The culture of Australia within the 1950’s and 1960’s parallels American culture of the same time period. As World War II came to an end, women who had assumed work outside of the home to support war efforts, were reassuming their roles as housewives. Appropriate work outside of the home for women of those times would be teaching, secretarial duties, and administrative roles. Science was anything but a career for a woman (1960′s in Context).
In the 1960’s Australia saw the same hippie movement as we did here in the states. Women were pushing for more equal rights, and with the introduction of birth control they were taking initiative for when and how they wanted to have families. Women were seeking the right to vote and participate in government happenings. With the dawn of the sixties came an enhanced stride for Women’s Movements in the US and Australia (1960′s in Context).
Referring to early post WWII a journal titled, Western Australia’s Women in Science writes, “At the academically elite Perth Modern School, women were barred from studying Chemistry…at other schools girls were guided into biology and foreign language as alternatives to physics and chemistry.”
Science was not encouraged nor supported for women interested in the field; their place was still within the home. The tools and technology of Australian women of the sixties are best illustrated by tools of their homemaking trade.
In an interview about women, technology, and the 1950’s and 60’s Suzanne states in an oral interview, “In Australia, when I was a student there were very few women at the top of their professional careers in science. Indeed as soon as you were married you lost your permanent job. The salaries for women were automatically far lower than the job, the salaries of men in the same job. So that was in the fifties and even in the early sixties.”