- Religious organisation, Lobby group and Women's Rights Organisation
- Alternative Names
- The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Australasia
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Australasia (later renamed the National Women's Christian Temperance Union of Australia) was formed in May 1891 at a meeting held in Melbourne for the purpose of federating the existing Colonial Unions. This was probably the first interstate gathering of women's organisations held in Australia and the Union was the first national women's organization in the country. The first branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) had been formed in Sydney in 1885. Although the primary objective of the organisation in Australia, and worldwide, is the prohibition of, and/or individual abstinence from, alcohol, the Union has been involved in a broad range of social and political reform activities. It was particularly active in the campaign for women's suffrage in Australia from the 1880s, and the National Union included a Suffrage Department from its inception. The National Union functions as a coordinating body for the various State Unions, and sends representatives to international gatherings of the World's Woman Christian Temperance Union.