Constructing Australia

HISTORY CHANNEL – Monday 4 April, 7.30pm

Australia in the mid 1800s was a land isolated by distance and divided by two very different cultures. John McDouall Stuart’s incredible crossing of this inhospitable land enabled Charles Todd to construct a telegraph line through the heart of the continent, bringing Australia to the world and the world to Australia.

As Australia was beginning its life as a new nation, a tragedy was unfolding. From the remote coast of Western Australia, to deep within its inhospitable interior, an immense water pipeline was being constructed that would unlock countless riches and help build the nation. But the ambitious dream of political visionary Sir John Forrest and engineering genius Charles Yelverton O’Connor would end in tragedy.

National Geographic – Sunday 13 April, 9.30pm

Massive, majestic, breathtaking – the Sydney Harbour Bridge was the greatest engineering challenge of its day anywhere on Earth. Completed during the Great Depression, it is the legacy of a fateful partnership between two very different men – a brilliant engineer and a maverick politician – who shared a relentless ambition to create “the people’s bridge”. It not only altered the life of a city forever, it became a symbol of a bold young nation and a changing world. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of Australia’s most loved icons, this is the epic and definitive story behind the building of the bridge and the vision of those who made it happen, despite personal conflict and political intrigue.