• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE1122

National Travellers’ Aid Society of Australia

(From 1944 – )
  • Occupation Voluntary organisation, Welfare organisation


The National Travellers Aid Society of Australia was also founded in 1944, with Cecilia Downing, a long serving member of the Victorian Society, as its first president. Its purpose was to provide a link between the various state-based Societies. These are/were non-profit, independent organisations, providing a range of services and assistance for travellers, including those with special requirements or in emergency situation.

The first Travellers’ Aid organisation was formed in England in 1885 initially under the auspices of the London Young Women’s Christian Association. It aimed to assist girls arriving alone in London or other towns. The first Australian society was formed in Adelaide in 1887, again under the auspices of the YWCA (while this soon fell into abeyance a new society was formed in 1911). The Travellers Aid Society of Victoria was formed in 1916, the Travellers’ Aid Benevolent Society of Queensland in 1928, the Travellers Aid Society of New South Wales in 1938 and the Travellers Aid Society of Western Australia in 1944.

All of these Societies were initially dedicated to assisting women and girls who were travelling or migrating. It was not until the late 1960s that they expanded their work to include men.

Published resources

  • Report
    • Annual report and financial statement / Travellers' Aid Society of Queensland, 1928-
    • Annual report / the Travellers' Aid Society in South Australia, 1912-
    • Annual Report, Travellers' Aid Society of Western Australia, 1944-
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Travellers' Aid Society of the A.C.T., 1964-1971 [manuscript]
  • State Library of Western Australia
    • Christina Sewell papers, 1902-1969 [manuscript]

Related entries

  • Presided
    • Downing, Cecilia (1858 - 1952)
  • Affiliated
    • Travellers Aid Australia (1916 - )
    • Travellers' Aid Society of New South Wales (1938 - )
  • President
    • Sewell, Christina (1882 - 1971)