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Television #2004-0044

AWA Radiola Deep Image television receiver; timber veneer cabinet with glass enclosed screen; inbuilt speaker housed to the left of the screen; volume control and channel selection knobs located beneath the screen; the rear of the receiver is covered with a masonite board, on which are printed specifications (including 200W power consumption) and warnings.


This television was manufactured by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd (AWA) which formed from a merger between Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd and the Australian Wireless Company in 1913. AWA collaborated with Marconi in England on television systems from around 1948, and in 1954 provided the first experimental television broadcast in Australia during Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Visit. AWA was a major manufacturer of television receivers under the brand name of AWA Radiola Deep Image from the mid-1950’s.

According to Warwick Costin, former News Limited Canberra Manager, this television was used in the Press Gallery during the 1960s, most likely purchased by a news organisation such as the Daily Mirror or Australian United Press.

Through changes in media technology politicians learnt new ways of controlling information and tried new techniques for by-passing the Press Gallery and putting their view through television interviews or talk-back radio. Reporting Parliament came to involve commenting on and analysing politics and politicians; creating a celebrity culture that focuses on political leaders as well as journalists who have to perform to maintain their position. Ian Fitchett, Press Gallery journalist between 1947 and the 1970s, once said:

‘Television has ruined, to me, political reporting. It’s become political comment, because today the politician can beat the pressman, the gallery man, to the box. He’ll get on the box. He can either, the Minister, tell the truth, tell a half truth or tell a lie, but he’s gone nationally. All the pressmen can do is follow and make a comment. The idea of being able to break what the Minister’s going to tell the nation and get a beat, is gone.’

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Statement of values

This television is significant because of its association with the Press Offices and Gallery. The Press Offices have outstanding historic significance because of their association with the evolving nature and composition of the Press Gallery, the press coverage of Parliamentary debates, and, increasingly, of broader party political and executive developments, from 1927 to 1988. The Press Offices and the stories and personalities associated with them, reflect the changing nature of the relationship between newspapers and the electronic media organisations, and the Parliament and executive government. They also reflect the growth and evolution of the electronic media in Australia during the critical period of the advent of national news broadcasting, and of the introduction of television.


Width 903mm
Height 620mm
Depth 606mm
Medium Timber veneer; plywood; metal; plastic; wiring; glass
Creator’s name Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd
Date created Circa 1950s