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The Australian Red Cross was formed on the outbreak of the first World War in 1914 as a branch of the British Red Cross Society. The Australian Junior Red Cross, a subsidiary organisation to the Australian Red Cross, was formally established in New South Wales in 1918. The Junior Red Cross carried out a range of roles and services, including running children’s Homes in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia.

In South Australia, a number of Junior Red Cross Homes operated between 1933 and 1968.

In New South Wales, the Junior Red Cross ran a number of children’s homes: Cudgelo Junior Red Cross Home at Ramsgate, the Eleanor McKinnon Memorial Junior Red Cross Home at Ramsgate, the Eleanor Mackinnon Memorial Home at Cronulla and the Glen Mervyn Junior Red Cross Home at Randwick. From 1925, it ran convalescent homes in the Blue Mountains for children from tuberculosis affected families, particularly those of ex-servicemen (Juong and Shuna homes). It also ran Kippilaw in Leura, Berida Junior Red Cross Home in Bowral and Wongala, located in Turramurra.

In Western Australia, the Australian Red Cross took over management of Lady Lawley Cottage by the Sea in Cottesloe, in 1945. It continues to operate in 2020 as a respite care service for children with disabilities.

In Victoria, the Red Cross operated a number of convalescent Homes that housed children in Melbourne: Welfare House in St Kilda, Lady Dugan Home in Malvern and Edgecliff in Hampton.

In Queensland, the Walter T Robertson Convalescent Home in Toowoomba sometimes accommodated children temporarily. There was also the Red Cross Home, Margate, a convalescent home for children from the Mater and Brisbane Hospitals.

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