Causes of Australian Women in WW2
Why were woman needed in the war effort?
In the year of 1939, Australia had joined the war effort. In this year Poland had been invaded by Hitler resulting in Britain declaring war on Germany. This declaration initially meant that Australia would be called to support Britain. Many Australian men enlisted in the armed forces leaving predominately women on the home front. This movement initially affected the Australian home front where the labour force had predominately consisted of men. In order for the Australian economy and war effort to function it was clearly evident that all members of Australian society would need to chip in.
How did Australian women join the war effort?
1939: Australia joins the war effort. During this year Australian women were given the opportunity to formally assist in the war effort through The Australian Comforts fund (ACF). This was initiated by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) This fund enabled women to knit various essentials for soldiers such as socks, scarves or perhaps sweaters. This organisation did not really give woman the opportunity to directly assist in the war effort but instead fell into the ideology of a woman’s role (stay at home). Australian women were also needed in the war effort due injured soldiers. The traditional role of women acting as nurses therefore sprang up in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS).
1940: During this time many women united to create different sectors that would allow them to be of assistance in the war effort by offering vital services etc. The Woman’s Transport Corps was created. In this corps women were given the opportunity to learn how to drive: Lorries, ambulances, trucks, motorcycles and trucks. This was made available through the teaching given by women who had already acquired the skill of driving in past years along with those few who had needed this skill (urban residents). In the month of April during 1940 this corps presented itself to the government offering their services but the government did not accept their assistance. This corps eventually found work using their services for other organisations that accepted their services of driving men around and using transport to assist in the deliverance of army supplies. Another example of this can be seen in The Woman’s Emergency signalling corps who taught women in Sydney about signalling along with Morse code (how to use operator), and whose services were rejected.
1941: The prime Minister of Australia, Robert Menzies embarked on a tour of Europe. Whilst in Britain he was able to recognise the resources that women could provide to the war effort. When he had come back to Australia 250 jobs were made available in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) was created by the War Cabinet.
August: War Cabinet authorises the establishment of the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS)....