother John, Charles is enjoying building a fence on the farm. At the end of the fence line he encounters Liam, a convict who is on the run. Liam asks Charles to bring him some food and boots.


  • Holdens [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    2:48

    Holdens [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    Wal visits Jen's mother to take her to the pictures in his new FJ Holden. Jen is unaware of the affections between her mother and Wal. When Wal gives Jen's mother a kiss goodnight, Jen becomes suspicious.


  • The dole inspector [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    3:00

    The dole inspector [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    The dole inspector is a feared authority in the neighbourhood where Colum and his family live. When the alarm is given that he is on his way, the families hide any evidence of making a living. The dole inspector could enter the homes of people receiving the dole and tell them to leave their house or sell their belongings.


  • Sarah's life [Episode 21 | 1808 : Sarah]

    2:15

    Sarah's life [Episode 21 | 1808 : Sarah]

    Sarah is dropped off at her new place of employment but makes a poor first impression on her new employer, Mrs Owen. While doing her chores she meets Mrs Owen's sickly daughter Alice.


  • The Shadow [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    2:41

    The Shadow [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    The Shadow is a famous a comic character, popular at this time with children. The character and his adventures were made into a radio play, which was broadcast as a serial each week. Colum and Thommo are calculating how much they need to win on the Melbourne Cup to guarantee that Thommo's family will not be evicted from their home.


  • Children's chores [Episode 9 | 1928 : Bridie]

    2:20

    Children's chores [Episode 9 | 1928 : Bridie]

    Bridie's family is having breakfast and discussing what they will do that day. Her father and brother are going to work at the brickworks, her mother will be cleaning floors for neighbours, and Bridie and her older sister Kath are expected to look after baby Colum and do chores around the house. Bridie spies on Kath and her friend Lorna as they plan to get away from their responsibilities and have a picnic by the river.


  • Farm lad [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:15

    Farm lad [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam is escorted to the Owen farm as an assigned convict by two soldiers. Mr Owen introduces him to his chores and living quarters. He then meets the farm's goat, but is less than truthful about his experience with milking.


  • Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:53

    Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam enters Mr Owen's house through a hole in the roof, and is amazed when he sees his reflection for the first time. After failing to milk the goat, Sam has a difficult night's sleep on his new bed. He uses his ingenuity to dig hard ground.


  • Oranges and lemons [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:39

    Oranges and lemons [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam is out looking for the farm's goat when he hears someone humming the same notes as he is singing. Following the sounds, he is guided back to the farm, where the goat is waiting. After leaving out some milk to thank an Aboriginal boy for leading him to the goat, his bucket is returned.


  • The encounter [Episode 23 | 1788 : Waruwi]

    2:15

    The encounter [Episode 23 | 1788 : Waruwi]

    Waruwi encounters a cow for the first time and is unsure what to make of it. After seeing some marines and a drummer boy, she returns home to Nana to tell her about the 'ghost people' and the cow.


  • First contact [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    2:15

    First contact [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    Dan is ordered to capture Waruwi's dingo for the governor. He tries to warn Waruwi that the marines plan to take her dog but is unable to communicate his intentions in time. Waruwi attacks the camp with stones, putting the marines on a state of alert.


  • Chores and punishment [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    1:34

    Chores and punishment [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    Evelyn's brother Edward taunts her with the prospect that their father will punish her for being irresponsible about the fireworks. Evelyn needs to complete her chores by five o'clock. She is eventually saved by Miss Müller's generosity.


  • 1,000 good deeds [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    3:00

    1,000 good deeds [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    Rowley is working to complete his 1,000 good deeds so that his father will return to the family. He collects horse manure for the market gardeners and firewood for the laundress. He and his friend, Tom Müller, climb the tree to spy on the private school students who are practising to become soldiers.


     


  • Early photography [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    2:04

    Early photography [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    Rowley visits Mr Merry, a photographer and boarder in Rowley's house. Mr Merry gives Rowley a photograph of the brickworks where Rowley's father worked. His mother asks Rowley about his 'book of good deeds' and Rowley explains that when he gets to 1,000 his father will come home.


  • Workers' rights [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    3:07

    Workers' rights [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    Rowley tells his mother that he went to see the manager of the brickworks about getting his father a job. His mother eventually tells Rowley what caused Rowley's father to leave home. Rowley learns of his father's involvement in sticking up for the workers and his eventual sacking.


  • Children's games [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    2:15

    Children's games [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    Victoria and her siblings are playing 'blind man's bluff' at the tree. She finds a marble which is claimed by her neighbour, Alexandra Owen, who lives in the big house. Victoria's family is building a new house but that is no match for Alexandra's family who have lived in this place for a long time.


  • Victoria's family supper [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    2:53

    Victoria's family supper [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    Alexandra's father is talking with his Irish tradesman who is instructing him to hide a dead cat in the roof of the house for luck. Victoria calls her father for dinner. At dinner, Victoria's mother is talking about her 'at home' invitation and who has accepted. She pauses to check Miss Müller's arrival and comments on the appropriateness of her work.


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