In 1923 the government of Stanley Bruce created the 'Men, Money and Markets' policy. Its aim was to find new markets for Australian products and to use immigration as a way to increase the number of workers in Australia. This policy benefited the agricultural sector, but conditions and wages for urban workers deteriorated between 1920 and 1929, leading to workers' strikes.
With many Australian men fighting in First World War (1914–18), women filled the jobs left vacant in an effort to support the war effort. The movement into the workforce changed the role of women and by the 1920s it had become more acceptable for both men and women to work.
In 1928, the life of many children in Australia was one of hard work and responsibility to family. This episode portrays the difficulties commonly encountered by many Australian families, with a father
and mother who both need to work and children who have to tend to the home and look after their younger siblings.
- Watch the clip 'Children's chores' and discuss the types of chores the girls do. Make a list of the chores that Bridie and her sister are responsible for. Make another list of the types of chores children do today. Introduce the concept that technology is the factor that makes the jobs around the home different today. One example is the use of washing machines and dishwashers in today's homes. Additionally, ask students to compare the chores of Bridie and her sister Kath to those completed by other children in previous and subsequent episodes.
- Use Student Activity Sheet H9.1 to record the lists of chores for both eras. Ask students to research information on the tools or technology used to carry out each chore. An example could be a broom used for sweeping, or the vacuum cleaner used for cleaning today. The contrast of activities and machines or tools used can be shared. Questions for discussion during share time could include:
- Are chores today similar or different to those in the clip?
- How do tools or machines help with household chores?
- As a class, discuss the topic: 'Are chores easier today compared to 1928?'
- Ask students to write a paragraph about why chores are easier to carry out in today's society and then share their points of view with the class.