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O'Connell, Maude (1884 - 1965)

Born
30 June 1884
Beaufort, Victoria, Australia
Died
13 December 1965
St Vincent's Hospital, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Community worker and Trade unionist

Summary

Maude O'Connell worked as a teacher and completed nursing training before becoming involved in social work. She was elected a Governor of the Carlton Refuge in 1909, and was an active member of the Tobacco Workers' Union before founding "The Company of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament" (more commonly known as 'The Grey Sisters').

Details

The daughter of Patrick Martin and Rosina (née Hosking) O'Connell, Maude O'Connell worked as a teacher and completed her nursing training before becoming an active member of the Labor Party. She was the Catholic Church's delegate on many committees and councils dealing with industrial and social matters. O'Connell worked with the Charity Sisters working in the slums, and the Good Shepherd Sisters assisting girls who came before the courts. Also she tried to improve the conditions of women factory workers by working alongside them and becoming a union official.

In 1930 O'Connell, now in her late forties, established a rest home at Daylesford, where she took mothers and children, especially from the slum areas of inner Melbourne for respite care. Later she set up schools for Mother Craft Training, Rest Homes for Mothers, and provided Home Help for needy families, and Parent Education classes.

Sources used to compile this entry: http://www.users.bigpond.com/familycaresrs/Foundress.html, accessed 8 February 2002 and http://www.catholicvocation.org.au/FamilyCareSisters.html, accessed 8 February 2002.

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Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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