• Organisation

The Salvation Army, Australian Territory


The Salvation Army, Australian Territory was established in 1880 when the first members of the church came to Australia. From 1880 until 1907, the Salvation Army Australasian Territory comprised the church’s operations in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. In 1907, the Australian Territory was separated from New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. In 1921, the Australian Territory was split into the Southern and Eastern Territories.

The Salvation Army was founded in London in 1865. By 1880, the church was active in Australia, conducting services in Melbourne and Adelaide. In 1881, the founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, despatched Captain Sutherland and his wife to Australia to commence a ‘campaign’. In 1883, Major James Barker established the Church’s first permanent social program, the Prison Gate for discharged prisoners in Melbourne. In 1884, the Fallen Sisters Home was established in Carlton (an inner suburb of Melbourne) for women released from prison.

By the 1890s, the Salvation Army was setting up its first maternity Homes in Australia, including the Adelaide Maternity Home (established 1893), Rock Lynn House in Launceston, Tasmania (around 1895), a Home for Neglected Girls in Perth (1894) and The Haven in North Fitzroy, Victoria (1897). The Salvation Army was active in the adoption of children from their maternity Homes and hospitals. Many of its maternity Homes were not closed until the 1980s and 1990s.

The Salvation Army began establishing institutions for children in the 1890s, homes and industrial schools for ‘neglected’ boys and girls, as well as reformatories for ‘convicted’ children. The first of these was the Heidelberg Boys’ Home, Victoria, established in 1893. Some of these earliest Salvation Army institutions – such as Bayswater Boys’ Homes in Victoria (established 1897) – operated continuously until the 1980s.

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