Historian Michael Cathcart tells the epic story of how the colourful characters of early colonial Australia transformed a penal settlement into a land with rights and opportunity in a mere 40 years.
This sweeping two-part dramatised documentary covers formative events in Australia’s history, including the Rum Rebellion and early court cases, which established independence and civil rights for all settlers.
Rogue Nation explores how a fledgling colony on the wrong side of the globe was rapidly transformed from a place of punishment to a place of opportunity; a confident and prosperous community.
It examines the fight for power and control between two powerful interest groups—the wealthy and entrepreneurial landowners and the offspring of convict settlers who took on the governors appointed by the Colonial Office in London. Rogue Nation introduces well known figures including pastoralist John Macarthur, barrister and newspaper proprietor William Wentworth, and Governors William Bligh, Lachlan Macquarie and Ralph Darling.
And it shows how a handful of driven, anti-authoritarian and fiercely independent men saw off several British governors, encouraged upheaval and learnt the art of politics; discovering that debates, pressure groups and propaganda could change governments and shape policy.
In doing so, they helped to lay the foundations of the prosperous liberal democracy of Australia.
A Screen Australia Making History production in association with Essential Media & Entertainment. Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.