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New South Wales - Organisation

Sydney Rescue Work Society (1890 - 1982)

  • First offices of the Society

    First offices of the Society, c. 1890, courtesy of Integricare.
    Details

From
1890
To
1982
Categories
Care Provider, City Mission, Non Government Organisation and Non-denominational

The Sydney Rescue Work Society was formed in 1890 to 'take over, continue and strengthen the Rescue Work for seven years usefully and beneficially carried on by Mr G.E. Ardill and his philanthropic co-workers'. It ran numerous refuges and homes for women and children in Sydney and surrounding suburbs. From 1911 until at least the 1950s it was based at 141-155 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills. It changed its name in 1982 to Communicare.

Details

George Edward Ardill was a printer and Gospel preacher who, in 1882, opened a Women's Refuge known as the 'Home of Hope for Friendless and Fallen Women'. With his wife Louisa, he then initiated the Blue Ribbon Gospel Army, which ran the Home of Hope, the Discharged Prisoners' Mission and the Open All Night Refuge.

The Sydney Rescue Work Society was a non-denominational body founded on the principles and teachings of the New Testament. It campaigned for temperance, the reform of alcoholics and prostitutes and the protection of infants, women and girls. Ardill, a printer, produced a newspaper called The Rescue to lobby for funds, thank his numerous supporters, and report his successes in rescuing 'the fallen'.

The Sydney Rescue Work Society grew rapidly under Ardill's energetic guidance. By 1911 the following agencies were actively serving the community under the Society's control: South Sydney Women's Hospital; Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers; Training School for Midwifery Nurses; Adoption Agency; Home of Hope for Friendless and Fallen Women; a day nursery and crèche in the City; Open All Night Refuge for Women; Jubilee Home for working and unemployed women; Roslyn Hall Babies Home, Rockdale; the Society for Providing Homes for Neglected Children, with homes at Camden and Liverpool; and a general relief agency that dispensed money and clothes to the needy.

Sydney Rescue Work Society institutions were run on the cottage model, which was expensive and required high levels of staff. The Society's finances were frequently precarious and Ardill financed many of his operations with profits from the commercial laundry in the Home of Hope, and fees from training midwives in South Sydney Women's Hospital. He was criticised for this, and for using the labour of pregnant women in the laundry. However, the Society was a major force in the city's charitable networks, at least until Ardill's death in 1945.

By the 1970s, the principal activities of the Society were the Commonwealth Street Mission, providing food, shelter and clothing for homeless and destitute men and women; Roslyn Hall Children's Home, providing residential care for twenty children; Bethesda Home for Unmarried Mothers, providing accommodation and support for single pregnant girls; South Sydney Women's Hospital, which placed special emphasis on the care of unmarried mothers; an Adoption Agency; a hostel for business girls; and a Department of Evangelism. In addition to these, it maintained a relationship with the homes operated by the Society for Providing Homes for Neglected Children.

The Sydney Rescue Work Society changed its name to Communicare Sydney in approximately 1982 and in 2011 began trading as Integricare Sydney. It has sixteen child care services, including long day care centres, pre-schools, family day care and OOSH centres. The records of the Sydney Rescue Work Society Adoption Agency are now held by the Department of Community Services' Adoption Information Service. The Nursing History Research Unit, Sydney Nursing School holds registers from the Home of Hope [South Sydney Women's Hospital] (1903-1905). Some records of South Sydney Women's Hospital from 1947-1949 and 1950-1976 are held by the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick.

Whilst predominately focussed on long day care, family day care and preschool services for children, Integricare is considering ways to return to Ardill's original mission of administering to the needy.

