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Through the decades: 1970

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 1 month, 3 weeks ago



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1971 1972 19731974 | 1975 1976197719781979


Children & Families 

Nine camps were conducted for children and teenagers in January while a day outing program took children from the inner suburbs to beaches, the Dandenongs and on other outings.  The Family Service Bureau arranged foster homes for twenty-nine children in January who came from fourteen families - some spent the whole month with their adopted families, others, particularly the under fives, just a couple of weeks. [1]


Demand on the BSL's Family Planning Clinic in Fitzroy required an additional session from February, bringing the total to four weekly sessions, two in the morning and two in the evening.  Over the previous three years, 1062 patients attended the clinic.  Five doctors, six trained nurses and one BSL staff member were on the clinic staff during 1970.  After assessment based on income, rent and the number of dependants, one-third of the total number of patients made no payment for services received and only a small proportion paid the maximum fee.  The Brotherhood  requested a subsidy for the clinic from the State Government. [2] 


Community Issues 

Housing Commission High Rise tower completed at 95 Napier Street, Fitzroy on the Atherton Gardens Estate [3]

BSL at first supported, then withdrew from, the pre-election campaign of the "Victorian Committee Against Poverty & Social Injustice on the grounds of maintaining political neutrality" 


BSL supported "The Pensioners' Little Budget Campaign" pressing for a new pension system based on contributory superannuation with safeguards for the poorer sections of the community. [4]


The Brotherhood conducted another Students meet the Community week (in May) to provide a more informed understanding of welfare services and needs.  Eighteen students from Melbourne’s three universities took part. [5]


Lecturers of the Melbourne Secondary Teachers College recorded interviews with Joan Davey ( Senior Social Worker) and Judith O’Neill (Senior Research Officer) on the nature of poverty and its effect upon families and children's education.  These were used in teacher training seminars. [6]


Brotherhood’s Social Service Bureau staff in Broadmeadows work with other organisations in setting up a Broadmeadows Welfare Advisory Committee  [7]


“Numerous enquiries from the public for information on poverty and survey techniques … have come from town planners, architects, teachers, kindergartens, secondary and tertiary students, service clubs and other community groups.” [8]


Fundraising & Resources 

Opportunity Shops re-branded as Brotherhood Shops “as we found that many people thought that all opportunity shops were ours”. [9]


Eleven Brotherhood shops were part of the Brotherhood's Salvage Division, each with a paid manageress but depending heavily on voluntary help.  Shops were in Bendigo, City, Dandenong, Footscray, Fitzroy (3 shops - Furniture, General and Theatrical), Geelong, Glenroy, Malvern and Mornington. [10]


The Better Way scheme, begun in 1954 as the alternative to showing sympathy by sending a wreath to a funeral, had raised $22,443, finance for 15 accommodation units for elderly people. [11]


All proceeds from the sale of Ideas for Australian Cities, written and published by Hugh Stretton, were "for the benefit of the urban social services of the Brotherhood of St Laurence Melbourne".  [12]


Morven which had been owned by the BSL since 1951 and had provided holiday opportunities for children, families and older people, was sold, with the funds "to be applied to the provision of youth and aged services in keeping with the original appeal which helped to finance the property". [13]


New Auxiliary formed - Heatherton (March) [14]  The Harrietville Auxiliary reported that out of a total population of 60, in 1970, "twenty-one are staunch workers for the Auxiliary". [15]


Older People 

The 1969 overseas study tour to inspect geriatric services undertaken by Neville Brooke, Associate Director, Services for the Aged, led to an evaluation of the Brotherhood's services for the aged.  The need for “personal care type of accommodation (was identified) and plans are well under way for hostels at Carrum Downs, St Laurence Park and St Laurence Court … The accent is on rehabilitation and a move to hostel accommodation is not necessarily permanent … We now accommodate over 400 elderly people … There were 466 applications for accommodation this year, 216 for personal care.” [16]


At Carrum Downs “old Collins Court was demolished … pending the completion of a personal care hostel.  This will have 30 single bed-sitting room units and community and recreational areas.” [17]


Planning for the development at St Laurence Court, Bendigo, of a 20 bed hostel and six blocks of flats to help meet the demand for accommodation. [18]


During 1969-1970 the Coolibah Centre served 18,500 meals [19]


Organisational aspects (BSL) 

In his first staff conference as Executive Director, David Scott spoke of the role of the voluntary organisations in the community and the need for them to retain their independence.  Speaking of the Brotherhood, he highlighted that it was unusual in having staff representation on the Board of Directors (five non-voting staff members were on the Board of 15). [20]


First BSL Librarian was appointed in July to a part-time position [21]


A steering committee was appointed to establish a Credit Union following a meeting of interested Brotherhood staff.  "As well as benefiting staff this is seen as a means of learning how to run a Credit Union as we hope in the future to explore the possibility of establishing community credit unions." [22]


Social Work service closed in Fitzroy (Holden)


Brotherhood Research became a separate department under the direction of Associate Director, Rev Peter Hollingworth, with Mrs Judith O’Neill as Senior Research Officer. [23]



Death of Frank Coaldrake (former and early member of the Brotherhood of St Laurence - see 1939) twelve days after being elected as Archbishop of Brisbane [24]Read what Shane Green wrote about him in The Age in September 2003.


