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1971 1972 19731974 | 1975 1976197719781979

Children & Families 

ARC's Holiday Host Program helped families with a crisis or near breakdown to place their children with a host family, preventing many from being placed in children’s homes. [1]


The Victorian Family Day Care Association was formed in Melbourne in August with the coordinator of the BSL’s FDC, Jennie Hollander, being appointed president. [2]


Community issues 

Fitzroy-Collingwood Rental Housing Association formed to manage properties purchased by the Housing Commission of Victoria to provide accommodation for low-income people who were being displaced by the increase in property values.  [3] Read what was said in 'Action' September 1977


Employment & Training 

King Street Job Centre for unemployed people, designed by students at RMIT, officially opened on 28 February as a pilot project until 30 June 1978 at 181 King Street, Melbourne.  Established to complement the Commonwealth Employment Service, the aim was "practical demonstration in alternative ways to help the Unemployed".  In 14 days over 250 people registered, all with the one purpose of finding a job.  Both morning newspapers - The Age and The Sun - supported the Centre with regular columns. [4] Read what was written in 'Action' February 1977


Fundraising & Resources 

Brotherhood Bins were introduced [5] Read what was said in 'Action' December 1977


Parkdale Shop opened in June, staffed entirely by members of the Auxiliary.  There were now nine auxiliary run shops, with another eleven auxiliaries helping to staff the three Salvage Division's shops. [6]


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)


Material & Financial Support 

ARC, following success of an earlier incentive saving scheme, set up a Savings and Loan Scheme where families became eligible for a $150 interest free loan after establishing a savings pattern over 16 weeks.  Planning began for a credit union with a budgeting service.  With the support of the BSL, ARC joined with Fitzroy City Council and other local organisations to form the Fitzroy/ARC Credit Union, commencing on a small scale.  This later became the Fitzroy and Carlton Community Credit Cooperative[7] Read what was said in 'Action' March 1977


BSL donated $20,000 from reserve funds to the Salvation Army during the October 1977 power strike, believing they were the appropriate agency to provide relief  [8]    


Older People 

The first residents (of a total of forty) began moving into Sumner House, the Brotherhood's new hostel for frail aged in Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy in early 1977.  Eight units, similar to motel accommodation, had their own toilets and showers for very frail residents; the other thirty-two were in pairs, sharing facilities. [9]


Planning for SPAN - the "self-development program for the aged" began in late 1977. [10]  Aged_Care_Projects_1978-6.pdf



Connie Benn appointed as BSL's Director of Social Policy, Research & Innovations  [11]


Presentations & Publications 

Film on the Brotherhood of St Laurence produced by Julie Millowick and James McArdle  [12]

BSL's 1977 Annual Report designed by two graphic design students from Caulfield Institute of Technology [13] 


Publication of


Refugees & Settlement 

Material Aid helped nearly 300 refugee families from Lebanon, Chile, Timor and Cyprus, giving them large quantities of furniture and clothing as "in the majority of cases they had left their homeland with little else but the clothes they were wearing". [16] 


  1. BSL Annual Report 1977 p.2 (no numbering)
  2. Brotherhood Action September 1977 (No.217)
  3. Brotherhood Action September 1977 (No.217) [Fitzroy_Cwood_Rental_Housing_Assocn_1977-9.pdf]
  4. Brotherhood Action March 1977 (No.215) [Job_Centre_opens_1977-2.pdf]. Advertisement for "Community Worker - Welfare Rights Development" in The Age, Saturday 13 August 1977, p.77. See also "There was something of a delay before Street got on the job" The Age, Tuesday 1 March 1977 p.17; "Minister heckled at job agency" Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 1 March 1977 p.21. Also Brotherhood Action June 1977 (No.216)
  5. Brotherhood Action December 1977 (No.218) [Brotherhood_Bins_Introduced_1977-12.pdf] See also Brotherhood Action February 1980 (No.227)
  6. Brotherhood Action June 1977 (No.216) and BSL Annual Report 1977 p.3
  7. Brotherhood Action March 1977 (No.215) [ARC_Savings_&_Loans_1977-3.pdf]. Also BSL Annual Report 1977 p.2 and Brotherhood Action September 1977 (No.217)
  8. Brotherhood Action December 1977 (No.218). See also "Welfare feeding 500,000", The Age 21 October 1977 p.4. The 11-week Latrobe Valley Victoria power strike by 2,300 State Electricity Commission power station maintenance workers ended 26 October, after putting 500,000 people out of work.
  9. Brotherhood Action March 1977 (No.215)
  10. Brotherhood Action June 1978 (No.220); BSL Annual Report 1977-1978 p.6 (no numbering) [Aged_Care_Projects_1978-6.pdf]
  11. Catherine Magree (ed.) "Looking forward, looking back: The Brotherhood's role in changing views of poverty" 1993 p.9 (BSL Library 362.506094 BRO)
  12. Brotherhood Action December 1977 (No.218)
  13. Brotherhood Action December 1977 (No.218)
  14. Joan Benjamin "Action and Resource Centre review 1976" (BSL Library 362.82 BEN) and Brotherhood Action June 1977 (No.216)
  15. David Griffiths "Jobs without workers" (BSL Library 331.01 GRI) and Brotherhood Action December 1977 (No.218)
  16. BSL Annual Report 1977 p.8