A black and white landscape of women floating in a pool in a circle with toddlers accompanying them.
Roger Garwood, Volunteers Work in Groups with Children in the Hydroptherapy Pool at the Sir David Brand Centre, Perth, February 1989, nla.obj-136970905, courtesy Roger Garwood

Where we work, and how we work, has changed greatly over the last 50 years. The broader service industry, encompassing everything other than mining, agriculture and manufacturing, has grown from 66 per cent of all employees in 1971 to 86 per cent in 2011.

The Library’s collections include many fascinating, and often idiosyncratic, photographs of Australians working in office jobs, in small shops or cafés, and in other service roles. But photographers are still drawn to the spectacular, at times almost epic, mythmaking potential of mining, agriculture and manufacturing, industries that lie at the heart of many of the key narratives of Australian history.