Join Australia’s leading historical and cultural commentators to discuss how the lives of Queenslanders were impacted at home during the First World War at State Library of Queensland’s upcoming symposium On the Home Front.

On the Home Front is a free, thought-provoking forum that explores the changing social, political and cultural landscape that shaped Queensland during and after the war years.

Commencing with a welcome function and keynote address on Tuesday 10 May, the full day symposium on Wednesday 11 May will feature individual presentations and panel discussions from historians, academics, and writers.

Keynote speakers, Professor Joan Beaumont and Professor Mick Dodson will share their unique perspectives on the largely untold stories of the First World War.

Led by MC and facilitator Ian Townsend, author and journalist, speakers will discuss the intersecting social, political and cultural narratives that shaped the way war was perceived and experienced by families, communities and other social groups at home.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch says it’s important to foster a greater understanding of the home front experiences for future generations of Queenslanders.

“The ‘real’ history of the First World War is seen to have taken place in other countries – on the battlefields of Gallipoli, Fromelles and Villers-Bretonneux – rather than in the local communities of Bundaberg, Brisbane and Charters Towers,” she says.

“Understanding Queensland’s home front history gives us a more complete picture of our shared history. On the Home Front offers the opportunity to engage with a variety of perspectives which will help us to better understand Queensland’s experience of the First World War.”

State Librarian and CEO, Sonia Cooper says the Queensland home front stories reflect a divided society impacted by brutal, faraway war.

On the Home Front symposium aims to connect, understand and honour those that experienced the First World War at home,” she says.

“It’s important for us in 2016 to connect with the untold histories and stories that were experienced by individuals, social groups and communities. To understand and remember how women lived their lives with loss, how Indigenous families never saw their son’s or husband’s pay or medals, or how the German community was persecuted, is to truly honour the sacrifice made by those at home during the First World War.”

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