The Austral Salon of Music, Literature and the Arts was founded by a small group of women journalists in Melbourne as a club for women writers. It developed into a club for artistic and intellectual women interested in any of the fine arts and provided an important entre for many aspiring women musicians. The Salon continues it main aim of encouraging young artists by awarding scholarships and hosting student performances.
The Salon was one of the first four groups to affiliate with the National Council of Women of Victoria in 1902. Such artists as Ada Crossley, Amy Castles, Nellie Melba, Florence Autral, Marjorie Lawrence, Denise Dowling and Tilly Ashton were first heard at the Austral Salon.