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History / Year 10 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

The impact of World War II, with a particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (conscription, manpower controls, rationing and censorship) (ACDSEH109)

Elaborations
  • investigating the impact of World War II at a local and national level (for example, significant events such as the bombing of Darwin; the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney and the sinking of ships off the Australian coast; the ‘Battle of Brisbane’; the Cowra breakout and the Brisbane Line)
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Personal and social capability Personal and social capability
ScOT terms

Labour market,  World War II,  Conscription,  Domestic war effort,  Sex role,  Rationing,  Censorship,  Public administration

Video

Labour camps in Australia

Japanese-Australians were interned in forced labour camps during World War II. Why? Why do you think the internees who worked for Captain Reed felt grateful to him? What does this tell you about their treatment, in general, in other internment camps?

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Objects through timeline: 50,000 years before present

This is a 26-page fact sheet that provides a comprehensive overview of migration to Australia from the first arrival of humans to 2006. It includes details about the major waves of international and internal migration, key events and policies, and individuals and groups that have made significant contributions to the development ...

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Equipment, more equipment! WW II

How could Australians at home contribute to military success in Africa and Europe during World War II? In this clip from a wartime Movietone newsreel, former Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes explains the challenges facing the 2nd Australian Imperial Force in 1941. He implores Australians to contribute to the manufacture ...

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End-of-war celebrations, Sydney, 1945

Have you ever wondered what the end of World War II meant to Australians in 1945? Discover what it was like for those on the streets of Sydney just an hour after the announcement that war in the Pacific was over. Listen to ABC reporter Talbot Duckmanton describe the scenes of jubilation as he broadcasts live from the ABC's ...

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Rations and coupon shopping

Discover what it was like to go shopping in Australia during World War II. See how people in the 1940s had to live with restrictions on how much they could buy (rationing). Find out how rationing was an attempt to make the distribution of necessary goods, such as food and clothing, equal for everybody.

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Australian Women's Land Army

Have you heard of the Australian Women's Land Army? See if you can find out more about this inspiring organisation and about the work they performed during World War II.

Online

Conscription in the 20th century

This collection examines the history of conscription in Australia, with a particular focus on the conscription debate in World War One and during the Vietnam War.

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Broome during World War II

This web site focusses on the events in Broome during World War II, in particular the air raids in 1942 and the aftermath. The site includes a virtual museum that includes photographs, newspaper articles, film clips and interviews for students to engage with historical information from a range of sources. The education ...

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What Australia wants is alliance with Britain!

In this Movietone clip from the 1930s, former Prime Minister William 'Billy' Hughes argues that Australia must maintain 'unity and strength' with the British Empire.

Audio

Chifley's 'Light on the Hill' speech, 1949

This audio clip presents and examines Prime Minister Ben Chifley's 'Light on the Hill' speech, which was delivered to NSW Labor Party members in 1949. Listen to author Michael Fullilove explain why the 'Light on the Hill' phrase has become so powerful in Australian politics. The speech in the recording is performed by an actor.

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Australian children during World War II

What was life like for Australian children during World War II? From 1939 to 1945 Australia was at war. After Japan entered the war in 1941, this conflict became a total war, which affected almost everyone and almost every aspect of life in Australia. Listen to two people who lived through this time sharing their memories ...

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Getting around town during the war years

During a fuel crisis, how do most people get around? In Australia during World War II, fuel was rationed (restricted so that people could buy only limited amounts), as it was in very short supply. Car parts were also in limited supply, so they were hard to replace. Hear some accounts of that time and watch footage from ...

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The changing roles of women on Anzac Day

How have the stories and observances of Anzac Day changed to include women alongside men? During World War I and the years that followed, women had little involvement in Anzac Day events. In some instances, they were deliberately excluded! This has changed dramatically in recent decades. In this clip, women and men from ...

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Reinforcing the 39th on the Kokoda Trail

On 21 July 1942, thousands of Japanese troops landed on the north coast of Papua in order to advance south along the steep, muddy Kokoda Trail. Their objective: capture Port Moresby. In this clip from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, find out how reinforcements from the Australian Imperial Force's 21st Brigade contributed ...

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Japan enters World War II

The Japanese bombing of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 caught the USA, Britain and their allies by surprise, as did the rapid progress of Japanese forces through Southeast Asia. This British Movietone newsreel captures Great Britain's response to Japan's sudden entry into World War II.

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Surrender: the only option for the Son of Heaven

The Japanese surrender at the end of World War II was preceded by a heavy bombing campaign by the Allied forces, culminating in the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Germany had already surrendered, and with the devastation wrought on his country, it was inevitable that Japan's Emperor Hirohito would follow ...

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The pros and cons of National Service

The National Service scheme was introduced to Australia in 1964 by the Menzies government. Young men whose birthdays were drawn in a ballot spent two years training in the 'Regular Army Supplement', then three years in the Regular Army Reserve on a part-time basis. National servicemen were likely to be sent to fight in ...

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Turning young civilians into regular soldiers

Australia was not the only country to debate the issue of conscription. This Movietone newsreel from the late 1930s shows Great Britain considering the merits of conscripting young men into the armed services.

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Weather and war: the Kokoda Trail, 1942

The Kokoda Campaign was tough. The terrain was steep, the vegetation dense and the enemy close at hand and unseen. And then there was the weather! In this clip from the Weather Quarter, find out how the weather in the winter of 1942 influenced the outcome of one of Australia's most challenging military operations.

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Public reactions to sending troops to Vietnam War

Do you think Australian governments have always acted wisely when deciding to send young Australians to wars? Does the public usually know enough to support such decisions? On 29 April 1965, Australia's prime minister, Robert Menzies, announced the decision to send Australian troops to fight in Vietnam. In this clip, filmed ...