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5 - British Child Evacuees to Australia

from Part II - Evacuating

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Joy Damousi
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
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Summary

Chapter 5 explores how Australia’s participation in the Children’s Overseas Reception Board scheme reinforced imperial ties and was seen as vital to Australia’s contribution to the war effort. Britain’s children were seen as Australia’s children, and the Australian government at the time enthusiastically embraced the scheme. But the scheme did this by more than simply accepting children – it was overtly racialised. Even before children departed, they were meticulously screened to establish who was eligible for the scheme. The unanimous support for the scheme was, I argue, premised on the narrative of emotions evoked by child evacuation and was framed by the constructed emotional bonds between the family of nations that connected countries to the values and aspirations of the British Empire.

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The Humanitarians
Child War Refugees and Australian Humanitarianism in a Transnational World, 1919–1975
, pp. 140 - 167
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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