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WAAAFWomen's Auxiliary Australian Air Force
References in periodicals archive ?
Pearl and Gai, as well as another colleague at Laverton, attest to Elsa's lively attitude to WAAAF service.
Though it is a draft of five uneven verses, it vividly summarises with great enthusiasm and telling detail Russell's WAAAF experiences.
Even better, they have experienced the delights of flying: 'We earthbound drivers also love to fly.' The final verse 'Melbourne' is an appeal for a return to a forward posting, away from the formality of WAAAF headquarters.
In the WAAAF women were able to create their own culture, succeeded in this, contrary to public expectations.
Undoubtedly the experience of being in the WAAAF provided Elsa with the confidence to build an independent life for herself.
(3.) Sources on Russell include the following interviews conducted by Paula Furby: with Elsa Russell, 12 March 1996 at Turramurra, NSW; with Grace Bartley and Pearl Batchelor 26 June 2000, at Camden, NSW; telephone interview with anonymous WAAAF colleague at Laverton, now living in Victoria, 17 July 2000; with Robert Curtis, Redfern, Sydney, 5 February 2001; telephone interview with anonymous contemporary and friend of Elsa and Audrey Russell in Sydney, 6 February 2001; numerous conversations with Elsa Russell's niece Louise Havekes 1997-2001.
(22) Throughout her interview, Sheila placed great importance on the fact that she was the first female fabric worker in the war, allowing her to claim a space within the WAAAF's historical record.
Whether that was the case or not, this view seems to have become embedded in the collective narrative of the WAAAF.
While my three interviewees and the women I spoke to at the WAAAF luncheon were uninterested in stories of gender relations, to a few women such stories formed part of their personal narrative.
Beryl Martin states that as well as defending their country WAAAF women also had to defend their honour, labelling one particular event as the 'Battle of the Buttons'.
(31) While these events could have been treated seriously, no published sources focus on this darker aspect of WAAAF life.
Both in the interviews and in published memoirs, many WAAAF members agreed that if they experienced any sort of ill-feeling towards them as women, it came from the public and not from members of the RAAF.