A time of great hardship came to the people of Australia from 1929 to 1932. This time was known as the Great Depression were the economy of the state drops. Australia is not the only nation affected and many other nations as well. However, Australia is said to have been one of the most affect and hardest-hit country due to its high dependence on exports.
“Australia’s dependence o n the world market left her extraordinarily vulnerable to world market fluctuations” (Spenceley, p.14). Since the Great Depression was a time of crisis not only for Australia but for the whole world, Australia was affected greater than other nations. As a result, more and more people loss their jobs. By that time, even the women and youth tried to find ways to earn money. It was a time of hardship, hunger and conflict.
Even before the time of the Great depression unemployment rate in Australia is high reaching around 10%. At the time the stock market crash at Wall Street in October 1929, the unemployment rate rocketed reaching 20%. The unemployment rate reaches its peak in the year 1932 were 32% Australians were jobless (culture.gov.au, n.d.). It is said that the fall on export prices, sales, overseas loans and residential construction lead to the Great Depression. Still, economist is debating on the ultimate cause that triggered the event.
The Great Depression created a devastating effect on the Australian economy. This also led to many illegal or rather unusual ways of making money including gambling and prostitution. Even the minors, man or woman take part in making money. Mostly young men were involved in small gambling and young women in amateur prostitution. Education was also greatly affected since most children were forced to leave school at the age of thirteen or fourteen.
The time of the Great Depression was hard particularly for working women since they are required to do the house chores with their exhausted body. Job was easier that time for young workers but it was short lived, until they reach the age of sixteen to twenty one. During those times, the abilities of the government were questioned by many Australian citizens and many organizations gained popularity through their acts showing their dissatisfaction to the government.
In order to bring new investment, the country relied heavily on borrowing money from different countries and the monetary policy of the country was controlled by privately owned banks. The government also had to sell off gold reserves whenever the banks refuse to extend the overdrafts of the country. Still, unemployment continued to increase as the government instituted employment projects.
Until now, many factors that triggered the Great Depression that is present. Thus, those hard times are not just in vain since we, the new generation, were able to learn from the past and incorporate the steps that our forefathers used during those hard times. Today, in cases of crisis and unemployment due to the fall of company’s we go back to the basic goal for working, just as in the time of the Great Depression, to provide food and necessities for our family.
Spenceley, G. (1981). The Depression Decade. Thomas Nelson, Australia.
The Great Depression (n.d). Available online from culture.gov.au