The Australian Home Front in WWII

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by MrWiggs
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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The Australian Home Front in WWII



The Australian Government was very concerned about Japanese Invasion. While the Japanese didn't have any immediate plans to invade Australia, they did like making us think that they were going to with attacks on Sydney, Newcastle and Darwin.Many politicians supported the idea of surrendering large portions of Australian Land to the Japanese in case of invasion, but nothing official was ever decided. The biggest "Conspiracy Theory" in reference to this is called The Brisbane Line.There was lots of paranoia about "The Enemy Within". As a result, 52,000 Japenese, Italian and German people living in Australia were classes as "Enemy Aliens". Many of them were interred in labour camps for the duration of the war to ensure that they did not assist the enemy.

Australia was still recovering from the Great Depression. This was costly in itself, but suddenly Australia had to pay for a war as well. There was lots of shortages and basic needs\services (such as food) was rationed. As a result, Lots of fundraisers were held to support the troops. Families were disrupted with many soldiers going off to fight in the war . Other people were moved to remote locations to work on bases or RADAR stations (For example: Catherine Hill Bay)There was significantly less opposition to World War 2 compared to World War 1. Many people felt that going after Hitler was a morally just cause. Australia also felt like it was at threat from the Japanese.Due to the rationing and creation of jobs, Australia profited very well from World War 2.

Everyday Life

The Australian Home Front in WWII


Once again, Women in Australia had to start doing jobs that were "meant" to be for men. Women started working in factories and law enforcement and anywhere else they were needed.This resulted in a big leap for "Pay Parity". At the start of the war, women earned 54 cents for every dollar a man earned. By the end of the war, it was closer to 70 cents.Socially, this meant that women were often the head of the household in Australia rather than men. This is a trend which has continued since WW2.Many women were left to run farms by themselves. Regardless of your gender, this is a big ask for anybody and the women of Australia ensured that our soldiers and citizens were fed, jobs were being done and families continued operating with minimal disruption.

Role Of Women

Due to xenophobia (fear of foriegners), Australia had a very strict refugee policy during World War 2. Australia was also operating under the White Australia Policy and as a result, Australia was very reluctant to accept anybody from overseas.After World War II, Australia was in need of repopulation. We needed more men and women to do all the work that needed to be done and to defend the country. Between 1945 and 1985, 4.2 million immigrants came to Australia. 60% of those immigrants were NOT from the UK.

Due to the American Involvement in the Pacific, there were many American soldiers staying in Australia. As a result, they had a large impact on Australian Entertainment.Thanks to American influence, pubs, hotels and other social venues would open on the weekend and stay open longer into the night. The common forms of entertainment included dancing to live music, going to the cinema and listening to the radio.

Video of 1940s Melbourne




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