Title Details

Dame Rachel Cleland Out Takes

Liberal Party matriarch and conservationist Dame Rachel Cleland reflects on the many changes she has seen in our national life.
Series : Australian Biography Series 8 | Year : 2001 | Total Duration : 26 Minutes | Producer : Robin Hughes
Director : Robin Hughes |
Tape 1 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about being born in 1906 and earliest memory as a toddler, brothers and sisters , siblings, childhood in Peppermint Grove, love for animals, father and his alcohol problem, his love of nature, mother and her intellect, interest in feminist movement, being looked after by her Auntie Bess, religious upbringing, influence from Auntie Bess, schooling, problems with eyesight, childhood ambition to be an architect which was argued against by her father, family decision to take her out of school for training as a kindergarten teacher.
Access No. 131610 | 35 mins 45 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 2 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about invitation from aunt and uncle to go on overseas trip to America, uncle's terminal illness with cancer, her support for Auntie Bess, impressions of America in the 1920s, protocol for romance in those days, parties, dancing, jazz music, coming out dress, breaking off engagement, 1920s London, interest in visual arts, returning to Australia and graduating from Kindergarten training, first job teaching young boys, love of teaching.
Access No. 131611 | 35 mins 8 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 3 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about courtship with Don Cleland and his proposal of marriage, equality in marriage partnership unusual for the times, description of wedding, Toc H club, effect of WWI on men's thinking and base for the Liberal Party, Don joining National Party, managing during Depression, breakout of WWII and Don's work on army intelligence department and later the AIF, children's illnesses during first year Don went away to war, promotion from captain to brigadier (youngest in army), posting in Middle East.
Access No. 131612 | 35 mins 52 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 4 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about husband Don's movements and events during WWII, including being chief of staff for two and a half years in New Guinea,story of when she joined Don on leave in Melbourne and difficulty of returning to Perth because of no permit, meeting Prime Minister John Curtin on train journey from Adelaide to Perth, her own middle of the road political ideas, husband's return from New Guinea at end of war and entry into politics, newly formed Liberal Party, time in Sydney.
Access No. 131613 | 35 mins 51 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 5 - Dame Rachel Cleland walking across grass and sitting on park bench, VS Dame Rachel observing view, close-up, various family photographs.
Access No. 131614 | 34 mins 45 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 6 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about husband Don's role in politics when they moved to Sydney, joining Liberal Party, mobilisation of women in the party, Liberal Party policy at the time (1946), secretariat, Don's appointment as assistant administrator in New Guinea, sister Barbara becoming substitute mother for the boys, Robert and Evan, in Sydney while the Clelands went to New Guinea, first impressions of New Guinea.
Access No. 131615 | 35 mins 41 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 7 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about first impressions of New Guinea and house, description of administrator job similar to governorship, role as wife of the administrator in New Guinea, relationship with Papua New Guinean people, running the household with staff, various visitors including Lord Mountbatten and meeting Royal Family, working in the garden, high involvement with Girl Guides and Red Cross, appall at having to move into Government House and not liking the decor or furniture, refurnishing the house, occasional racism among expatriates.
Access No. 131616 | 35 mins 29 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 8 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about incident with Irish builder showing racism and her intervention, lack of a program to bring New Guinea to independence, education a priority, health issues, difficulty with languages but talent for communicating, travelling with husband Don, relationship with Papuan women, kindergartens for Papuan children and Australian expatriates, travelling around the country and islands by boat, seaplane and Catalina, good work of the missionaries, relationship between husband Don and Paul Hasluck.
Access No. 131617 | 35 mins 58 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 9 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about personal encounter with Paul Hasluck's rudeness, Hasluck's mishandling of the New Guinea judicial system, changes to administration personnel and policies, New Guinea pay / salary dispute.
Access No. 131618 | 28 mins 49 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 10 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about position of women in Papua New Guinea leading up to independence, education of women, interest in PNG culture, cleaning up after war and planting trees in Port Moresby , establishment of legislative assemblies in 1950s, early stages towards moving to independence, political decisions and resulting conflicts.
Access No. 131619 | 34 mins 47 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 11 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about the patrol officer system in Papua New Guinea, son Robert becoming patrol officer, history of term natives which was changed by Hasluck, retirement years in New Guinea, building house, husband Don's deteriorating health and subsequent death, returning to Perth, Australia, interest in gardening, eventual involvement with the Liberal party, resignation from state council, Creighton-Browne's expelling from the party, work for forest conservation.
Access No. 131620 | 35 mins 48 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 12 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about her mother and her mother's influence on the family, spending much of her childhood with her childless aunt and uncle, Bessie and Henry Rischbieth, Bessie's founding of the Federation of Women Voters, husband Don's natural leadership qualities, thoughts about Robert Menzies and story about him giving an impromptu speech, appeal of Liberal Party, diplomacy and ability to understand people, learning tactics for implementing changes.
Access No. 131621 | 32 mins 58 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 13 - Interview Dame Rachel Cleland about influences from feminists such as her Aunt Bess, her mother and Germaine Greer, working as a team with her husband Don, belief that next generation will rethink changes for women, becoming a Papua New Guinean dame, toughness of being an Australian, challenges met while living in New Guinea, enjoyment of life, forward thinking approach, thoughts on progress and the future, husband Don's reluctance to speak about the war / WWII, thoughts on death and dying, making arrangements for own funeral, Don's death a fortnight before New Guinea's independence and his spirit felt on the day.
Access No. 131622 | 28 mins 5 secs | 2000s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Tape 14 - Various photographs Dame Rachel Cleland and family during time in Papua New Guinea.
Access No. 131623 | 8 mins 2 secs | 2000s | Papua New Guinea | © NFSA | Colour |