Red Cross

One of the country's oldest and most prolific volunteer organisations is the Australian Red Cross Society

The First World War was a catalyst for many things, including one of Australia’s most enduring and influential voluntary organisations.

Nine days after Australia joined the war in Europe in 1914, Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, the wife of the Governor General, founded the Australian Red Cross Society as a branch of the British Red Cross. Over the next century, the organisation expanded with networks of state divisions and local branches run by women. The NSW Division led the way by forming the Junior Red Cross. 

Red Cross nurses and troops outside Albury Town Hall, NSW

What do a teddy bear, a dress pattern and a feeding cup have in common?

They are all part of the Red Cross NSW Division Archive.

Eleanor MacKinnon (left) and Lady Strickland (right) accompanied by two female members of the Junior Red Cross at Government House, Sydney.

A women's organisation

Australian women's leadership skills shone through the Red Cross.

Phyllis Jenkins and Lady Galleghan with Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment trophies, 1970s

A company of volunteers

One of the country's oldest and most prolific volunteer organisations is the Australian Red Cross Society

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Red Cross under the Southern Cross

Melanie Oppenheimer

The Australian Red Cross NSW Division archive spans over 100 years of humanitarian aid.

Mytle Innes and M. Ruse take in the laundry at Rose Hall convalescent home in Darlinghurst, c. 19??

Voluntary Aids in the First World War

Red Cross women volunteered at military hospitals, convalescent homes and children's homes in Australia during the First World War.

Ariah Park (near West Wyalong) Branch records, including minute books, catering ledgers and honour certificates, Box 5.

Red Cross calling!

When the call went out in August 1914, following the outbreak of World War I, for the establishment of an Australian Red Cross Society, the response was almost instantaneous.

A concret plaque under a fig tree in Sydney's Domain which commemorates the Anzac Buffet from World War One.

Sydney's Anzac Buffet

Early in 1916, four entrepreneurial and influential women agitated to set up an ‘Anzac Buffet’ in Sydney's Domain.