At first the government politely discouraged those women who wanted to perform some kind of military service. It soon became clear that the war was going to demand much more than the government had expected.
Almost 1 million American service personnel, including about 100,000 African-Americans, passed through Australia during World War II. American troops started arriving in Australia in December 1941 and during the next four years they became a continuous presence in Australian life, opening major cities to a new culture and making a substantial impact on the local economy.
Between 1945 and 1965, two million immigrants arrived in Australia. The decision by the Australian Government to open up the nation in this way was based on the notion of ‘populate or perish’ that emerged in the wake of the Second World War.