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New South Wales - Organisation

Women's Australian National Service (1940 - ?)

June 1940
Care Provider and Non Government Organisation

Women's Australian National Service was an organisation of women that was established during World War II to provide assistance and training on the home front. It had chapters in Sydney and Newcastle, and nationally, most notably in Western Australia.


The Women's Australian National Service was founded by Lady Margaret Loder Wakehurst (1899-1994) in June 1940, at a conference. She was its president and commander-in-chief. Lady Wakehurst was the popular wife of John de Vere Loder Wakehurst, the Governor General of New South Wales from 1937 until 1946. Mrs L O'Malley Wood was treasurer and Mrs WH Read was chair.

The Western Australian branch of the Women's Australian National Service established Wanslea in Perth, which is now Wanslea Family and Child Services. The New South Wales branches founded a sister organisation, Wanslea, in Bexley in the south-western suburbs of Sydney, in 1945.

Provided 'Care' At


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Rehabilitation of Servicewomen: Claims of Women's Land Army', The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 1945,; 'Wanslea to be opened soon', The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 1945,; Cunneen, Chris, 'Wakehurst, Margaret Loder (1899-1994)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 2002,

Prepared by: Naomi Parry