Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that the National Archives' website and collection contain the names, images and voices of people who have died.
Some records include terms and views that are not appropriate today. They reflect the period in which they were created and are not the views of the National Archives.
Discover how Australian society and culture have been shaped by legislation, changing community attitudes and an increasingly connected world.
Australia has a distinct cultural identity and style, enriched by our multicultural society and the strong influence of First Australians.
In 1902, Australia became the second country to pass laws enabling women to vote. Discover how events and attitudes have shaped men’s and women’s roles and our views on gender, sexuality and marriage.
The Great Depression began with the collapse of the US stock market in 1929. Public and political opinion was divided during a time when many Australians lost their jobs, savings and homes.
Migration has been central to Australia’s identity, prosperity and security. Explore Australia’s migration history since 1901, including the challenges and cultural contributions of our migrants.
Pioneering Australians have earned respect as artists, sportspeople, explorers, scientists and inventors. Others worked tirelessly for humanitarian or environmental causes or against unjust laws.
Popular culture – magazines, music, radio, television and social media – have helped create a shared Australian identity. It is continually changing and reflects Australian society at the time.
Public education and raising awareness are important government responsibilities. These campaigns deliver crucial messages, from the importance of exercise to the change to decimal currency.
Sporting excellence is an important part of Australia’s national identity and creates community pride and engagement. Sport also plays an important role in Australia’s relationships with the world.
Learn how to interpret primary sources, use our collection and more.