Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Welfare organisation
- Alternative Names
- The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge and Benevolence (former name, 1813 - 1818)
- Level 1, 188 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW 2021 Phone: (02) 9339 8000 Fax: (02) 9360 2319
The Benevolent Society of New South Wales was the first charitable organisation to be established in Australia. It aims were 'to relieve the poor, the distressed, the aged, the infirm,' to discourage begging and to 'encourage industrious habits' among the poor and to provide them with religious instruction. In 1820 a Ladies Committee was established to attend cases of poor married women during their confinement. This service marked the beginning of the District Nursing service in Australia. In line with the changing needs of pregnant women, the Benevolent Society built and opened the Royal Hospital for Women in 1905 and was responsible for its administration until 1992 when it handed it over to the state government. The Society continues to work in the field of social welfare in New South Wales.