- 16 November 1885
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Lobby group, Religious organisation and Women's Rights Organisation
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Victoria was founded in 1887 when the 12 existing local branches in Melbourne suburbs and regional Victoria joined together to form a Colonial Union. It is primarily dedicated to promoting total abstinence from alcohol and other harmful drugs and all members sign a pledge to this effect. Under its broader agenda of 'home protection' and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and in its belief that the dangers of alcohol could not be tackled in isolation, the WCTU has pursued a very wide-ranging reform agenda mostly relating to the welfare of women and children. Importantly, influenced by its sister organisation in the United States, the Union became a major supporter of the campaign for women's suffrage in Australia as it was believed that power at the ballot box was the only way to achieve their goals. While at its most influential in the years up to WWI, the movement continues today.