Spanning one hundred years and following five generations of Australian women, The Matilda Waltz takes Banjo Paterson’s popular themes of bush versus city to explore Australian identity at home and abroad, played out against a background of formative historic moments.

Starting in Sydney in 1894, we meet siblings Vera and Ida Templeton, their lawyer Mr Andrew Paterson (better known as Barty to his friends and most famously, Banjo, to his readers) and the cheeky but oh-so-charming Horrie. From here we descend the Templeton family tree through 100 years of war, death and chance meetings, traveling from Australia to France to Vietnam and New York and back again.

Posthumous narration is provided by none other than Australia’s legendary poet, Mr Banjo Paterson, and award-winning artist, Sir Russell Drysdale, who reflect on life, love and the point of it all.

  • contemporary drama
  • 120
  • 8 total
  • 4 female identifying, 4 male identifying
  • Australian Script Centre


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Banjo Paterson

Male | 40s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 9

EXTRACT: The waltz is a German dance. When it was first created the world thought it a shocking dance, an adventurous dance. When young German men embarked on journeys, they wanted daring adventures and where ever they went out into the world, they said they were going a-waltzing. And soon, other young men who went on adventures too said they were a-waltzing

Adult themes


Female | 40s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 57

EXTRACT: I remember now. It was April, 1975. And I was walking around Saigon, so aware that time was running out. My camera bag felt so heavy and kept knocking against my hip. The streets used to be so busy with barbers and tea-sellers and people cooking in the streets and boys trying to sell everything. But that day, everything was silent

Adult themes

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