Unlike World War I, the Second World War was waged much closer to home.

This time, they were facing an enemy in their own Pacific neighbourhood, aiming to invade the mainland. Civilians had to prepare for the invasion, and they faced years of hardships and shortages.

Australia entered the war with only a small army: it had to urgently build a large fighting force.
Women were ready to serve and suffer in the cause of winning the war.
World War II was an opportunity for Australian women to take a step outside of the domestic sphere.
The war was a political struggle for Prime Minister John Curtin, while the people prepared for invasion.
Everyday life on the home front had to change when basic food items became hard to find.
Australians met Americans for the first time and discovered they did not always match the Hollywood image.
Refugees escaping from Hitler found themselves caught up with captured enemy soldiers in Australia’s internment camps.
The end of the war brought dancing in the streets, but years of hardship still lay ahead.