Prior to the Second World War, Japan and Australia had been successful trading partners, but after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, Australia was soon at war with Japan. Various attacks by Japan soon followed and the citizens of Australia became afraid and were ready to bolt inland from the coastal regions. In 1942, General McArthur set up his headquarters for the Pacific in Brisbane and, as a result, the city needed a civilian population to ensure the smooth operation of its essential services. Due to its proximity to the Pacific battlefronts, it was a crucial geographic point for resupplying troops in battle – from both sides of the war. A plan was soon hatched to make newsreel films and articles that would not only reassure Australia’s civilians that they would be safe from Japanese threat, but, at the same time, they would also be leaked to the Japanese in an effort to convince them that Brisbane was too difficult a city to invade. The Ministry Communications Unit chronicles the creation and development of the special public relations unit that created those movies and articles.
It is also about adventure, romance, glory and also personal sacrifice. The Ministry Communications unit, tells the tale of how the unit developed along with the interactions of people causing interest and romances to begin. But nothing in the path of love can run smoothly and as the young men and women become romantically involved they then become shocked by the horrific hospital boat sinking.