an NFSA website

Federal Capital Commission: Anti-Fly Campaign (c.1928)


In 1929 the Federal Capital Commission’s Health Department launched a campaign to reduce blowfly and housefly numbers in Canberra. This public relations film produced by the Commission explains its anti-fly campaign. It depicts a series of familiar situations in which flies are present (including animal stables, households, abattoirs and sewage works) and demonstrates acceptable methods of dealing with them. Solutions include covering manure, burning garbage, using organic waste for fertiliser, fly-proofing meat vans, and laying blowfly traps. The film ends with a direct plea for each person to play their part in eliminating this threat to public health.

Curator’s notes

The film’s concluding intertitle states, 'Australia’s future prosperity lies in the application of scientific research in every sphere of industrial and economic production’. This statement implies a link between advances in science and technology and developments in public health and the environment. It also places the film within a national framework; Canberra, as the nation’s capital, is being told to set an example to the rest of the country.