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The Blood Votes: Conscription Debates 1916–17


Saturday, 22 October 2016 - 2pm to 3pm


  • General Admission: FREE

Price includes fees.


Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

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The Blood Votes: Conscription debates in Australia, 1916-17

With Joan Beaumont

The 1916 and 1917 debates about introducing conscription for service in World War I were perhaps the most divisive in Australian history. Why was this so? Why did Australians reject conscription when this was adopted by almost all other countries fighting the war, including Britain, Canada and New Zealand?  What was the impact of the conscription debates on Australia’s war effort and its later political culture?


head shot of Joan Beaumont

Professor Joan Beaumont

Professor Joan Beaumont is an internationally recognized historian of Australia in the two world wars, the history of prisoners of war and the memory and heritage of war. Her publications include the critically acclaimed Broken Nation: Australians and the Great War (Allen & Unwin, 2013), which was joint winner of the 2014 winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award (Australian History), and winner of the 2014 NSW Premier's Prize (Australian History), the 2014 Queensland Literary Award for History, and the Australian Society of Authors' 2015 Asher Award. Recent publications include with Lachlan Grant, and Aaron Pegram (eds), Beyond Surrender: Australian Prisoners of War in the Twentieth Century, 2015;  ‘Commemoration in Australia: A memory orgy?', Australian Journal of Political Science, 50/ 3, 2015; ‘The politics of memory: Commemorating the centenary of the First World War', Australian Journal of Political Science, 50/3, 2015; and various entries in U. Daniel, P. Gatrell, O. Janz, H. Jones, J. Keene, A. Kramer & B. Nasson (ed.), 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Her current research projects include: Serving our country: A history of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Defence of Australia; and Second Shock; Australia’s Great Depression and the legacy of World War I.

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