The Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA) is the chapter in our Nation’s history that details the moment the sheila made her public debut. The industrial demands of the forties required women to keep the cogs of the war machine turning by filling the labour gap left by conscription. Female participation in the agricultural sector was a necessity if Australia was to survive the war.
From its inception as several state-based volunteer efforts, to its eventual formalisation under a Federal scheme, the AWLA unknowingly evolved into what would become one of Australia’s first mass feminist movements. Neither welcomed nor permitted to leave, the unofficial fourth Australian women’s auxiliary service re-calibrated social perceptions on gender identity. Recruited as soldiers, treated like slaves and disbanded like nobodies, the AWLA ‘Land Girls’ are our Nation’s forgotten heroes.
This is the story of their service.
Lest we forget
WHO: the Australian Women’s Land Army
WHAT: a chronological narrative that explores Australian ideology in relation to gender politics as it applied to the AWLA circa 1940s.
HOW: a 90-minute mixed media documentary (think traditional doco style meets Monty Python) that takes the viewer on a journey through the establishment of ad hoc volunteer groups, through to the formalisation of the AWLA and ending with the ramshackle disbandment of thousands of women with no military benefits.
WHY: because this is the forgotten chapter in Australia’s history that needs to be told.
We don’t want the Land Girls and their legacy to be lost to the rhetoric that currently tells our Nation’s tales.
We need your help telling this story!
The documentary is currently in development. We are raising funds to cover script finalisation, a script editor, historical research, animation/ special effects testing, storyboard research and production, IP advice, interview research and confirmations and a teaser reel.
We are a group of both established and ‘grassroot’ creatives. A big focus of our production strategy is to pair grassroot creatives with industry professionals. We want to be able to do this by honouring the time and talent of creatives entering the industry. This means paying them a fair rate and not expecting them to work for pittance or for free.
Unlike the conditions meted out to the Land Girls, this documentary will be a platform for honesty, integrity and respect for all those involved in its production.
This round of funding will help us move towards putting together a package to secure production investment.