Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Social support organisation
The Gentlewomen's Aid Society was established in 1894 in the Williamstown home of Mrs John Clark, wife of the Reverend Clark, in an attempt to assist the many 'gentlewomen' who were left destitute as a result of the 1890s economic depression. Eligibility for membership rested on a recommendation from a committee member, a medical practitioner or a clergyman stating that the applicant was in genuine need of the Society's assistance. The Society held two Sales of Work a year in a public hall to enable 'those ladies who are dependent on their own exertions to sell their work' and were either too frail or too old to battle the commercial world. The Society depended on donations and subscriptions to assist with operating costs. It remained in existence until 1989, when it was dissolved as a result of dwindling membership and declining demand for assistance the Society offered.