Appointment of a National Director of Community Aid Abroad from June released David Scott to devote his full time to the Brotherhood [25]


Peter Hollingworth, Associate Director of Social Services, instituted as parish priest of St Mark's Fitzroy on 13 November [26]


The preacher at the 40th Foundation Festival of the Brotherhood at Christ Church was the Rev M.B. Challen, Director of the Anglican Inner-city Ministry and a member of the BSL Board  (13 December) [27]


Refugees & Settlement 

The Leith Trust funded a study of schooling problems of migrant children and another of “patterns of school leaving and achievement in an effort to discover the possible role of education centres in inner suburban areas”. [28]


European Australian Christian Fellowship (EACF) becomes known as the Ecumenical Migration Centre  [29] 


Young people 

Youth and Leisure Centre attendances jumped due to the impact of a sudden increase in population when families moved into the new Fitzroy Housing Commission flats.  Three full-time children’s workers were responsible for the afternoon programs during school term and the holiday programs.  Twenty-five “mobile camps” were held during the year, using two fully-equipped four-wheel drive vehicles and trailers.  [30]


  1. "What we've been doing", Brotherhood Action March 1970 (No.188) pp.8, 11
  2. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.10 (no numbering)
  3. email from Helen Shield, Collingwood Housing Office (2 Mar 2009). The Fitzroy high-rise towers were completed as follows - 95 Napier St Fitzroy was built in 1970; 90 Brunswick St Fitzroy in 1971; 140 Brunswick St Fitzroy in 1971; 125 Napier St Fitzroy in 1971. The Collingwood high-rise towers were completed as follows - 229 & 253 Hoddle Street Collingwood completed in 1968; 240 Wellington Street Collingwood completed in 1971.
  4. "New pension system essential" Brotherhood Action December 1970 (No.191) p.2
  5. "What we've been doing" Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.15 and BSL Annual Report 1970 p.5 (no numbering)
  6. "What we've been doing" Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.15
  7. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.5 (no numbering)
  8. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.6 (no numbering)
  9. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.7 (no numbering)
  10. Brotherhood Action March 1970 (No.188) p.11
  11. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.8 (no numbering)
  12. Hugh Stretton "Ideas for Australian Cities" 1970. Also in Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.8
  13. "In March 1970, Morven was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Telford, who restored the house and turned it into a luxurious reception centre re-named “Morven Manor". "Morven Manor" is now (2009) an "exclusive, boutique retirement village". (From < http://www.morvenmanor.com.au>24 Feb 2009). Also BSL Annual Report 1968-1969 p.11.
  14. "Talk about Auxiliaries" Brotherhood Action December 1970 (No.191) p.10 and BSL Annual Report 1970 p.9 (no numbering).
  15. "Talk about Auxiliaries" Brotherhood Action March 1970 (No.188) p.10
  16. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.2 (no numbering)
  17. Commenced in August, supported by $30,000 from the Camberwell Voluntary Helper's Shop - "What we've been doing" Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.15 and BSL Annual Report 1970 p.2 (no numbering)
  18. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.2 (no numbering)
  19. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.2 (no numbering)
  20. Brotherhood Action June 1970 (No.189) p.8
  21. "What we've been doing" Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.15
  22. "What we’ve been doing" Brotherhood Action December 1970 (No.191) p.5
  23. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.6 (no numbering)
  24. See [Coaldrake_&_pacifism_2003-9-30.pdf] For more on Coaldrake see John Handfield "Friends and Brothers" pp.147-148 and I.R. Carter "God and Three Shillings" pp.67 ff. See also the entry in the "Australian Dictionary of Biography Online" Coaldrake, Frank William (1912-1970) at 23 November 2009
  25. Brotherhood Action June 1970 (No.189) p.2
  26. "… three Sisters of the Mission to Streets and Lanes were commissioned for work in the parish. For a period of three years, Peter will live at the Vicarage and lead the parish team in a ministry concerned to build up a sense of community in a rapidly changing local area. At the same time he will continue all his BSL work." "What we’ve been doing" Brotherhood Action December 1970 (No.191) p.5
  27. Brotherhood Action December 1970 (No.191) p.2
  28. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.6 (no numbering)
  29. Michele Langfield "Espresso bar to EMC - A thirty-Year History of the Ecumenical Migration Centre", p.30 ff.
  30. BSL Annual Report 1970 p.4 (no numbering)

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