Baby Boomer: Australia Suburban
It is hard to pick just one thing that as the biggest change in my lifetime. About the only thing that hasn’t changed is that we still have the same Queen.
One very big change that has occurred in my lifetime is that here in Australia we no longer manufacture goods the way we did when I was a child.
When I was growing up there were numerous factories. In Elizabeth where I lived for several years there were factories making jeans, sewing machines, white goods and of course cars at the Holden plant. I can remember when I was a child that at around four o’clock our normally quiet suburban street would suddenly be full of cars as workers returned home after their shifts at the factory.
In other suburbs around Adelaide there were more factories, Chrysler, later Mitsubishi with two plants and other factories who supplied them with parts, Actil made towels and bed linen, Golden Breed made T-shirts and sweatshirts, Perry Engineering, Castalloy, Hills Industries, Simpson, Pope, Kelvinator, Sabco and Clipsal were all names that South Australians knew.
Ford had their factory in Geelong, Victoria and there was another Holden plant at Fisherman’s Bend. We even had our own toy manufacturers, Cyclops, Metti, Verna to mention a few.
Today many of those companies are gone. Cars are no longer manufactured or even assembled in Australia. You can’t buy an Australian made fridge and many other products formerly made here are now made in other countries where labour is cheaper. Even here in Tassie our Blundstone boots are now made overseas.
I think it is very sad. We were proud of our Australian brands and those factories provided employment and a decent wage for many.
Below you can read an article on the closing of the last Holden factory, the one in Elizabeth not far from where I used to live.