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Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 1 year, 6 months ago


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1971 1972 19731974 | 1975 1976197719781979

Children & Families 

With the conclusion of the three-year experimental period for the BSL’s  Family Day Care project (and the departure of Barbara Spalding to Canberra), a community committee was set up to advise on its future operations. [1]


The Family Centre Project closed at the end of 1975 following an examination of the objectives that "resulted in a suggestion that in its second three-year phase, the Family Centre Project should become a community resource and action centre for low-income people in the surrounding districts.  This was the origin of the Action & Resource Centre for Low-Income families - ARC."   Almost all the professional staff who had worked in the Family Centre left to take up other positions and were replaced by members of the ARC who had developed the confidence and experience to become resource people.  The new ARC was managed by its own elected Council, with the BSL providing by agreement, the finance and buildings for a further period of three years. [2]  [3]  [4]


In relation to ARC and the BSL, David Scott (Executive Director) advised Brotherhood supporters that "ARC also operates in a way that is very similar to the Brotherhood tradition in that the members are encouraged to develop their own ideas about social problems and to express these publicly from time to time.  Inevitably, there will be some confusion because it is difficult to make it clear to everybody that ARC is not speaking in the name of he Brotherhood although in many instances we may share similar concerns."  [5]


Employment & Training 

Proposal for an Employment Resource and Information Centre (ERIC) to provide a service supplementary to the Commonwealth Employment Service was discussed with the Department of Labour & Immigration.  Staffed by low-income people (who, drawing on the experience of the Family Centre, were able to impart their knowledge and skills to other low-income people) the experimental project was to include organised workshops on applying for jobs and job interviews; telephones so that the unemployed could contact employers; and copies of daily newspapers listing jobs.  (See 1976 & 1977) [6]


Fundraising & Resources 

Fundraising auxiliaries were at Bentleigh, Box Hill, Bulleen, Brighton, Camberwell, Cheltenham, Dandenong, Fitzroy, Frankston, Glenroy, Greensborough, Heatherton, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe, Malvern, Melbourne, Mornington, Ormond, Preston, Ringwood, Wangaratta, Warrandyte and Waverley. [7]


New auxiliary shops opened in Glenhuntly (April), Mornington & Seaford (June)  [8]


Peninsula Salvage Division developed to collect clothing furniture and household goods south of the Patterson River in order to provide funds to meet the running costs of G.K. Tucker Park[9]


The annual major fundraising events continued - the Market Fair (Melbourne Town Hall), Village Fair (G.K. Tucker Park) and the Country Fair (St Laurence Park, Lara) [10]


Older People 

Frankston Private Hospital purchased in October 1975 through the generosity of the late Eileen Keyes. It was renamed Broughton in honour of her father, William Broughton.   Existing staff transferred to the Brotherhood and long term care was provided for residents from G.K.Tucker Park, Carrum Downs, who had become totally dependent, as well as for local people referred by the Mt. Eliza Geriatric Centre. [11]


A resident at St Laurence Park, Mr Percy Coates, proposed making use of the 30 acres of land and making money for the park at the same time by raising sheep.  [12]


Organisational aspects (BSL) 

A Management Committee was formed to take over responsibility for the management and development of G.K. Tucker Park, Carrum Downs.  This committee was made up of local representatives of three adjoining councils (the Shires of Cranbourne, Dandenong and Frankston), service groups, staff and people with particular interests and qualifications in housing for elderly people.  [13]



Death of Saxil Tuxen, a foundation member of the board of the Brotherhood.  As a pioneer of town planning in Victoria he had applied his planning and surveying experience to the development of G.K. Tucker Park, Carrum Downs. [14]


Concetta Benn, Coordinator of the Family Centre Project 1973-1975, took study leave at the end of 1975 on an Australian Government post-graduate award in order to work for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne.  Her thesis was to be based on aspects of the Project, widely regarded as an important social welfare experiment in relation to poverty and participation.  Hayden Raysmith was appointed as the Coordinator of the next phase of the project. [15]


Presentations & Publications 

David Griffiths' final report Emergency Relief, commissioned in 1973, was published by the Social Welfare Commission with the BSL's recommendations and those of the Social Welfare Commission (April) [16]


Publications included:


Young People 

In their August school holidays, ten students from Melbourne Grammar School worked for a week on a number of projects for the Brotherhood including building a bluestone wall around the site of the new Fitzroy hostel. [25] 


