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The Great Depression

Extract from Cavalcade of Australia: 1901–1951 (1951)

The Wall Street Crash of 1929 led to a worldwide economic depression and the collapse of the Australian economy. At its worst in 1932, unemployment in Australia reached 32 per cent. It took almost 10 years for the Australian economy to recover from the Great Depression, affecting people deeply for decades to come. It also radically changed economic thinking and policy in Australia.

Scenes from a documentary which uses archival film to highlight and illustrate the main events that occurred in the history of Australia in the fifty years following Federation. On the celebration of Australia's Jubilee as a Commonwealth, Australian film production organisations, both governmental and commercial, made archival material from their libraries available for this film.

Film Australia Collection NFSA: 1396113 Documentary courtesy National Film and Sound Archive


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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