Sweat, Sacrifice and Fresh-Faced Decency

My most recent article for the National Library of Australia News (the library's monthly magazine) has been published in the March 2007 edition. Entitled "Sweat, Sacrifice and Fresh-Faced Decency: The Drouin Collection", the piece explores representations of rural Australian life through 88 photographs taken of the small Victorian community of Drouin. Award-winning war photographer Jim Fitzpatrick snapped the collection for the government in 1944, which used them as part of an international propaganda campaign during World War II. Fitzpatrick's take on country life is refreshingly positive — he shows an energic, intelligent and happy community.

You can view the story online at

My previous article on former Australian prime minister Andrew Fisher, "From Pit Boy to Prime Minister: Andrew Fisher", was published in the June 2006 edition and can be viewed online at


Kirralee said...

This is a really interesting article Kathleen. Also enjoyable to read. Your comment about Mrs Josephine Smith being present at life's end rang a bell with me. I have been reading some poetry from Queens University Belfast and one of the poems talked about women entering and ushering out life and who better suited for it. I still question the ushering out, because surely women die before men - maybe it refers to women holding onto the grief and memory - but surely men do this to? What are you thoughts? Any enlightenment would be good.

Kathleen said...

A Google search just revealed that, on average, Australian women live about five years longer than Australian men. However, my comments about women being present at birth and death were only in the context of the Drouin Collection -- I didn't realise this theme applied elsewhere. This is very intriguing.