Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay III

Lead: Beginning in 1787 Britain sent or transported nearly 170,000 convicts from its overcrowded prisons to Australia. For some this meant a chance to start over in a new life. For others it was torture, pain and sometimes, death.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The average sentence involved 7-14 years of hard labor on a distant and primitive continent
with little promise of return to their homes. It was not easy, but the nature of the experience depended upon their own behavior and the character of their employers. Convicts were assigned either to private employers or put on labor gangs organized by the government for public works projects, building the colonial infrastructure: roads, bridges, and governmental buildings. Private employment could be somewhat easier, depending on the job and the boss, but regardless, it was hard work. Owners were required to feed, house and clothe the convicts or they reverted to state control.

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay II

Lead: Beginning in 1787, Britain began transporting convicts from overflowing prisons 10,000 miles to Sydney Cove in eastern Australia. A modern state was built on convict labor.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Crowded prisons was just one reason why Britain chose the Southern Pacific colony of New South Wales. After rejecting West Africa, Jamaica and Nova Scotia as impractical, the government settled on Australia after considering the description of a visit to the island continent by Captain James Cook eighteen years before. The mild climate, good soil and well-protected harbors seemed ideal for permanent settlement. In addition, Australia had the benefit of providing Britain with a strategic outpost in a region where it had had little military presence.

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Settlement of Australia – II

Lead: In 1788 Europeans began settling in Australia. Until the 1840s a significant number of these settlers were convicts transported by Britain to relieve the population of its prisons. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: When it became impossible to send surplus convicts to America after Independence, the British government, after considerable debate, sent them to Australia. There over the next fifty years England dropped its convict population, slowly at first and then after 1815 in large numbers.

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Settlement of Australia – I

Lead: With the loss of its North American colonies Great Britain had to find another place to send its convicts. It chose the uninhabited eastern region of New South Wales, destination: Botany Bay.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: One of the important means by which England assisted in the development of America was a steady supply of convict labor in the 1600s and 1700s. For a fee, contractors would ship surplus convicts to employers in the colonies, particularly Georgia and Maryland. There they would augment the free and slave labor supply, work off their sentence and usually remain to bolster the population of the colonies. This so-called transportation trickled to a stop and died after 1776.

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Phar Lap

Lead: Despite a heroic past Australia is a nation with few real national heroes. Few would deny, however that one of them was a big, red horse named Phar Lap.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: In his youth Phar Lap, whose name in Thai is the word for “lightening,” did not seem a likely prospect for heroic status. The gelding was born in Timaru, New Zealand in 1926, bought for about $336 and arrived in Australia, painfully thin, with warts all over his face and lacking very much elemental grace. His trainer, Harry Telford, however, believed he had the makings of champion. Phar Lap was of large sturdy construction and later was found to have an enormous heart of near freakish size. He could sprint and also hang in there for the distance. Around the stable the horse was known as Bobby and there he met his soon-to-be inseparable companion, stableboy Tommy Woodcock.

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Azaria Chamberlain and Media Power – II

Lead: In August 1980 nine-week old Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from the family camping tent near Ayers Rock in central Australia. Her parents became the center of a firestorm of hype demonstrating the power of the popular media for good or ill.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content:  Ridiculous rumors were rife. The name Azaria, people said, meant sacrifice in the wilderness. The child had been seen in black baby clothing, or maybe white baby clothes with a black fringe. She had been mentally injured in an accident and since her parents Seventh Day Adventist faith allegedly rejected such a condition, Azaria had been taken to the Rock and ritually killed. Her mother Lindy suffered from depression. A dingo couldn’t drag an infant off, tear it out of a buttoned up jumpsuit and eat it.

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Azaria Chamberlain and Media Power – I

Lead: In the winter of 1980, nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from the family tent near Ayers Rock in central Australia. Her mother said, “The dingo’s got my baby.” Others were not so sure.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Ayers Rock, known to indigenous Australians as Uluru, is the world’s largest monolith, a single structure of course grained limestone, 318 meters above and 3.5 miles the below the desert floor near Alice Springs in Northern Territory of Australia. Depending on the hour and climatic conditions the rock can radiate spectacular variety of color. Thousands visit each year to examine its unique characteristics or to worship.

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