Peace in Brisbane after the Second World War

Peace in Brisbane after the Second World War
Seven Network
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Amateur filmmaker Neville Govett talks about his footage of Brisbane at the end of the Second World War in September 1945.

It is powerful to hear him narrating the silent colour footage of crowds walking down Queen Street that he shot decades earlier. This is a great example of the importance of home movie and amateur footage in capturing significant historical moments.

Govett’s footage is cut together with black-and-white newsreel footage. Together they effectively show the jubilant atmosphere in Brisbane that day.

An account from war nurse Sadie Newton of the unemployment faced by many returned soldiers is overlaid with footage of boats filled with hopeful soldiers returning home to Brisbane. The decision to include both perspectives evokes a bittersweet image of the time.

The next segment in this clip touches on European migration and the housing shortage after the war. It features footage from multiple sources and includes examples of the distinctive Queenslander architecture which Brisbane is known for.

This sequence is a good example of a timeline compilation program. It doesn’t go into detail about any of the events it covers which can be frustrating at times, but overall it gives a satisfying overview of major moments in Brisbane’s history.

This excerpt comes from the Seven News Brisbane special Queensland: Flashback 150 Years, broadcast on 30 May 2009. It was produced for the 150th anniversary of the state of Queensland. Queensland formally separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859.

Content warning: this video contains disturbing footage of an effigy of Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo hanging from a building.

Notes by Beth Taylor