The following images are published during times of conflict. About war loan bonds was published in 1918 during the First World War (1914–1918) and Coal is vital to victory! was published during the Second World War (1939–1945). Both posters were created with the specific purpose of influencing or convincing the audience to change their behaviours to assist the war effort.

Investigate one or both posters by considering the following:

  • Who made this?
  • Why was it made?
  • When was it made? What else was happening at this time?
  • Where does this information come from?
  • What’s being left out?
  • How could this be interpreted differently by different people?
  • What action/reaction does the creator want from me?
  • Who benefits if I do/think/feel this way?
  • What are the implications if I don’t do/think/feel this way?
  • What language is being used to make me do/think/feel this way?
  • What other elements are used to make me do/think/feel a particular way?

Historical Context

About War Loan Bonds

During the First World War (and again in the Second World War) the Australian government raised “War Loans” to help cover the cost of paying soldiers and providing ammunition and supplies to troops and services in Australia and abroad. In these schemes, members of the public could give money to the government which would be used for the war effort. Later, those people who gave money could claim that money back with interest. The government and banks used posters like this one to persuade the public to contribute to the war effort.

Coal is Vital to Victory!

During the Second World War the public were urged to be conscious of the resources they were consuming in their homes. Coal, gas and water were also used in the factories and supply chains that provided support for the war effort. Throughout and after the Second World War, the Australian government rationed many staples of daily life, including coal, petrol, foods and cloth.