Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We would love your help with our research about events that shaped Victoria's history!

Firstly, how did the Great Depression affect your family in the past?

Secondly, how do you think the Great Depression affected Victoria's history. Were there both positive and negative outcomes?


  1. Hi middles!

    I'm very pleased to say that I wasn't alive during the Depression but I think the word "depression" gives us a good idea of how gloomy times might have been then! I know my mum and dad (Joe's nan and grandpa) have spoken about how times were tough with money. Their parents didn't have a lot of money for things that weren't essential. Basically they had breakfast, lunch and dinner with no snacks in between and they had their school clothes with perhaps one or two other outfits. One outfit was saved for going to mass on Sundays.

    I think the Great Depression would have had negative outcomes for Victoria. One of these might have been that people may have left Victoria in search of work elsewhere to earn more money. This might have decreased Victoria's population. One positive may have been that families might have bonded together to help each other to get through these difficult times.

    Good luck finding out about the Great Depression!

    Love Margie (ps. I think your blog is fabulous!!)

  2. Hello Middles,

    The Great Depression certainly caused widespread hardship.

    While I didn't have any relatives I know of in Victoria during the Great Depression, perhaps you might be interested in the experiences of my mother's side of the family on the family dairy farm not too far from the Victorian border (we can cross into Victoria within one hour).

    My mother told me about the hardships of people back then. Without any work many men left their homes in search of a job. She remembers seeing them walking the dusty roads trying to find any work they could. Some might try to send money to their families but often they couldn't so mothers and children would find it hard to get by.

    Life on the dairy farm was much easier. Like so many others, they didn't have much money but they hard plenty of milk, cheese and butter. They could grow their own food and trade for other things when they had more than they needed. Because they still had their dairy cows, money still came in. My grandfather had said the farmer was much luckier than most back then.

    For Victoria, as well as other states, The Great Depression would have broken up families as the out of work men looked for work where they could. Some luckier families would have stayed together if there was work. I should imagine one of the biggest worries back then was getting enough food to feed their family.

    These days we have better support systems in place to help those in need but that wasn't that way back then.

    Ross Mannell (teacher)
    NSW, Australia

  3. Ross, I was writing reports and waiting for your generous and insightful comments-no pressure! You have contributed greatly to this wonderful unit on history.Today in class, we predicted you would help us!Thanks for ALL your comments!

    Marg Yore

  4. Hi,
    Think the. Great Depression was very tragic for some because, most of the people were poor and would walk up to a farmer's door to ask "If I chop your wood, can you give me a meal ?".Most of the time they got a meal but, if the farmers were dairy farmers they might get milk instead. They wanted what they were given.

  5. My Grandparents (James & Maude Noy) lived in Castlemaine during the Great Depression. They had 3 young children. My Grandfather was a Railway employee and had to take a pay reduction as did all public servants at the time. Finances were tight for the family. There was one story where my Grandmother gave her husband's good shoes to a swagman that she felt sorry for. My Grandfather was a very easy going man and he didn't get upset with her. No mater how tough things were for the Noy family, they knew many others were worse off and they shared what they could.
    This story makes me feel very proud of my Grandparents.

  6. I (Nic)spoke to my pa and he said that his family was very lucky because during the depression his dad had a job and they always had food on the table. Pa said that food was scarce and his grandmother cooked for the family because she had experience with cooking for a boarding house in Broken Hill (during the first depression in the 1890's). The positives were that the government employed dole labour to buld roads and other public works and the negative effect was that people became nervous about being in debt. For a long time people had to depend on cash transactions rather than higher purchase which came later with prosperity.The depression taught people the value of hard work and the family values of working together towards common goals.
    Pa said it's great to see that we're learning what our ancestors went through.

  7. Again thankyou to everybody for sharing your knowledge. It's been very informative.

    The Middles.