As this is now April in 2015, it seems strange typing this from mum's book which she wrote in the early 1980s but it does give an insight into the minds of people back then regarding the coming of computers.
Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME" by Gertrude Ruston. (pp 186-187)
"Technological changes round the world started to cause a little worry, and a conference was held in Perth with *Sir Lawrence Jackson in the Chair to try to discover whether or not these changes were likely to affect Western Australia in the near future.
People from all walks of life were invited to attend the conference and they included representatives from the **University, employer's organisations, labour unions and specialists from many fields. Mrs Catherine King and I were the only women present, representing the ***A.B.C. and Council of Social Services respectively.
The subject was very thoroughly discussed and, although all felt a little uneasy at the prospect of coming changes, in the end it was agreed that computers, which were extremely costly, were unlikely to make any great impact on Western Australia for some time, because the majority of our industries were too small to be able to afford the major developments envisaged.
(Mum you made an excellent good point there!!)
"THE CHIPS ARE DOWN" and we feel helpless and apprehensive at the inevitable changes which threaten our life style, require changes in education, and may even make it difficult for large number of our young people to find gainful and desirable employment.
Unions are already demanding shorter working weeks which they feel may make it possible for more men and women to be absorbed into the workforce, and earlier retirement seems to be gaining support. (Somewhat different to the present day when the Labor Party extended the retirement age to 67 and now the present government is talking retirement age at 70. Back in the 1980s women were eligible for the pension at age 60 and men at 65).
One wonders what are the future problems to be faced by the children of today,
In addition we are concerned with biological research and its frightening discoveries. possibilities and consequences for both the animal world and human beings."
* Sir Lawrence Jackson KCMG (1914-1993) was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. He was appointed as a Supreme Court Judge in 1949 and became Chief Justice in 1969.
** In the 1980s the University of Western Australia was the only university in Perth. Since then 4 more universities now exist here: Edith Cowan, Murdoch, Curtin and Notre Dame.
*** ABC of course stands for what was the Australian Broadcasting Commission but now known as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.