Wartime “austerity”

Prime Minister John Curtin’s “maximum effort” required that most of the resources and means of production be directed towards winning the war: “Austerity calls for a pledge by the Australian people to strip every selfish comfortable habit, every luxurious impulse, every act, word and deed that retards the victory march.”

Australians had to adjust to life in which even the most common commodities in peacetime became rationed or simply unavailable. Most Australians embraced recycling and made do with what they could buy, find or scrounge.

The austerity campaigns encouraged Australians to work longer hours and consume less, reuse rather than discard, and invest any spare cash in war savings certificates.

Internee uniform made from salvage - P04349.001 Internee uniform made from salvageP04349.001

Absence makes the war grow longer - ARTV02274 Absence makes the war grow longerARTV02274

Don’t boil two pints – when one will do … - ARTV07860 Don’t boil two pints – when one will do …ARTV07860

Grow your own vegetables for victory - ARTV02452 Grow your own vegetables for victoryARTV02452

Ginger Meggs Salvage Corps - 138618 Ginger Meggs Salvage Corps138618

Girls decorating their austerity Christmas tree - 136997 Girls decorating their austerity Christmas tree136997