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Governesses' Institute and Melbourne Home (1857 - 1936)

From
1857
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
To
1936
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupations
Social support organisation
Alternative Names
  • Melbourne Female Home (former name, 1857 - 1863)

Summary

The Governesses' Institute and Melbourne Home opened in Melbourne in 1863 with the aim of accommodating governesses, shop women, needlewomen and servants and to provide a central employment registry in a self-supporting institution. Its forerunner, the Melbourne Female Home, which opened in September 1857 in temporary premises in Collingwood, provided shelter only for newly arrived single female immigrants who were without friends in the colony. The Governesses' Institute occupied a number of premises over the course of its existence in Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne, "Wynamo" in St Kilda and "Lovell House" in Caulfield. The governing body comprised a central committeee, with nine local or suburban committees. A matron was employed to supervise the Home and its occupants. Strict rules applied; women were only admitted if they arrived on a week day, could pay a week's board in advance and were without children. In 1863 Mrs Laura Jane a'Beckett was elected secretary of the management committee of six men and twenty-six women. It closed in 1936.

Sources used to compile this entry: Clarke, Patricia, The governesses: letters from the colonies 1862-1882, Hutchinson, Melbourne, 1985, 236 pp.

Related entries

Archival resources

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Governesses' Institute and Melbourne Home, 1856 - 1936, MS 12124; Governesses' Institute and Melbourne Home (1857 - 1936); 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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