Timeline

 c. 1882 - c. 1890 Blue Ribbon Gospel Army
       1890 - 1982 Sydney Rescue Work Society
             1982 - 2011 Communicare Sydney
                   2011 - Integricare

Related Concepts

Related Organisations

Publications

Journals

  • Sydney Rescue Work Society/Society for Providing Homes for Neglected Children (ed.), The Rescue: official organ of the Sydney Rescue Work Society and Society for Providing Homes for Neglected Children, This item is available at the State Library of NSW., 1880-1910. Details

Newspaper Articles

Reports

  • Annual Report of the Home of Hope for Friendless and Fallen, Discharged Prisoners' Mission, and Open All Night Refuge; together with the general agencies of the Blue Ribbon Gospel Army, Blue Ribbon Gospel Army, 1884-1887. Details
  • Annual Report, Sydney Rescue Work Society, Surry Hills, 1950-1956, 24 pp. Details
  • Integricare History, Integricare, Burwood, 2012, 4 pp. Details

Online Resources

Photos

[Silver trowel] presented to Miss Sarah Taylor by the former inmates of the Home [of Hope] on the occasion of laying the Memorial Stone of the Home of Hope Laundry, Newtown, 28th Feb. 1891
Title
[Silver trowel] presented to Miss Sarah Taylor by the former inmates of the Home [of Hope] on the occasion of laying the Memorial Stone of the Home of Hope Laundry, Newtown, 28th Feb. 1891
Type
Object
Date
1888 - 1891

Details

Sydney Rescue Work Society - Administrative Offices of the Society
Title
Sydney Rescue Work Society - Administrative Offices of the Society
Type
Image
Date
1890 - 1904?
Source
Integricare

Details

First offices of the Society
Title
First offices of the Society
Type
Image
Date
c. 1890
Source
Integricare

Details

Sydney Rescue Work Society administrative offices, circa 1890-1900
Title
Sydney Rescue Work Society administrative offices, circa 1890-1900
Type
Image
Date
1890? - 1900?
Source
Integricare

Details

House of Hope laundry, Stanley St., Newtown [Home of Hope]
Title
House of Hope laundry, Stanley St., Newtown [Home of Hope]
Type
Image
Date
c. 1900
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers
Title
Bethesda Home for Waiting Mothers
Type
Image
Date
1950
Publisher
Sydney Rescue Work Society

Details

Sydney Rescue Work Society Annual Report, 1950
Title
Sydney Rescue Work Society Annual Report, 1950
Type
Document
Date
1950

Details

Gospel Union Hall and gable detail. Commonwealth Street view, Oasis Backpackers, 14-145 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills.
Title
Gospel Union Hall and gable detail. Commonwealth Street view, Oasis Backpackers, 14-145 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills.
Type
Image
Date
March 2014
Source
Michael Bogle

Details

The Gospel Union Hall: 145 Commonwealth Street: Surry Hills NSW 2010
Title
The Gospel Union Hall: 145 Commonwealth Street: Surry Hills NSW 2010
Type
Document
Date
23 April 2014
Source
Michael Bogle

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Annual Report of the Home of Hope for Friendless and Fallen, Discharged Prisoners' Mission, and Open All Night Refuge; together with the general agencies of the Blue Ribbon Gospel Army, Blue Ribbon Gospel Army, 1884-1887; Annual Report, Sydney Rescue Work Society, Surry Hills, 1950-1956, 24 pp; Integricare History, Integricare, Burwood, 2012, 4 pp; Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880-1940, Department of History, University of New South Wales, 2007, 361 pp, http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:1369/SOURCE01?view=true; Radi, Heather, ''Ardill, George Edward (1857-1945)'', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 1979, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/ardill-george-edward-5048; Sydney Rescue Work Society Annual Report, 1950 [Document]; 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; Thornton, Bruce, George Edward Ardill and the Sydney Rescue Work Society (now Communicare Sydney) [also titled "Haste to the Rescue"], Baptist Historical Society of New South Wales, Sydney, 2008, 118 pp; Information from Integricare, 17 June 2013; Email correspondence with Prince of Wales Medical Records staff, 22 March 2012.

Prepared by: Naomi Parry