Year

2007

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)

Department

History and Politics - Faculty of Arts

Abstract

This thesis examines the Kiama region, its economics and the social progress of its environs during the years 1901 to 1938. It recognises the basic self-sufficiency and independent nature of the inhabitants and the individuality in rural and village life as it places the Kiama society within the context of a changing world. This *outside world* brought issues and influences that intruded into, and disturbed the simple on-going rhythm of the rural life. The thesis recognises the influence of the region-s geographical and environmental elements and the difficulties encountered by people in their attempts to advance and expand the dairying and metal industries. Transport, communication and improving technology all played a part in the progress and development of these industries. Work in relation to gender is considered, and irrespective of class, the ways by which males and females performed their duties within the family unit and within the community. Religion and respectability were also important elements in their lives. However, World War 1 created change as the community was forced to experience the anxieties and distress of wartime commitments. By the 1920s Kiama was trying to reconstruct its earlier pre-1914 life style, but it could not return to the ways of the past. With the advance of the depression years, commencing around 1938, the Kiama community could no longer *shrug off* or protect itself against the influences of the *outside world*.

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