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South Australia - Organisation

Women's Welfare Department of the Methodist Conference (1936 - 1977?)

Care Provider and Methodist
Alternative Names
  • Church Women's Welfare Department (Also known as)

The Women's Welfare Department of the Methodist Conference (also known as the Church Women's Welfare Department) was formed in 1936, with Kate Cocks as superintendent. In 1950, the Women's Welfare Department took over the operation of the Methodist Home for Babies and Unmarried Mothers (later renamed the Kate Cocks Memorial Babies' Home) from the Home Missions Department of the Methodist Conference.


During the 1930s, Kate Cocks worked extensively assisting single pregnant women and their babies, including providing temporary accommodation. The establishment of a Home dedicated to supporting and providing shelter for unmarried mothers was the result of an initiative by Kate Cocks, in conjunction with the Methodist Women's Association. As well as supervising the newly-established Methodist Home for Babies and Unmarried Mothers, Cocks continued to provide care for women and their babies on an unpaid basis for many years. Kate Cocks had previously served as the first female police officer in South Australia, resigning her post in 1935, and she also worked as a probation officer for the Children's Welfare and Public Relief Department. When Kate Cocks died in 1954, the Home was renamed the Kate Cocks Memorial Babies Home in her honour

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005,

Prepared by: Ann McCarthy