Today We Will ...... History copyandpaste.png
Week 4 Monday 5th August 2013

Australia During the Great Depression of the 1930s & The Experiences of the Unemployed

An overview

Activity

Examine the Experiences of the Unemployed and complete the following cloze passage activity.

The Unemployed

The story of the Great Depression in Australia is usually dominated by the image of the family......................... in his endless search for ............ . It was a society that saw a man's major ............ as that of breadwinner. The unemployed were issued with .................... or ration tickets that they could exchange for ................. , milk and bread. The state governments called it a `sustenance payment' but to Australians of the time it was known as `being on the .............. '.

Nothing was provided for rent, heating, lighting or clothing and .............. payments were given to the unemployed only in Western Australia. During the Depression, the unemployed were still regarded by governments as being responsible for their own ................... . Governments claimed that giving money to the unemployed would open them up to the temptations of ...................... , tobacco and gambling.

Evictions


The loss of a job often meant the loss of a ............. . In 1932, the Sydney Mail reported that 5000 applications for ..................... had been made in the previous 12 months. There was little help for the homeless beyond some ............. funds. Evicted families with children found shelter in rough ............. constructed from corrugated iron, flattened kerosene tins and hessian bags. The best known of the `susso camps' was the La Perouse `............. ......................' community. More than .......... people lived here at any one time. Substandard living conditions and inadequate ................. in these camps left residents prone to ............., dysentery, whooping cough and scurvy.


Inequality of Sacrifice

Politicians talked of the need to ................... the burden of a struggling economy, but the reality was that the .................. class took the worst of the record unemployment levels. The Depression widened the gulf between .................. and class divisions in Australia.

Many among the very ........ were hardly affected by the Depression at all, and some of them ............. from it. In fact, if you were able to keep your job throughout the Depression, you likely experienced an .................... in your standard of living. During the Depression wages fell, but ................... prices tended to fall even more. This meant that a person’s ‘.................’, that is the power these wages had to buy things, actually went up. Thus, while the unemployed .................... a miserable existence through no fault of their own, those in employment probably never had things so good.


For the wealthy .................. activities were unaffected by the Depression. Private parties, the ....................., ocean voyages and .................. parades continued to be well attended. Some of the more fortunate were ....................... and organised charity events to raise ................. and food for those less fortunate. Some such 'Depression Balls' organised in the name of charity, however, were merely ............ events where people attended to be 'seen' the social scene and to ................ to be charitable to the less fortunate.


Many wealthy Australians ............... their own good fortune with the belief that extreme poverty was not due to a failed economy but to ....................... and a lack of good character.



sympathetic, groceries, increase, justified, working, leisure, nutrition, laziness, appear, money, social, suffered, evictions, political, racetrack, charity, 350, rich, Susso, share, role, cash, home, profited, fashion, work, real wages, misfortune, sheds, coupons, alcohol, breadwinner, Happy Valley, commodity, nutrition