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This article considers the response in Australia to two international events that involved humanitarian aid with a specific focus on child refugees — the Armenian genocide of 1915 and its subsequent repercussions, and the 1923 populations exchange between Greece and Turkey. An examination of these campaigns shows how the cause of child refugees generated a form of humanitarianism in Australia comprised of several strands. These can be characterised as Christian humanitarianism, feminist internationalism, an intersection of national and international perspectives and an educative endeavour to impart information to the public. This article draws these strands together into a narrative that describes a varied and multilayered understanding of humanitarianism in Australia during the 1920s that coalesced around the plight of refugee children but was not transferred to the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous and migrant populations. This article has been peer reviewed.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

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Journal Article

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