During the Second World War, the British and Australian governments both sought to mobilize women for war work through legislation and propaganda, but used vastly different approaches. While much scholarship exists about the role of British women in the Second World War, their Australian counterparts have been largely overlooked. A study of representations of women war workers in film and radio propaganda reveals that both British and Australian societies valued stereotypical men’s work above that of women. While British propagandists used this value to mobilize women for traditional men’s work, Australian propagandists used it to mobilize men for conventional masculine work and women for traditional female work. This shows that unlike the Australian government, the British government reinterpreted women’s roles during the war. These attitudes are likewise reflected in the national identity of both countries, as seen through an examination of the archetypes of the Victorian gentleman and the Australian bushman.


Welsch, Christina




Australian Studies | European Languages and Societies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Film and Media Studies | History


Britain, Australia, propaganda, Second World War, World War II, gender, film, war work

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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