Snapshot

The snippets of history below are intended to set the scene for the articles listed above, adding context and providing a greater understanding on what was impacting life, directly or indirectly, at the time.

Snapshot of Australian History 1910-1919

In 1911 (2nd and 3rd of April), the first national population Census occurred recording a total of 4,455,005 people in Australia with 282,144 of those being in Western Australia (161,565 men to 120,549 women).

In the past decade, 1 in every 12 infants would not make it to their first birthday. In 1912 in a bid to curb infant mortality rates the Australian Government introduced  a maternity allowance of £5 (equivalent to 2 weeks wages). The money would be sufficient to have a midwife or doctor present for the birth increasing the chances of survival significantly.

WWI started 28th July 1914 and ended 11th November 1918.

In 1915 the New South Wales government amended laws to give the NSW Aborigines Protection Board complete power to remove Aboriginal children from their families for any reason at all, and they did. This occurred throughout Australia and led to what we know today as the Stolen Generations.

In 1915, Australian troops land at Gallipoli

1916 and 1917 attempts by the government to introduce conscription fail through referendum.

In 1917 the Trans-Australian Railway which linked Western Australia to the eastern states was completed. This project was the result of a promise made to convince Western Australia to be part of the federation of Australia. (There are two fabulous silent film clips on the aso.gov.au site here on the building and use of the railway.)

In 1919 the influenza pandemic impacting the world, considered to be the greatest natural disaster in recorded history, reached Australia.

Snapshot of Western Australian History 1910-1919

In 1911 the University of Western Australia (UWA) was established and it was free. The first students (184) attended in 1913. Funding quickly became tight as WW1  started on 28th July 1914.

In 1917 the first women were introduced into the Police Force in WA. They worked in plain clothes and were primarily to care for the welfare of women and children. They had to be trained nurses (until 1957) but were paid the same as men. Until 1975 they were not fully integrated (could not perform all the same roles as men) and if they married they were discharged.