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Victoria - Organisation

The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children (1893 - 1895)

From
1893
To
1895
Categories
Care Provider, Presbyterian and Protestant

The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children was established in 1893, with prominent child rescuer Selina Sutherland as its agent. In late 1894, there was a very public disagreement between Sutherland and the Presbyterian Church over a dictate that the Society would only receive children under legal guardianship, and over preference given to Presbyterian children and Presbyterian foster homes. In 1894, Sutherland resigned from the Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children, which continued its activities without Sutherland, until in 1895 it merged with the Scots' Church Neglected Children's Aid Society to form the Presbyterian and Scots' Church Children's Aid Society.

Details

Selina Sutherland had previously been involved with the Scots' Church Neglected Children's Aid Society. The year after the Presbyterian Society was founded, there was a very public disagreement between Sutherland and the Presbyterian Church, when the General Assembly dictated that the Society would only receive children under legal guardianship. Sutherland objected to this practice, preferring a system where 'voluntary' placements were possible for families experiencing hardship. Parents whose circumstances improved found it extremely difficult to reclaim their children once they had come under the legal guardianship of an agency.

Sutherland also objected to the directive that the Society give preference to Presbyterian children and board them out only in Presbyterian foster homes. On 16 November 1894, Sutherland (and the ladies' committee) resigned from the Presbyterian Society. At a public meeting on 7 December 1894, it was resolved to form the new organisation, the Victorian Neglected Children's Aid Society.

The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children continued its activities without Sutherland, until in 1895 it merged with the Scots' Church Neglected Children's Aid Society to form the Presbyterian and Scots' Church Children's Aid Society.

Location

1893 - 1895
Location - The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children was located in Melbourne. Location: Melbourne

Timeline

 1893 - 1895 The Presbyterian Society for Neglected and Destitute Children
       1895 - 1950? The Presbyterian and Scots' Church Children's Aid Society

Related Archival Collections

Related Organisations

Publications

Books

  • Groll, Nancy, The Sutherland Story: a century of caring for children, Berry Street Victoria, 2000. Details

Book Sections

  • Swain, Shurlee, 'Selina Sutherland, Licensed child rescuer', in M.Lake and F.Kelly (eds), Double Time: women in Victoria, 150 years, Penguin, Ringwood, 1985, pp. 126-131. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Groll, Nancy, The Sutherland Story: a century of caring for children, Berry Street Victoria, 2000; Hoban, Ruth, 'Sutherland, Sulina Murray MacDonald (1839 - 1909)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition, Australian National University, 2006, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sutherland-selina-murray-4674; McCallum, David, Law and norm: justice administration and the human sciences in early juvenile justice in Victoria, Newcastle Law Review, vol. 7, 2004, 62-71 pp, http://eprints.vu.edu.au/1521/2/Newcastle_Law_Review.doc_%28R%29.pdf.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill