A Carefree War: Australia’s WWII Child Evacuees

Tom Keneally Centre Reading

Ann Howard returns to the SMSA to reveal the stories of over 100 child evacuees with her new book, A Carefree War, that paints a vivid picture of the largest upheaval in Australia since white settlement.

During World War II, Australians feared for their lives and the safety of their families. The Japanese were coming; there were submarines in Sydney Harbour, Japanese planes flying overhead and harassment on our coastline. Singapore fell. Australia was undefended.

Stunned Australian families had followed the bombings and atrocities of the war in Europe, and the nation was gripped by fear, voting with their hearts, and without government sanction, anxious parents sent their children far away. Young children and babies were sent in thousands to ‘safety’. For some children, it would be years before they were reunited with their parents.

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