Melanie Oppenheimer

Melanie Oppenheimer
Australian National University | ANU · College of Arts & Social Sciences

PhD in Australian History, Macquarie University, Australia
Historian, the ANU

About

51
Publications
3,895
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Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
There are ongoing management and societal challenges affecting volunteering participation. These place a premium on organizations identifying individuals that currently do not volunteer but have the willingness and capacity to do so, the “Potentials”. Supplementing the limited non-volunteer literature, we seek to quantify this potential volunteer p...
Presentation
Full-text available
This is a short presentation using the StoryMaps digital platform.
Article
In the aftermath of the First World War, governments and a range of international voluntary organisations including national Red Cross societies were engaged in the development of a range of public health policies. This article explores the little known yet innovative international public health nursing program developed by the League of Red Cross...
Article
Full-text available
Full article available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07075332.2020.1810100 The League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS) – known as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) since 1991 – has received little historical attention despite representing the world’s largest volunteer network and being an...
Article
In 2014, as part of their centenary celebrations, the Australian Red Cross initiated a project in which it transferred archives to various national, state and territory institutions across Australia including the University of Melbourne Archives and the State Library of New South Wales. The transfer of this voluminous (but not complete) collection...
Article
The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP), Gough Whitlam’s controversial programme of social welfare reform in the 1970s, was promoted as a national experiment in “people power.” But the outpouring of often highly critical evaluations during and immediately after its brief existence failed to take into account the experiences of the programme’s grassroo...
Article
Within the context of the war on poverty and an acknowledgement of the wider global phenomenon of a ‘post-industrial society’, the Australian Labor Party under Gough Whitlam sought out a range of reforming and innovative social policy programs. This article explores the origins of one such program, the Australian Assistance Plan (AAP), and its conn...
Article
Based on the four dimensions of volunteering (time, object, nature, and environment) and net-cost analysis theory, this article examines the conceptualization of volunteering among nonvolunteers and what could attract them to volunteer (attractors). Using flashcard images of volunteering activities among a nationally representative sample in Austra...
Article
Australian Meals on Wheels (MoWs) is a well-known, traditional nonprofit organization operating for over 60 years in a mixed economy of welfare, where it is positioned between the increasingly complex demands of state regulation and market efficiency. These contextual challenges cause critical tensions to an organization reliant on humanitarian pri...
Chapter
During the First World War Australian women were attracted to voluntary organisations such as the Red Cross, a transnational humanitarian organisation that focused on the sick and wounded in battle as well as civilians displaced by war. Red Cross work provided patriotic Australian women with meaningful wartime activities that not only gave them a p...
Article
As volunteering and its benefits gain global recognition, social policymakers can sustain and increase volunteering through social policy, legislation and other types of involvement. A key performance practice is to measure the rate of volunteering based on the percentage of the population that volunteer or the number of hours donated. The focus of...
Book
When Australian soldiers returned from the First World War they were offered the chance to settle on 'land fit for heroes'. Promotional material painted a picture of prosperous farms and contented families, appealing to returned servicepeople and their families hoping for a fresh start. Yet just 20 years after the inception of these soldier settlem...
Article
The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP) was an innovative yet largely forgotten social welfare program from the 1970s. A key platform of the Whitlam Labor government, which established a series of Regional Councils for Social Development across Australia, the AAP reframed citizens’ participation in their communities, stimulated voluntary organisations...
Article
One of the lesser known stories of the Gallipoli campaign was the significant support provided to the Australian Imperial Force by the array of voluntary patriotic funds. Mobilized from the beginning of the war and operating both on the Home Front and in Egypt, the large support network of individuals and organizations varied from sandbag funds, th...
Article
Soldier settlement was a key scheme in a suite of repatriation policies enacted in the aftermath of World War I. Across Australia thousands of returned men, including over 9,000 in New South Wales, took up the challenge and tried their luck on the land. Thousands failed. Through the voices of individual soldier settlers and using extensive and only...
Article
