Women of Empire: The Homecoming

After exhibiting the successful Women of Empire 1914-1918 at the National Army Museum (Waiouru) in 2015, the exhibition was seen by an estimated 500,000 people in exhibition venues ranging from the Great War exhibition in Wellington to a former bank manager’s residence in country Victoria, and from the Adelaide and Perth Showgrounds to museums dotted around the globe.

This new exhibition looks at how women from New Zealand, Australia and the Empire coped with life and loss after the guns fell silent, and how many put their overseas experiences and independence behind them, and returned to a very different life once they arrived home – whether it was nursing mentally broken men from the front, finding love and starting a family, or facing a life of spinsterhood when many of the young men were lying dead in foreign fields.

Through Dressing Australia’s unique format of presenting each woman/story in an original outfit/costume that she might have worn, the exhibition transports visitors to a different time in the world where women defied social barriers to achieve incredible things at the front as well as at home.