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Family Support Program
(1975 – 1982)

Government department

The Family Support Program was a youth refuge program introduced under the Office of Child Care when Marie Coleman was Director.

Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia
(1980 – )

Social support organisation

The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia was established by Marie Coleman, who was appointed its first Director.

Australian Reproductive Health Alliance
(1995 – 2011)

The Australian Reproductive Health Alliance worked for the improvement in the well-being and status of women and the development of reproductive health. ARHA promoted knowledge, education and research relating to the development of family planning and other reproductive health services, paying particular attention to the needs of indigenous people, both within Australia and internationally. It ceased operation on 30 September 2011.

Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia

Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia is the representative national body for eight, independent Australian state family planning organisations which deliver the Australian Family Planning Program. At national and international levels a key objective of all Australian Family Planning Organisations is to promote safe sex practices, health and well being and protective behaviours in order to empower people to make informed choices for themselves.

Canberra Mothercraft Society Inc
(1929 – )

Community organisation, Women's organisation

Canberra Mothercraft Society (CMS) was established in 1929, one of many women’s organisations at the time which formed around the National Council of Women in the Australian Capital Territory to meet the needs of public servants being transferred to the new capital city, and of workmen engaged in building it.

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Marie Coleman was the Acting Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies in 1994.

Creative Leisure Movement
(1970 – )

The Creative Leisure Movement formed out of the Children’s Library and Crafts Movement after the death of Doris Rivett and her sister Elsie.

Queen Victoria Hospital
(1896 – 1977)


Established in 1896, the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne was the first women’s hospital in Victoria, operated for women by women. Originally housed in William Street, Melbourne, new premises were purchased with money raised by Victorian women contributing to Dr Constance Stone’s ‘Shilling Fund’. The hospital moved to its Lonsdale Street site in 1946. In 1989 it was relocated to the Monash Medical Centre at Clayton.

Established in 1896 as the Victoria Hospital for Women and Children, as a clinic in a local church hall, The Queen Victoria Hospital was one of three hospitals in the world founded, managed and staffed by women, ‘For Women, By Women’, for the benefit of poor women uncomfortable with male doctors. There were eleven female founding doctors led by Dr Constance Stone.

The hospital was funded by an appeal coinciding with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. After three years, there were enough funds to move into separate premises, the old Governess Institute in Mint Lane. Known as the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Children, the name changed to the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital when the Queen died in 1901.

In 1946, the hospital moved into premises vacated by the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Lonsdale Street. In 1965, it became Monash University’s teaching hospital for obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics, at which point it became a ‘Family Hospital’ that treated and employed males.

In 1977 the hospital amalgamated with McCulloch House and was renamed the Queen Victoria Medical Centre. The years later , in 1987, it merged with Moorabbin Hospital and moved to Clayton. In 1991 it was involved with yet another merger, this time with Prince Henry’s Hospital, to form the Monash Medical Centre.

Lyceum Club (Melbourne)
(1912 – )

Membership organisation

The Lyceum Club (Melbourne), established in 1912, was directly modelled on the lyceum clubs of England. Membership is restricted to women graduates and other women who had distinguished themselves in art, music, literature, philanthropy or public service.

Free Kindergarten Union of Victoria
(1908 – )


The FKUV was established in 1908 to unite all free kindergartens and to maintain high standards of supervision, with the provision of trained kindergarten teachers deemed essential.

John Smyth (Professor of Education) and Ellen Pye (State Education Department) developed a training course that relied on co-operation between the Kindergarten Training College and the FKU. In 1917 the union was granted registration by the Council of Public Instruction as a training centre for kindergarten teachers. In 1922, as enrolments increased, the union moved to premises in Kew. Autonomy was granted to the Training College by the FKU in 1964 and it became the Kindergarten Teachers’ College.

See also The Free Kindergarten Union of Victorian 1908-1980 by Lyndsay Gardiner.

(Source: Historical Note University of Melbourne Archives)

Queensland Medical Women’s Society
(1929 – )

Professional Association

The Queensland Medical Women’s Society (QMWS) was founded in 1929 with the aim to further the professional development of Medical Women by education, research and improvement of professional opportunities. It promotes the health and welfare of all Australians, particularly women and children.

As of 2004, the QMWS:

Holds meetings throughout the year, at which a guest speaker presents a topic of clinical or medico-social consequence
Hold meeting/workshops with other groups of professional women incorporating matters of mutual interest
Sends newsletters to members
Provides an annual directory of members annually to encourage professional net-working
Provides mentoring opportunities

Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia
(1972 – )

Lobby group

The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) was established in Melbourne in 1972 by Beatrice Faust. She was inspired by feminists in the United States who had been rating presidential candidates. The organisation quickly spread to Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra and in 1978 WEL Australia was formed as a coalition of state, territory and regional groups. Primarily a women’s political lobby group, WEL surveyed political candidates and their policies affecting women, wrote submissions and developed media skills for women to lobby for the inclusion of women in the area of government policy. Originally the WEL campaign was based on six demands: equal pay, equal employment opportunity, equal access to education, free contraceptive services, abortion on demand and free 24-hour childcare.