Established to assist the sick and wounded in war in August 1914, the Australian Red Cross became one of Australia's largest and most important voluntary organisations of the twentieth century. Both creations of World War I, the Anzac Legend and the Australian Red Cross appear at first glance to be the antithesis of each other. Yet the humanitarian...
Article
The iconic Australian voluntary organization, Meals on Wheels, has delivered meals to the elderly and those with disabilities for over 60 years and is currently facing considerable institutional change. These exogenous changes include a more regulatory environment, tighter funding restrictions and a move towards marketization and competition. These...
Article
Winterton R, Warburton J, Oppenheimer M. The future for Meals on Wheels? Reviewing innovative approaches to meal provision for ageing populations The global phenomenon of population ageing is impacting on how community care is delivered, and a key component of health and social care services for the frail elderly is Meals on Wheels (MOW), a service...
Article
This article examines the role played by ‘imperial girls’: daughters of vice-regal representatives, consuls and ambassadors despatched by British governments to represent its interests in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras. Little is known about children's responses to their imperial childhoods and they are rarely considered in transnation...
Article
The Australian Assistance Plan (AAP), a little-remembered yet radical and imaginative program of social welfare reform, was introduced by the Whitlam government in 1973 and abolished three years later by the Coalition government of Malcolm Fraser. This article will chart the history of the short-lived AAP its genesis and its demise, and argue that...
Article
Full-text available
Australian welfare history in the twentieth century has not focussed to any great extent on voluntary action. The relationship of voluntary action with the state, and its influences on social welfare have been sidelined by a pre-occupation with the role of governments, and from 1945, the rise of the welfare state. This article will argue that the v...
Article
Despite the increasing awareness of voluntary action in both countries in recent times, there has been little interest in exploring the historical relationship of voluntary action and labour. It is argued in this paper that the overall silence of the relationship between voluntary action and the labour movement has its origins in the emergence of a...
Article
Uncontrolled and undirected people, in their patriotic exuberance, started to create a host of patriotic organizations. They all needed money and proceeded to try and get it from the public in a variety of ways. The public soon began to exhibit impatience and the Government realised that it had a problem which had to be solved.
Article
This article examines the role and relationship of Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, wife of Australia's fifth Governor General, and the Australian Red Cross during a period of unprecedented social, economic and political upheaval in Australian history. It argues that Lady Helen brought with her to Australia special qualities and experiences which were to...
Article
This article introduces a special section on voluntary work and labour history which was timed to coincide with the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer (2001). Voluntary work has only recently been considered a relevant topic for labour history. Its past neglect reflects the widely held view that voluntary work is unproductive. Volun...
Article
At a meeting of the Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History in early February 1997, I presented a paper based on my doctoral thesis which revolved around aspects of voluntary work in Australia during World War II. This thesis focussed on voluntary work, or unpaid work, carried out by people within structured organisa...
Article
This paper will examine aspects of voluntarism and the voluntary principle on the home front in Australia during World War Two. The general assumptions which pervade historical texts and public consciousness consistently refer to voluntary work as simply knitting socks and balaclavas and little else. In fact the voluntary work carried out during Wo...
Article
Books Reviewed: Mark Hearn and Greg Patmore (eds.) - Working the Nation: Working Life and Federation, 1890-1914 Lowell Turner, Harry C. Katz and Richard W. Hurd - Rekindling the Movement: Labor's Quest for Relevance in the 21st Century Douglas Ezzy - Narrating Unemployment Anne-Marie Greene - Voices from the Shopfloor: Dramas of the Employment Rela...

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Project (1)
Project
This project aims to advance the concept of resilient humanitarianism through a historical investigation of one humanitarian body, the League of Red Cross Societies, from its inception to the end of the Cold War. Global humanitarian crises abound due to ongoing conflict and natural disasters but nation states, bodies such as the United Nations and humanitarian organisations seem incapable of offering lasting solutions to intractable situations. This project will use rarely accessed archives and an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the evolution of humanitarianism, voluntary action and global civil society during the 20th century. This historical analysis can inform humanitarian policy, debates and practice of the present and future.