eCite Digital Repository

The War, the Universities and the Professions


Darian-Smith, K and Waghorne, J, The War, the Universities and the Professions, The First World War, the Universities and the Professions in Australia 1914-1939, Melbourne University Press, K Darian-Smith and J Waghorne (ed), Melbourne, pp. 1-9. ISBN 9780522872897 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Kate Darian-Smith and James Waghorne

Official URL:


In its first issue after the declaration of World War I, the editor of the Melbourne University Magazine, Donald Clifford Anderson, a third­-year medical student, asked the open question 'what, now, is our position as students?' In his attempt to answer this question, Anderson argued that students' duty ultimately lay with 'King and Empire', but that they also had responsibilities to their profession and 'those to whom he [sic] owes his professional training'. This discussion reveals the intrinsic connection between Australian universities and the professions that a university education qualified students to enter. It also highlights how university students in the early decades of the twentieth century understood the relationship between their studies and future career, and their wider national and empire responsibilities. For some, World War I was an interruption, and volunteering for military service or other war work meant setting aside one's profession for the duration of the conflict. The interruption could, of course, be permanent: Anderson enlisted in 1915, was invalided home in 1916 and did not return to university to complete his degree. In other cases, it was possible directly or indirectly to deploy one's professional skills in Australia's military and civilian war effort, and gain experience and training that supported subsequent employment in the years of peace.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Australian universities, history of Australia, history of universities, professions, post-war Australia
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Darian-Smith, K (Professor Kate Darian-Smith)
ID Code:134291
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-08-06
Last Modified:2020-03-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page