Australia Between The Wars
Australia Between The Wars
Key Words – Glossary

aviatrix female pilot
barnstorming aerobatic flying, popular in the 1920s and 1930s
biased having an unfair preference or dislike of something
Bodyline name gien to he 1932-33 cricke test series between England and Australia’ aggressive style
conservative A person who is unwilling or unable to accept rapid change or new ideas. A conservative government is one that is less likely to bring about great change.
communism a system of government in which a one-party state controls social and economic institutions
Country Party A new political party formed in 1920 to represent the interests of the farmers and graziers and people who lived in rural Australia.
decadence unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence
deflationary policy One of the possible ways the government could deal with the depression. A deflationary policy required the government to cut spending, wages and welfare and to increase taxes to balance the budget and meet the overseas debt. This policy would increase social hardship.
Depression see Great Depression
destitution absolute poverty
dictator a leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force
dispossession being taken away or forced from their land, economic base and way of life and cultures
dole Relief payments for the unemployed. During the time of the depression these were generally called ‘sustenance payments’ or ‘susso’.
dripping Animal fat, usually drained from cooked meat. During the depression dripping was a common substitute for butter.
eviction The forced removal of people from their home. This happened during the depression when people could not pay their rent.
fascism (fascist) The name given to the extreme right-wing political movements that emerged in Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal in the interwar years. Hitler’s Germany (from 1933) and Mussolini’s Italy (from 1922) are the most important examples of fascism.
flapper term describing women in the 1920s who adopted modern styles in fashion, hair, lifestyle
Great Depression Also known as ‘the depression’, the term is used to describe the collapse of the world economy from 1929. The full impact of the depression was felt in Australia from 1930 and the decade of the 1930s is sometimes called the ‘depression decade’.
Illegitimacy out-dated term for children being born outside of marriage
immigrants People who move from one country to live in another.
inflationary policy The policy that the best way to get out of the depression was for the government to increase spending, particularly on public works for the unemployed.
Lenin (1870–1924) The leader of the Bolshevik or communist party that took power in Russia in 1917.
‘mixed blood’ A defamatory term used in the past to describe Aboriginal people who had one parent who was non-Aboriginal. The term ‘half caste’ was also commonly used. One would not use such terms today.
New Guard Movement An extreme right-wing political organisation formed in New South Wales during the depression years. It emerged to protect Australia from what it believed to be threats from the left and from communism.
picket people who tried to prevent families from being evicted
preferential voting The voting system for the House of Representatives in federal elections.
primary products products from farms or mines
propriety correct behaviour or manners
prosperity a successful, flourishing or thriving condition, especially in financial respects
protectionist legislation and policies to control and segregate Aboriginal people from the white population, and from each other. Government policies were enforced by white ‘protectors’ who administered the reserves and missions and had wide-ranging powers. In the name of ‘protection’, governments directed where and how Aboriginal people should live.
rabbit-o person who caught rabbits and sold them
repatriation to send or bring back to one's own country
repudiation Refusal to pay your debts. In the depression, those who believed in repudiation did not want to repay overseas debts until the depression was over.
rickets a disease caused by lack of vitamin D or calcium
RSSILA returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League of Australia (later changed to RSL). An organisation formed to represent the interests of ex-servicemen after World War I
Soldier Settlement Scheme the occupation and settlement of land throughout parts of Australia by returning discharged soldiers under schemes administered by the State Governments after World Wars I and II.
Spanish Influenza pandemic virus of 1918 to 19 that killed up to 50 million people worldwide - more than World War One itself. It was spread by soldiers returning from the war.
Stolen Generations The name given to Aboriginal people forcibly removed from their families.
subsidies Special grants of money by the government to assist a particular industry or project.
susso See ‘dole’.
vaudeville A popular form of live variety entertainment during the 1920s and 1930s.
workers compensation A scheme to provide protection and support for workers injured at work or who lost their livelihood because of work-related injury.
wowser A name given to people who did not approve of the more relaxed lifestyle of the 1920s, particularly the increased use of alcohol in society.
















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