1923: Warning Ripples

Explore the History of australian football

from MY COUNTRY


by Dorothea Mackellar


​The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.


I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Noteworthy developments and occurrences in 1923 included:


  • vegemite being launched in Australia;
  • work starting on the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge;
  • Stanley Bruce being formally installed as Australia’s eighth Prime Minister;
  • the rapid growth in Germany of Adolf Hitler’s political party, or movement;
  • a massacre at the Krupp factory on the Ruhr when French soldiers open fire on workers, killing thirteen;
  • the end of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and a noticeable deterioration in relations between Britain and Japan;
  • the occupation of the Greek island of Corfu by Mussolini’s Italian forces;
  • a massive earthquake in Tokyo which destroys approximately 694,000 homes;
  • a failed coup in Bavaria led by Adolf Hitler and German war hero Erich Ludendorff resulting in Hitler being brought to trial and subsequently imprisoned.

Compared to such events, developments in Australian football were of meagre significance, but it would have been hard to convince many of the inhabitants of Melbourne, Geelong, Adelaide, Perth, and numerous other settlements up and down the land of that.


In the VFL, Essendon emerged from more than a decade in the doldrums to capture their fifth league flag, and their ninth in all when VFA premierships are included. The Dons' victims in the decisive match of the year were reigning premiers Fitzroy. A detailed review of the clash can be read here.


Footscray won the VFA premiership thanks to a 14 point defeat of Port Melbourne. Success was also achieved by Norwood (SAFL), East Perth (WAFL - a fifth successive triumph), North Hobart (TFL), Sydney (NSWAFL), Brisbane (QFL) and Wanderers (NTFL).


The Western Australian State Premiership is contested for the last time between coastal premiers East Perth and their Goldfields counterparts Mines Rovers. Victory is achieved by the Royals by a margin of 30 points.