'Skilful Handling and Scientific Treatment': The Charity Organisation Society of Brisbane During the Great Depression (Essay)
Queensland Review 2010, August, 17, 2
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During the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, many commentators drew parallels with the Great Depression of the 1930s. While the suffering of those Australians affected by the recent economic turmoil cannot be dismissed, the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the nation as a whole was modest compared with that of the Great Depression. The levels of unemployment that were reached during the Depression, and the ensuing poverty and social turmoil, would be unlikely to occur today on the same scale due to welfare provisions set in place by government and charitable institutions. From its outset, the Great Depression had a profound and significant impact on Australian society. It looms large in the memory of many and left an indelible mark on an entire generation. The major consequence of the Depression was a severe downturn in economic conditions, which led to large-scale unemployment and drastically reduced the living standards of a considerable number of Australians. For the first time, many people needed to resort to government welfare and private charity to survive and make ends meet. In the words of the secretary of the Charity Organisation Society (COS) of Brisbane, 'families, who had never dreamed that they would ever need to seek assistance, have been compelled to make their wants known'. (1) This article focuses on the charitable work undertaken by the Charity Organisation Society of Brisbane during the years of the Depression, drawing from the extensive archival material available on the organisation, including correspondence, monthly and annual reports as well as the individual case files of charity recipients. It also traces and examines the ideology that underpinned the COS's work and the impact it had on the mechanisms of charity relief.
- 2,99 €
- Category: History
- Published: 01 August 2010
- Publisher: University of Queensland Press
- Print Length: 23 Pages
- Language: English