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Published on Mar 6, 2010
The Argonauts' Club caught the imagination of large numbers of children all around Australia between 1941 and 1972. The young ABC announcer, Ida Elizabeth Osbourne, (later as Ida Elizabeth Jenkins to become a popular presenter on the ABC Women's Session) revived an idea that had been devised in 1932 by Nina Murdoch of the ABC's Melbourne Children's Hour. The format was based on the Greek legends of Jason and the Argonauts and their search for the Golden Fleece. The ship name Argo was kept for members of the on-air team. Earlier, a call had gone out for children who wanted to join this new Argonauts' Club to write in to the ABC - as long as they were between the ages of 7 and 17 - and they would be offered a ship, a number, and given a badge and a pledge to sign. Meanwhile, a card system was set up in the office which kept a note of the club members' real names and any marks or points they might accumulate as a result of their contributions. Many famous Australians are former Argonauts including humorist Barry Humphries.