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Eradicating the prickly pear

Extract from Cavalcade of Australia: 1901–1951 (1951)

Prickly pear is an edible fruit but can spread quickly and ruin farmland. It was introduced to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788 and later became common in New South Wales and Queensland. Cactoblastis cactorum moths were released into Australia in 1926 to fight it. It is thought to be one of the world’s best examples of biological weed control. Even though it was successful, prickly pear is still a problem in parts of Australia.

Scenes from a documentary which uses archival film to highlight and illustrate the main events that occurred in the history of Australia in the fifty years following Federation. On the celebration of Australia's Jubilee as a Commonwealth, Australian film production organisations, both governmental and commercial, made archival material from their libraries available for this film.

NFSA: 1396113 Documentary courtesy National Film and Sound Archive


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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