Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

The 3-nine-39 radio and video series tells the untold stories of veterans, widows and family members from the Second World War.


And then as a result, Australia is also at war. 3-nine-39, the day the war became real for Australians.

Ray Martin:

I’m Ray Martin. September the 3rd, 1939 sees Australia enter the Second World War. Around a million people enlist, out of a population of just 7 million.

The war changed Australia, oddly enough, sometimes for the better. As people enlisted and went overseas, traditional jobs and places in society had to be filled as the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester explains.

Darren Chester:

The role of women during the war was quite extraordinary. Nurses went overseas with the Australian Imperial Forces in 1940 and many more followed in subsequent years. Many became prisoners of the Japanese and some lost their lives in action or captivity.

At home, the Women’s Land Army was established to encourage women to work on farms. Women in urban areas took up employment in industries such as munitions production and in other occupations previously denied to them.

On the 3rd of September, I encourage all Australians to pause and remember that 80 years ago, our nation entered a period of profound change, which resulted in profound sadness and loss for many families. 

Ray Martin:

The Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester, reflecting on the vital role of women in the war effort, as we remember the Second World War 80 years on.

Was this page helpful?