34 – The Great Emu War

In the early 1930s the post WW1 Soldier Settlers in Western Australia were doing it hard, trying to make a living growing wheat in a tough economic climate.

When the native Emus descended on their crops on mass, they called on the Commonwealth Minister of Defense to come to their rescue.  And so began the Emu War in the west…..

 (45 mins)



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Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
Australian Light Horse Brigade Slouch Hat
Sir George Pearce (Pic:Wikipedia)
Lewis Gun in operation 1941 (Pic:Wikipedia)
Dark Emu in the Milky Way (ABC: Barnaby Norris)
Emus along WAs rabbit-proof fence (Pic: WA Department of Agriculture and Food)
Newspaper Western Mail
Newspaper 2 – Western Mail

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Ep 34 References:

Johnson, M. (2006). ‘Feathered Foes’: Soldier Settlers and Western Australia’s ‘Emu War’ of 1932. Journal of Australian Studies (88), 147-157.

Robin, L. (2009). Emu : national symbols and ecological limits. In L. Robin, L. Joseph, & R. Heinsohn (Eds.), Boom & bust bird stories for a dry country. Collingwood, Vic. CSIRO Pub.

Pobjie, B. (2016). Error Australia: The reality recap of Australian history. South Melbourne: Affirm Press.

Gammage, B. (2011). The biggest estate on earth : how Aborigines made Australia. Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin.

ABC Science. Australia’s first astronomers:  Beginners guide to the night sky.  Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/07/27/2632463.htm

Australian Indigenous Astronomy. Retrieved from http://www.aboriginalastronomy.com.au/

Attack on Emus. (1932, 26 November). Weekly Times, p. 28. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224469416

Australian War Memorial. Light Horse Slouch Hat. Retrieved from https://www.awm.gov.au/learn/memorial-boxes/3/object-list/slouch-hat

Emu War: Third day light casualties. (1932, 7 November). Telegraph, p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179536818

Hardest bird to kill. (1932, 8 November). Daily News, p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82875055

Honors with the Emus. (1932, 6 November). Sun, p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230569761

Hunt, D. (2016). True girt : the unauthorised history of Australia. Volume 2: Carlton, VIC : Black Inc.

Lewis Gun: Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_gun

Military history of Australia: Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Australia

Watkin Tench. ([1788]). A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks/e00084.html

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Machine Gun sounds: https://freesound.org/people/SuperPhat/sounds/417688/

Old Man Emu Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZLx4Os8TBs

Background: Freesound: CC Piano Marcus Mozartliszt-lacrymosa-from-requiem

Intro/Exit music modified from: ‘Grand Canyon’ by LÃHSTANA DAVID [CCFM Music]