ID numberART29618
Collection typeArt
TitleVoluntary Worker, Australian Comforts Fund
MeasurementOverall: 55 x 43.4 cm
Object typeDrawing
MakerCraig, Sybil
Place madeAustralia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made1945
Physical descriptionpencil on paper
CopyrightAWM Licensed copyright
DescriptionDepicts a study of a voluntary female workers seated in front of a sewing machines, making clothes for the Australian Comforts Fund during the Second World War. The Australian Comforts Fund (ACF) was first formed in August 1916 from a number of individual state based organisations that had been created at the beginning of World War I to send comfort to the troops. Many local women's groups formed early in the war to provide various 'luxury items' to supplement the Australian soldier's army rations and personal kit. The Australian Comforts Fund quickly grew into a fundraising, collecting, sorting and distributing machine which rivalled the scope of the Red Cross. At the conclusion of World War I, the ACF officially dissolved. However it was revived in 1939 with the outbreak of World War II to provide comforts to a new generation of soldiers. Sybil Craig (1901-1989), was the third woman to be appointed as an official war artist during the Second World War, following the appointments of artists Stella Bowen and Nora Heysen. She was appointed in March 1945 to record home-front activities and chose to record the involvement of women working in the ammunition factories in Victoria. She worked for fourth months at the Commonwealth Ordinance Factory at Maribyrnong, and became the first female artist to paint women working in the munitions factories. As she was working in a civilian factory, Craig was able to retain her civilian status and was not required to wear a uniform. Craig's appointment concluded on 1 September 1945 at the war's end, and she continued to work in Melbourne after the war up until the late 1950s.