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Suitable for secondary school students.


During the Second World War almost one million Australians, both men and women, served in the military. Australia came under direct threat from the Japanese, and the mainland was attacked through air raids and submarines. This war had a direct impact on all Australians and left a lasting impression on the nation that is still evident to this day.

Program descriptor

This program focuses on Australia’s involvement in the Second World War and the political, social and economic impact this war had on Australia. It will explore the origins of Australia’s involvement, the major theatres where Australia was involved and personal experiences of those who were there, including prisoners of war. The impact of the war at home will be examined through the significant role that women played and how wartime restrictions and the Japanese threat affected daily life. Australia’s changing relationship with Britain and the increasing connection with the US will also be examined.

Curriculum links

The Modern World and Australia
An overview of the causes and course of World War II.
An examination of significant events of World War II, including the Holocaust and use of the atomic bomb.
The experiences of Australians during World War II (such as Prisoners of War (POWs), the Battle of Britain, Kokoda, the Fall of Singapore).
The impact of World War II, with a particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (conscription, manpower controls, rationing and censorship).
The significance of World War II to Australia’s international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to the United Nations, Britain, the USA and Asia.

Modern History

Unit 2: Women's Movements
The post-war economic and technological improvements that changed women’s lives, for example new technologies in the home, the rise of consumerism and social networking.
Unit 2: Worker's Movements
The post-war economic boom and the increase in the wage standards of workers’ in the West in the second half of the 20th century; and increased opportunities including education, training and social mobility.
Unit 3: The United States of America, 1917 - 1945
The nature and scope of America’s war effort in Europe, Asia and the Pacific (1941-1945), including the reasons for US involvement in World War II, and the decision to use the atomic bomb.
Unit 3: Australia, 1918 – 1949
The nature and scope of Australia’s war effort in Europe, Asia and the Pacific (1939-1945).
The changing nature and significance of Australia’s foreign policy from 1916-1949.
The key features of post-war reconstruction, including industrialisation, immigration, the provision of social welfare, and attitudes and policies towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and women.
Unit 3: Germany 1918-1945
The reasons for the Nazi Party’s rise to power, including the Treaty of Versailles, the impact of the Great Depression, the nature of Nazi ideology and hostility to communism, the ability of Hitler and the Nazi Party to utilise popular fears, and the Party’s organisational and tactical skills.
The nature and effects of key aspects of the Nazi state, including military mobilisation, Lebensraum (living space), propaganda, terror and repression (SA and SS), the Hitler Youth, and policy on religion.
Germany’s war effort, including its early successes and subsequent failures leading to the defeat of Germany by the Allies and the division of Germany.
The role and impact of significant individuals in Weimar and Nazi Germany, for example Gustav Stresemann, President von Hindenburg, Leni Riefenstahl, Alfred Krupp, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring and Albert Speer.
Unit 3: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1917 - 1945
The impact of World War II and the methods that enabled the USSR to secure victory.
Unit 3: Japan, 1931-1967
Japan during World War II, including the extent and nature of Japanese imperial expansion in Asia and the Pacific; the formation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere; the external threats to Japan, including tension with the USA over trade before WWII; the bombing of Pearl Harbor; the scope and nature of fighting in Asia and the Pacific during WWII; and the US atomic attacks in 1945.
Unit 4: Engagement with Asia
The impact of World War II on Australia and Asia, including the significance of the fall of Singapore, the political and social impact of the war with Japan, the increasing regional involvement of the United States, and movements towards decolonisation.


Price $7.70 per student (incl. GST)
Duration 1 hour
Maximum number 60 students per hour
Group size 15
Available 9 am – 3.30 pm

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