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Queensland Women of the First World War

With limited opportunity for active service, how did women contribute during the tumultuous years of the First World War? State Library of Queensland’s First World War collections provide some powerful examples of women’s wartime involvement and experiences. While their loved ones fought in faraway lands, at home in Queensland and elsewhere, wives, mothers and girlfriends dealt with the consequences of war. With creativity and resourcefulness, they managed family responsibilities alone, coped with resource shortages, and contributed in whatever way they could. Some enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service and saw active service overseas. Others threw themselves into fundraising activities, volunteered to care for wounded soldiers, or protested for peace. All lived in anxious anticipation of their loved ones’ return, facing their fears and the trauma of loss.

This workshop will guide you to explore the lives of Queensland women, who each played a unique role in the First World War. As you explore their personal historical collections, hypothesise how their involvement impacted on the changing role of women during this time.