HOMEFRONT 6 – LOVE & WAR
Speaker: Rebecca Britt
Interviewer: Bindi Bow
• Introduction of Rebecca Britt. Background to Rebecca’s work as Acting Head Military Heraldry and Technology and curator at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
• Explanation of the exhibition “Of Love and War” curated by Rebecca at the Australian War Memorial.
• How WWII affected life in Australian society.
• The evolving nature of entertainment during the war and its effects on society.
• Increased population in wartime Sydney with an influx of people (training and recruitment, military in transit and foreign soldiers) and issues around social interaction.
• Painting from the Australian War Memorial’s collection by Australian artist Donald Friend. Painted in 1945 it depicts a celebration of the victory in the Pacific. There are mixed emotions expressed in this painting.
• People used public places to meet, socialise and form relationships.
• Prevalence of nightclubs, café’s and pubs as places of entertainment.
• More conservative places of entertainment such as servicemen’s clubs.
• Young people experience the opportunity to explore different avenues of entertainment for the first time.
• Paintings and photographs of dancing in clubs. The changing status of and greater opportunities for women.
• Women take on different jobs in society, some are in uniform and serve in the military.
• Social concerns and fears about the changing status of women.
• Artwork – Woman and Soldier: ‘The Pick Up’.
• Australian women and American men meet and form relationships.
• Conflict between Australian and American men.
• The Australian government keen to down play the tensions between Australians and Americans – propaganda films show unity.
• The Battle of Brisbane – 1942. A series of riots between Australians and Americans result in death and injury. The government exercised control of newspaper media and did not report such incidents to maintain morale.