  1. Brotherhood Action March 1975 (No.207)
  2. Brotherhood Action March 1976 (No.211). See Connie Benn in Catherine Magree (ed.) "Looking forward, looking back: The Brotherhood’s role in changing views of poverty 1993" p.27 (BSL Library 362.506094 BRO).
  3. See also Philip Mendes "The history of social work in Australia: A critical literature review", in Australian Social Work, June 2005, Vol. 58, No. 2, in the section "Perspectives on social work in the social welfare and policy literature" where he writes: "Healy (1993) provides a more detailed overview of the major developments in radical social work in the 1970s and 1980s, including the influence of social movements, the impact of the Brotherhood of St Laurence's Family Centre Project, and later the introduction of feminist theory. Mendes (1997) extends this overview to more recent post-modern perspectives. Martin (1990) discusses the beginnings of feminist influence within Australian social work, including the pioneering writings of Jane Nichols, and later Helen Marchant and Betty Wearing. Martin (2003) provides a limited historical overview of critical social work, including the Brotherhood’s developmental model, but acknowledges that 'historical developments in Australia have yet to be mapped' (p. 482)." See next footnote for the references.
  4. [References are: HEALY B (1993), Towards an Australian radical social work for today. Australian Social Work 46 (1), 3–8. MENDES P (1997), The left, social workers and the welfare state: An old debate revisited. Social Work Influencing Outcomes: Conference Proceedings of 25th AASW National Conference , Volume 2, AASW, Canberra, pp. 482–489. MARTIN E (1990), Gender, Demand and Domain: The Social Work Profession in South Australia 1935–1980. PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne. MARTIN J (2003), Historical development of critical social work practice. In: Allan J, Pease B & Briskman L (eds). Critical Social Work. Allen & Unwin, Sydney, pp. 17–31. ]
  5. Brotherhood Action March 1976 (No.211)
  6. Brotherhood Action December 1975 (No.210)
  7. Brotherhood Action March 1975 (No.207)
  8. Brotherhood Action June 1975 (No.208)
  9. Brotherhood Action June 1975 (No.208). See also Ben Bennett, "GK Tucker Settlement - An historical record 1935-1995: 60 years with the Brotherhood of St Laurence at Carrum Downs", Limited Edition, p.55
  10. Brotherhood Action September 1975 (No.209)
  11. Brotherhood Action September 1976 (No.213). BSL Annual Report 1975, p.1 (no numbering) and BSL Annual Report 1976 p.9 (no numbering). Also Ben Bennett, "GK Tucker Settlement - An historical record 1935-1995: 60 years with the Brotherhood of St Laurence at Carrum Downs", Limited Edition, p.55
  12. Brotherhood Action September 1976 (No.213)
  13. Brotherhood Action June 1975 (No.208)
  14. Saxil Tuxen died on 23 February 1975. Brotherhood Action June 1975 (No.208). For more on Saxil Tuxen and his significant contribution as a planner, see Meanjin Quarterly Volume 67 Number 3, 2008 "The Uncultured Herd and Us" by David Nichols and Mia Schoen 28 October 2010
  15. Brotherhood Action December 1975 (No.210). See Concetta Benn, "A study of the development of consumer participation in the Family Centre Project, a demonstration anti-poverty program of the Brotherhood of St Laurence " (a thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts in the University of Melbourne) 1977 (BSL Library 362.82 BEN)
  16. David Griffiths "Emergency Relief - A report by the Australian Government Social Welfare Commission" April 1975 (BSL Library 361.62 GRI)
  17. Liffman, "Michael Boots and bootstraps: a discussion paper on some aspects of poverty" (BSL Library 301.441 LIF)
  18. Published October 1975. Brotherhood Action September 1975 (No.209)
  19. David Scott "Cost-rental housing associations : a new initiative to meet housing need" (BSL Library 301.5406 SCO)
  20. This was an assessment of the Brotherhood’s 26 years of providing care for the aged, to see if they were fulfilling the needs of the people who used them. "We also wanted to know just what we have been doing and where we should be going." Brotherhood Action September 1975 (No.209)
  21. Graeme Brewer "Workers without jobs: a study of a group of unemployed people" Short review in Brotherhood Action December 1975 (No.210). See also BSL Annual Report 1977 p.1 (no numbering)
  22. Phyllis Tinney "A home away from home? : a comparative evaluation of three Melbourne family day care projects" Short review in Brotherhood Action December 1975 (No.210) and a longer article in Brotherhood Action March 1976 (No.211)
  23. Jan Salmon "Resources for Poor Families: an experimental income scheme". By Jan Salmon, research worker at the BSL's Family Centre Project, this was BSL's research submission to the Commonwealth Government's "Commission of Inquiry into Poverty" - see Brotherhood Action March 1975 (No.207)
  24. Neville Brooke & Ken Pound "Terrace apartment houses: a review of the first two and a half years of operation, 30/11/72 to 19/8/75"
  25. Brotherhood Action September 1975 (No.209)

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