The Female Refuge and Infants' Home, in Brisbane was founded by Ann Drew in 1870. It was run by a committee of women representing various Protestant groups. The Home moved to a new building in Brisbane in 1880 and then the Trustees of the Home bought a property at Toowong. The Female Refuge and Infants Home amalgamated with St. Mary's Home, Taringa, on the Toowong property in 1919. It was renamed St Mary's Home, Toowong and was run by the Anglican Church.
Ann Drew settled in Toowong, with her husband Richard Langler Drew in the early 1860s. Over the next four decades Ann advocated and helped administer an array of welfare institutions. As lady president of the Social Purity Society, Drew was involved in the establishment of Lady Musgrave Lodge (1891-1892) as a hostel and training place for immigrants and other 'friendless' girls. She also took part in agitation to repeal the Contagious Diseases Act of 1868 and held the position of secretary of the committee of the Lady Bowen Hospital from 1870 to 1879.
In 1870 she founded the Female Refuge and Infants' Home ('Mrs Drew's Home') for young single mothers and their babies.
In 1880 the Female Refuge and Infants' Home was located in the home of Ann Drew and her husband Richard. The Home was initially funded by Drew and her friends.
Ten years later the Home moved to a new building on Turbot Street. The refuge eventually gained government assistance, however, this funding was withdrawn in 1900. In 1907 Ann Drew retired as superintendent of the Female Refuge and Infants' Home. She died later in 1907, leaving the property in trust.
In 1918 the government resumed the property in Turbot Street, and the Trustees of the Female Refuge and Infants Home bought the property known as 'Ivy Lodge' in Bent Street, Toowong. The Female Refuge and Infants Home and St. Mary's Home, Taringa amalgamated on the Toowong property in 1919. The name 'St Mary's Home' was retained and the Anglican Church took control of the Home.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Death of Mrs R L Drew', Brisbane Courier, 7 August 1907, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19393237; Australian Women's Archive Project, Drew, Ann (1822 - 1907), The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne, http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/PR00454b.htm; Routh, S J, 'Drew, Ann (Anne) (1822-1907)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Australian National University, 2011, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/drew-ann-anne-12893.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 30 November 2011, Last modified: 31 October 2014