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World War 1 - The Homefront

An overview of life on the Australian Homefront during WWI
by

Rachael Cornell

on 13 November 2012

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Transcript of World War 1 - The Homefront

EQUALITY OF SACRIFICE There was general discontent about the war's economic impact in Australia.

War profiteering became a great concern - that is, people making money out of the war - as people became wealthy and earned the resentment of the average Australian citizen.

The cost of essential items skyrotted, thus making every day living for ordinary people more challenging.

Striking for higher wages during wartime was seen by many to be disloyal and so many workers had to be content with what they had. HATING THE HUN "We are only safe while we are part of the Empire. If Britain is conquered then Australia is doomed."
Prime Minister Billy Hughes

There was a real fear that Australia was in danger from Germany.

Images of Germans , or THE HUN, in newspapers lead Australians to believe they were fighting a subhuman enemy who was committing atrocities.

Racial tensions between Germans and Australians in Australia were high. Some Germans in Australia were persecuted and many were interned in prison camps while others were harassed in their daily lives. INCREASED GOVERNMENT POWERS It had been accepted, during Federation, that it was the Federal Government's role to organise and co-ordinate Australia's war effort. The War Precautions Act of 1914 gave the government powers which included the following:
* THE MILITARY EFFORT - raisin of troops, organising their equipment, transport and payment.
* PAYING FOR THE WAR - The yearly cost of running he war effort was $62 million. To meet this cost, new taxes were introduced. These included income tax and tax on entry fees to evens like the football. War loans were offered for people to invest in and the government made more money which contributed to the rising cost of living.
* TRADE - Trade with Germany stopped and the seas weren't a safe trading route. The Wheat Board and Central Wool Committee were established to co-ordinate purchasing and shipping of all available Australian beef, mutton, wheat and wool t the UK.
* MANUFACTURING - The war interrupted the import of manufactured goods and Australian manufacturing shifted its focus. The war boosted industry and manufacturing, and after the war, 400 previously imported products were now made by Australian companies.
* NATIONAL SECURITY - The government tried to increase National Security by censoring information so that troop movements and other important information would not be accessible by the, interning German nationals and German Australians who were considered a security risk and imprisoning people who criticised the war effort. WOMEN AND THE WAR EFFORT The Great War had a significant impact on Australian women.

So many men were at the Front, women wee asked to take on jobs that had once been filled by men and they could now be found in workplaces such as the public sevice, in banks, on public transport and in the police force.

Many women also had to become the head of the family which gave them a power and responsibility they had not previously enjoyed. It demonstrated to many how oranised and skilled some women were.

The war also helped to change women's fashions. Clothes had to become more practical as women moved into the workforce and tight Edwardian fashions gave way to more practical shorter skirts and shorter hair. HELPING OUR BOYS Many people in Australia wanted to support the war effort and help Australians fighting overseas.

The Australian Branch of the Red Cross Society was established in 1914.

Other charity groups formed all over hte country and parcels were organised to send to our troops. These included 'comfort' items such as soap, tobacco, letter writing stationary, toothbrushes, razor blades and knitted goods. Long lasting foods such as chocolate, Anzac Biscuits and fruitcake were also a favourite.

Fundraising also became a popular way to show support and all members of the community got involved. Even children did odd jobs such as rabbiting and gardening to help raise funds. The Australian Homefront World War 1
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