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Melbourne Ladies Benevolent Society (1845 - 1983)

From
1845
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
To
1983
Occupations
Social support organisation
Alternative Names
  • Melbourne Ladies Welfare Society (1964 - 1983)

Summary

In response to the perceived needs of the 'deserving poor', the Melbourne Ladies Benevolent Society (MLBS) began operations as the Presbyterian Female Visiting Society in August 1845. By 1851, it was known as the MLBS, and retained that name until 1964, when it became the Melbourne Ladies' Welfare Society. The Society supplied food, clothing and other necessities to the respectable poor at home, particularly women in the Fitzroy and surrounding areas. The MLBS was acknowledged as Melbourne's principal relieving agency and played a major role in dispensing social service benefits until the 1940s, when the Commonwealth Government assumed a greater responsibility for social welfare.

Sources used to compile this entry: Kennedy, Richard, 'Poor relief in Melbourne: the Benevolent Society's contribution, 1845-1893', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 60, no. 4, 1974; Swain, Shurlee and Howe, Renate, Single mothers and their children: disposal, punishment and survival in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1995.

Related entries

Member

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Dunn R C Mrs, records, 1891, ML MSS 1722; Dunn, Louisa; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Melbourne Ladies Benevolent Society, minute books [manuscript], 1850 - 1893, MS 12414; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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