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WWI, Conscription and the Propaganda War

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Old Treasury Building

20 Spring Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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The story of the conscription debates in Australia is an extraordinary one – a tale of political intrigue, industrial turmoil, civil unrest and a lurid propaganda war. For two years from 1916-1917 Australia divided into two camps -those for and those against conscription. Families, communities, organisations and political parties all divided in bitter recrimination. Passions ran so high that some feared that Australia would follow in the path of Bolshevik Russia. Both sides made use of graphic propaganda, and this propaganda war is the focus of this lecture. The lecture draws on a special exhibition at the Old Treasury Building. A Nation Divided: the Great War and Conscription was produced to mark the centenary of this largely-forgotten period. It was created with the assistance of the Victorian Government and the Anzac Centenary. Margaret Anderson curated the exhibition. She is an historian with a special interest in social history, women’s history and the use of iconography in Australia.

A Nation Divided: the Great War and Conscription is supported by the Victorian Government as part of the Anzac Centenary, 2014-2018

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Old Treasury Building

20 Spring Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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