Make Do and Mend

A tribute to those who lived through the Great Depression era in Australia, often displaying great creativity and resourcefulness in tough times. It was a defining moment in our history.
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An Australian metal Depression era food pantry c1930, made out of tin drums and packing cases

An Australian metal Depression era food pantry Such things were hand made out of tin drums and packing cases etc, often in the country, by people too poor to buy ready made furniture.

Children in Hills Reserve (Frog Hollow),Surry Hills, 1949 by Ted Hood

Children in Hills Reserve (Frog Hollow),Surry Hills, 1949 by Ted Hood by State Library of New South Wales collection.

wooden depression-era laundry tongs, used  to remove clothes that had been boiled in a copper

Laundry tongs my nan had these to reach down into the twin tub washing machine we used to drag towards the sink for draining. I remember those washing days well x

Schoolchildren line up for free issue of soup and a slice of bread in the Depression, Belmore North Public School, Sydney, 2 August 1934 / Sam Hood by State Library of New South Wales collection, via Flickr

Schoolchildren line up for free issue of soup and a slice of bread in the Depression, Belmore North Public School, Sydney, 2 August 1934 / Sam Hood by State Library of New South Wales collection, via Flickr

An Australian metal Depression era food pantry c1930. Such things were hand made out of tin drums and packing cases etc, often in the country, by people who couldn't buy ready-made furniture.

An Australian metal Depression era food pantry Such things were hand made out of tin drums and packing cases etc, often in the country, by people who couldn't buy ready-made furniture.

A NSW dole camp during the Great Depression: a corrugated iron shed had become home.

A NSW dole camp during the Great Depression: a corrugated iron shed had become…

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

"Dad and Dave Come to Town" (1938) An Australian-made comedy that took peoples' minds off the realities of the Great Depression. An interesting insight into the humour of the day. Actors: Dad (Bert Bailey), Dave (Fred MacDonald), Entwistle (Alec Kellaway), Myrtle (Muriel Flood).

The flamboyantly camp 'Entwistle' in Australian film "Dad and Dave Come .

Block Boys at St Peters, Sydney. Block boys usually swept the streets after the horses. These boys have also used the opportunity to scavenge whatever they can find.

Colourised image of boys standing around with wheel borrows filled with bricks.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

What was it like to build and live in a shack during the Great Depression? These surviving Depression era cabins in Sydney's Royal National Park give us the best idea.

Members of the Nationalist Socialist Democratic Works Party in SA, 1934. During the Great Depression, many Australians lost confidence in  their government. Radical or extremist organisations became popular because of public dissatisfaction. On the political left communist, socialist, workers and unemployed organisations actively opposed forced house evictions, while  fascist-style groups like the New Guard enjoyed increased membership on the right of politics.

Members of the Nationalist Socialist Democratic Works Party in SA, 1934. During the Great Depression, many Australians lost confidence in their government. Radical or extremist organisations became popular because of public dissatisfaction. On the political left communist, socialist, workers and unemployed organisations actively opposed forced house evictions, while fascist-style groups like the New Guard enjoyed increased membership on the right of politics.

Billy Burn, outside his family's shack at Little Garie Beach, Royal National Park, NSW.

Billy Burn, outside his family's shack at Little Garie Beach, Royal National Park, NSW.

In 2006, Australian historian David Potts published"The Myth of the Great Depression". He argued that the misery produced by the Great Depression  has often been exaggerated. Here's one of the quotes he used to support his argument. What do you think?

In Australian historian David Potts published"The Myth of the Great Depression". He argued that the misery produced by the Great Depression has often been exaggerated. Here's one of the quotes he used to support his argument. What do you think?

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