Presenter: Steve Simpson
Director: Luke Eve, Ivan O'Mahoney
Running Time: 240 minutes
ABC1's landmark series Great Southern Land will take your breath away as you witness the mysterious island nation of Australia, her people and how they live, work and play - all from a stunning aerial perspective.
Professor Steve Simpson takes to the heavens in gliders, helicopters and hot air balloons, to reveal the secret patterns and rhythms of Australia's daily life - secrets that are only revealed when you're able to look down.
The finished product is a captivating portrayal of our heartland, but behind the scenes Professor Steve Simpson and the crew revolutionised the filmmaking process. Aerials were filmed using a camera mounted under the nose of a customised helicopter, remotely operated from within the cabin. The team was so dedicated to capture the best footage; they would drive for days with the helicopter mounted on a special truck! This was teamed with high-end data visualisation like those used by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to accurately bring Australia's hidden secrets to life.
This revelatory documentary series debuted at 948,000 viewers and held an average rating of 796,000 over its four episodes. The first episode titled Great Australian Bite discloses the extraordinary and intricate process it takes to feed Australia's nation. Tug Of War explores the violent forces of Mother Nature and the constant cycles of droughts, fires, floods and cyclones. Australia On The Move reveals the mass migrations we make across our sprawling land and Living On The Edge voices why this is the most urbanised nation on earth.
Professor Steve Simpson was awarded the Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, named the Wigglesworth Medallist by the royal Entomological Society of London and was an honoured guest professor at several top tier universities including Oxford. He is now the Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and a fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney but spends most of his time researching human phenomena like the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing.
With extraordinary HD camerawork, breath-taking data visualisation and outstanding satellite imagery, Great Southern Land is a rich, blissfully luscious and entertaining documentary series that will forever change the way the world sees and knows Australia.
* Interviews with Steve Bibb, Ivan O'Mahoney and Professor Steve Simpson.
Great Southern Land