From swords to ploughshares: Townsville men and women who served their community in war and peace

Brennan, Claire, Megarrity, Lyndon, and Fielding, Trisha (2018) From swords to ploughshares: Townsville men and women who served their community in war and peace. [Creative Work]

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Abstract

This exhibition commemorated the contributions of Townsville's returned service men and women to the creation of peace and a flourishing community after the war. It explored the stories of those who volunteered to serve during the war as they resumed their lives, and recognised the roles they played in developing their town, region and country. The exhibition was hosted by CityLibraries Townsville (Flinders Street branch), JCU Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, and the Museum of Tropical Queensland. It ran from November 2018 until February 2019.

Research Statement

Research Background Current historiographical approaches to World War I (WWI) have tended to focus on dislocation, damage, and grief (Damousi 2001, Ziino 2007). This exhibition illuminates a little-explored aspect of service in WWI – the successful re-integration of service men and women into their communities, and their contributions to building peaceful societies. Focussing on the local example of the city of Townsville, the exhibition addresses two principal research questions: how did Townsville's service men and women respond to the arrival of peace at the conclusion of WWI, and what contributions did veterans make to the development of their communities after returning to Australia?
Research Contribution Through an in-depth study of the interwar history of Townsville, the Swords to Ploughshares exhibition generates new knowledge about the ways in which veterans contribute to their communities after war service. It assembles artefacts and narrative commentaries which elucidate how the individual service personnel made themselves integral to the civic fabric of Townsville, and the ongoing development of modern Australia.
Research Significance This is the first major research project to investigate the contribution of returned service personnel to the development of the city of Townsville, a project all the more significant given Townsville’s historic and current situation as a garrison city and ADF centre. Funded by a Department of Veterans' Affairs Centenary of Armistice grant, a nationwide grant program, the exhibition has also received in-kind support from Townsville Museum, James Cook University Library Special Collections, Townsville Maritime Museum, CityLibraries Townsville, and the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Its significance has been recognised by a nomination for the 2019 CHASS Australia Prize for Distinctive Work.
Item ID: 56604
Item Type: Creative Work (Curated/Produced Exhibition/Event - Exhibition/Event - NTRO)
Media of Output: various including print panels and historical objects
Event Details: From Swords to Ploughshares
Eddie Kokoi Mabo Library, James Cook University; Flinders Street Branch, CityLibraries, Townsville; the Museum of Tropical Queensland
November 2018-February 2019
Keywords: World War I, armistice, Townsville history, exhibition, armistice centenary
Additional Information:

The documents included here showcase the version of the exhibition displayed at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Funders: Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Townsville Museum, CityLibraries, Museum of Tropical Queensland, James Cook University, Townsville Maritime Museum
Projects and Grants: DVA Centenary of Armistice Grant
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 07:10
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 10%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 80%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2102 Curatorial and Related Studies > 210204 Museum Studies @ 10%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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