Abortion Law Reform Association

Social support organisation

The Abortion Law Reform Association (ALRA) was formed in response to the deaths from the widespread practice of back-yard and self-induced abortion caused by unwanted pregnancies. The Association was campaigning to put an end to the legislation in Australia which enforced abortion as illegal. In Canberra the ALRA was established by Beryl Henderson. Julia Freebury was the Sydney convenor in 1972.

Pamela Denoon Trust
(1989 – 2005)


The Pamela Denoon Trust was established from a bequest made by Pamela Denoon of $50,000. The aim of the Trust was to advance education in the community through promoting research into social issues affecting women. Grants were allocated by the Trust for a variety of projects: attendance of Indigenous women to National Women’s Conference in October 1991, research on the impact of enterprise bargaining on women, scholarships for girls in secondary schools in Papua New Guinea, programs of the National Women’s Justice Coalition including Pamela’s List, support for the Black Women’s Education Foundation and Women with Disabilities Australia, audiovisual resources on domestic violence, the Australian Women’s Archives Project of the National Foundation for Australian Women, and the activities of Women’s History Month and Women on a Shoestring Collective, among others. The Trust was wound up in 2005 having provided grants of over $90,000 from the original bequest and interest earned.

Canberra Women’s Liberation Group
(1970 – 1976)

Social action organisation

The Canberra Women’s Liberation Group was formed in June 1970 after two women from Sydney Women’s Liberation spoke to eight female anti-Vietnam War activists, who decided to meet on a weekly basis on Wednesday evenings, to discuss their own form of oppression. The weekly meetings continued until 1976. One of its founding members was Julia Ryan. Their meetings were held in different houses in Canberra suburbs until 1975, when they shared Canberra Women’s House with the Women’s Electoral Lobby and the Abortion Counselling Service.

Women’s Studies Program, Australian National University
(1976 – 2000)

Tertiary education institution

The Women’s Studies Program was established at the Australian National University in 1976 as the result of activism and political pressure applied by students who were connected to the Women’s Liberation movement. In the first instance, the program’s key aims were to explore the position and representation of women in Australian and other societies, the forces producing female subjectivity and women’s experiences of femininity. Moving the examination of these questions into the academy was an important step in the development of a feminist critique of existing disciplines and institutional structures and the development of feminist scholarship in general.

ACT Women’s Consultative Council
(1989 – 2001)

Advocate, Consultant

The ACT Women’s Consultative Council was established in 1989 by the then chief minister Rosemary Follett to advise the chief minister on the status of women and women’s issues. It ceased operation in 2001.

National Foundation for Australian Women
(1989 – )

Social action organisation

The National Foundation for Australian Women was established in 1989 by the bequest of Canberra feminist, Pamela Denoon. NFAW objectives are: to advance and protect all interests of Australian women in all spheres; to ensure that the aims and ideals of the women’s movement and its collective wisdom are handed on to new generations of Australian women. The foundation seeks to strengthen and support women’s groups by: sponsoring research and advocacy; working to increase support for feminist goals in the community, and improving communication among women’s groups. NFAW founded the Australian Women’s Archive Project in 1999.

Beryl Women’s Refuge
(1975 – )

Women's refuge

Beryl Women’s Refuge was the first women’s refuge for women and children escaping domestic violence in the ACT. It provided accommodation and a range of legal, welfare and health services to a diverse range of clients.

Working Women’s Centre Melbourne
(1975 – 1984)

Social support organisation

The Melbourne Working Women’s Centre was the first trade union women’s research and advisory centre in Australia. Established in 1975, under the auspices of the white collar union peak body, the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations (ACSPA), it operated as an independent lobby and research group concentrating on women’s issues in employment. When the ACSPA amalgamated with the ACTU in 1979, so too did the Working Women’s Centre. It became defunct in 1984.

Elsie Women’s Refuge
(1974 – )

Women's refuge

Elsie Women’s Refuge was the first refuge set up in Australia for women and children escaping a violent home who had nowhere to sleep. The refuge offered advice and assistance in relation to the legal, welfare and health systems.

National Women’s Advisory Council
(1978 – 1984)

Social support organisation

The National Women’s Advisory Council was established as a new channel of communication between the Women’s Affairs Branch of the federal government and the wider community of women. Chaired by Beryl Beaurepaire it had Aboriginal, migrant, rural and trade union women among the members.