The Sydney Female Mission Home was established on 17 November 1873. It was an institution for single pregnant women. It also admitted some single mothers together with their infants. It was a Protestant organisation run by a committee of women, with a non-sectarian admission policy. It was located in premises on Elizabeth Street, Sydney, overlooking Hyde Park from 1873 until January 1885, when it relocated to 'Darlington House' on the Newtown Road (later called City Road). In 1895, it moved again to Forest Lodge. By 1897, it was in new premises in Glebe, 'The Willows' on Bridge Road, and by 1908 it had moved again to 'Bay View' on Glebe Point Road, Glebe. The closing date of this institution is unclear, it was still operating in 1912.
The Sydney Female Mission Home was unusual for its policy of admitting single women together with their infants. (This was also the practice for some of the women admitted to the Sydney Foundling Hospital in Paddington.) Its report from 1887 stated that 'A fundamental principle is to avoid, if possible, separating mother and child'.
The Sydney Female Mission Home operated without any form of government assistance from its establishment in 1873 until the 1890s.
Sometimes children born at the Sydney Female Mission Home were sent to the Ashfield Infants' Home. The Mission Home's annual report for 1895 mentioned a legacy from the late Thomas Walker who had also donated to the premises of the Infants Home in Ashfield.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'SYDNEY FEMALE MISSION HOME', Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July 1874, p. 7, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13339226; 'NEWS OF THE DAY', Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 1887, p. 13, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13662903; 'THE SYDNEY FEMALE MISSION HOME', Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1895, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13976399; 'FEMALE MISSION HOME', Sydney Morning Herald, 18 September 1897, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14094380; 'Glebe Female Mission', The Daily Telegraph, 14 October 1905, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page25673308; Cooper, Paul F, 'The Sydney Female Mission Home', in Philanthropists and philanthropy in Australian colonial history, Paul F. Cooper, 24 May 2016, https://phinaucohi.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/the-sydney-female-mission-home/; John Sands Ltd. (1891). Sands Sydney, Suburban and Country Commercial Directory, 1891 p.200. Retrieved from https://archives.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/nodes/view/1900128 (accessed 30 August 2023); John Sands Ltd. (1909). Sands Sydney, Suburban and Country Commercial Directory, 1909 p.340. Retrieved from https://archives.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/nodes/view/1899868 (accessed 30 August 2023).
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 8 September 2017, Last modified: 30 August 2023