Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

A Film for Discussion (1973)

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clip Awakening

Original classification rating: G. This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

A man and a woman in a car are having a conversation. Jeni (Jeni Thornley), the young office worker, is troubled by what one of her co-workers has discussed with her that day. In the conversation with her boyfriend (John Brotherton) in the car, she exhibits an awakening to the dilemmas of being a woman in Australia in the early 1970s.

Curator’s notes

At that time most women assumed that they would get married and that home and family would be the centre of their lives, even if they did have a job. In 1970, in New South Wales, only about a third of girls completed Year 12 in high school. At work, women were largely limited to support jobs in a rather narrow range of industries. Professions such as nursing and teaching were open to women, and of course there were women who achieved success in other professions, but they were the exception rather than the norm.

By law, women did not receive equal pay with men and in some areas were still required to leave work if they got married so as not to take a job which would otherwise go to a man – the breadwinner. Women who did not have their own income were entirely dependent upon their husband, especially once they had children.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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