The Youth Welfare Association of Australia was a charity founded by Sydney businessman LO Bailey to fund and run his children's homes. Bailey was its President and its Vice-President was Florence Madge Cockburn, Bailey's chief executive in his lingerie business. The YWAA office was in Surry Hills. It was renamed the Australian Youth and Health Foundation, a publicly listed company, in 1985.
An Australian Women's Weekly article in 1943 reported that the Youth Welfare Association was a charitable organisation, consisting of Sydney businessmen, and was headquartered at 272 Elizabeth Street, Sydney (Surry Hills). It raised funds for the Belhaven Home for Mothers and Babies and later purchased Hopewood House. These institutions were the core of L.O. Bailey's experiments in child-rearing and 'natural living'.
The YWAA promoted Bailey's ideas in the press, particularly his obsession with teeth (Bailey's father was a dentist). The YWAA formed partnerships with the Institute of Dental Research and the Australian Dentists' Association, and sponsored a New South Wales-wide competition to find the best teeth in the state. Articles were written in medical journals, as well as newspapers, about the low rate of cavities in Hopewood children's teeth, and their apparent immunity to contagious disease.
The Youth Welfare Association was based at Chalmers Street by 1954. Cockburn took over the YWAA when Bailey died in 1964. The Association ran Bailey's homes for children, and purchased substantial property holdings across New South Wales, including at Narrabeen, Moree, Forbes, Bega, Centennial Park, Loftus, Coffs Harbour, Coogee and Wallacia. The YWAA changed its name to the Australian Youth Foundation in 1985. The new foundation, also based in Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, became a publicly listed company.
1942 - 1985 Youth Welfare Association of Australia
1985 - Australian Youth and Health Foundation
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Advertising: Housemaids', Singleton Argus, 18 June 1947, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article82368244; Annual report (Annual report and financial statements), Youth Welfare Association of Australia, 1948-1984; 'DIET AND DENTAL DECAY', The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 1952, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57307836; 'Best-Teeth Contest has £30 Prizes', The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 1954, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18434829; 'BIG SMILES FOR DENTISTS', The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 October 1954, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18457213; Financial statements, Australian Youth and Health Foundation, 1986-; 'Submission 337', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 15 April 2005, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist; 'Submission 93', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2005, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist; High Priority, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 1996, http://web.archive.org/web/20130719081603/http://www.minitrucks.com.au/mini-trucks-articles/1996/11/14/high-priority/; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf; Trop, Jack Dunn, A Gift of Love: The Hopewood story, 1971.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 March 2011, Last modified: 8 October 2014