On 29 March 2019, I was honoured to present some findings of my project, “Queensland Women and War: a multicultural perspective of the experiences of female civilians during World War II”, at a public event at the State Library of Queensland.
The full event, featuring all four Fellows was recorded, and is now live on the SLQ website.
As the final speaker, my segment about women in internment in Australia is in Part 2 (after Dr Martin Kerby) and it commences at the 22-minute mark.
The three case studies presented are about ordinary civilian women who were “locked up” in the Tatura Internment Camp in Victoria for the duration of WWII. One was a German from Murarrie, one was an Italian from Innisfail, and one was a Japanese from Cairns.
Are you curious about what happened during wartime in Australia?
Follow the progress of the 2018 Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation Fellows Elaine Acworth, Dr Anastasia Dukova, Dr Martin Kerby and Deborah Terranova as they bring to life memories and experiences of Queenslanders during the war.
This free public event is at the State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Bank, South Brisbane.
Friday 29 March 2019, 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
To book a place, click here. Hope to meet you there.
How different was the life of a young woman in Australia during World War II? Personal diaries are a wonderful way to rediscover the day-to-day activities of our past.
In this 1941 diary, twenty-year-old Elvie Geissmann records her first year as a trainee nurse at the Brisbane General Hospital. She has had to trade the comforts of her childhood home on Tamborine Mountain for cramped nurses quarters at the hospital, where she will train for three long years. Her first months are not easy: she bucks at the discipline, gets into trouble, and spends way more than she earns. But, above all, she perseveres.
To read more, go to my guest blog post on the State Library of Queensland website.
Finally, a suggestion. If you’ve inherited personal diaries about life in Queensland and don’t know how to preserve them, consider donating them to the collection of the State Library of Queensland.
In 1941 a young Brisbane nurse began recording the events of the war in these dainty little cloth-covered notebooks.
For four long years, while working and studying, she never failed to note what happened.
Like to read more?
Go to my guest blog post for 10 December 2018 at the State Library of Queensland.
In July 2018, the State Library of Queensland awarded me a research fellowship for my project, “Queensland women and war: a multicultural perspective of the experiences of female civilians during World War II”.
For the project I am seeking to capture and record the lived experiences of women in Australia during the period 1939 to 1945. My particular interest is in those adversely affected by wartime national security measures, such as migrant women who were arrested and interned due to their nationality, associations, political or religious allegiances.
I am also interested in the roles that Australian women played during the war in both the military and the civilian workforce, e.g. the Australian Women’s Land Army, munitions manufacturing, administrative work for the US Army.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to discuss or contribute to this important piece of research into our recent history, please contact me on 0404 012 505 or email email@example.com.