The Girls' Friendly Society (GFS) opened in Perth in 1888. From the 1950s, possibly earlier and for an unknown period, the Girls' Friendly Society provided emergency accommodation for female Wards of the Department if alternative suitable placement could not be found. In 2013, it remained active in Australia, known simply as GFS.
The Girls' Friendly Society (GFS) came to Australia from England in 1875. The first GFS was in South Australia and from 1875 the organisation spread to all States, operating in 14 Anglican Dioceses. The GFS opened a branch in Perth in 1888 and was very active in fundraising, especially for the Parkerville Children's Home, the Perth Girls' Orphanage and Swan Homes. From the 1950s and possibly earlier, the Girls' Friendly Society provided emergency accommodation for female Wards of the Department if alternative suitable placement could not be found. In 2013, it remained active in Australia, known simply as GFS.
The GFS Lodge was started in 1917 and followed a lodge that was operated by the Anglican Diocese - St George' s Lodge. Two more lodges were established, one in Perth and another in Fremantle. GFS Lodge, also called Townsend Lodge was also used as accommodation by Curtin University in the 1990s for a couple of years. In 2013 Townsend Lodge was used as low budget accommodation and managed by Swanleigh.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; Email from Anne Wilson, Girls' Friendly Society Archivist, 5 March 2012.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 25 January 2019