Law and democracy Defining Moments
Balancing passion for change in a resilient democracy
4.2 Vietnam moratorium protests
In 1970 Australia was at war. However a substantial number of people were opposed to involvement in the war. How would the society deal with a divisive issue during wartime, and remain a resilient democracy and a cohesive society?
1. Which country was Australia at war with in 1970?
2. Why was Australia involved? (There might be more than one reason.)
3. What was the main way Australia was involved?
4. The Australian forces included conscripted troops. Who could be conscripted?
5. Why do you think most Australians were against conscripts serving in Vietnam, even though people broadly supported the war itself?
6. What was the attitude of the Australian public to the Vietnam War? How and why did this change over time?
7. What were the moratoriums?
8. What aspects of our democratic system allowed this protest and dissent to occur peacefully?
9. How did the moratoriums demonstrate changes in attitudes to the war?
10. How did the moratoriums demonstrate that Australians were becoming increasingly educated?
11. How did the moratoriums demonstrate women’s changing role and status in society?