Our History

They questioned and they challenged in the interest of women, children and their families. They were brave and stood firm when voices proposed a diminution of services. They loved the families enough to seek family-centred solutions in a dynamic and often confusing time. They remained pure of heart and humbled by the privilege and honour of working with women, children and their families. They were right for their time; and their legacy is that they prepared us to be right for our time.

Mary Kirk AM
DON and EO, Canberra Mothercraft Society (1996-2019)

As one of Canberra’s longest-running NGOs and the first to provide primary health services to families in the ACT, the Canberra Mothercraft Society has a long and proud history to share.

CMS has grown up with the nation’s capital, survived tough times of the Depression and World War II, reaching its peak responsibility in 1969, when it was running 32 mothercraft clinics, two occasional care centres and the QEII Home for Postnatal Care. From 1927 to 2019 its nursing sisters and other staff provided professional care to thousands of mothers, babies and pre-school children.

The below downloadable document provides a timeline, taking you from the early days of establishment through periods of intense growth, illustrating CMS’s unwavering commitment to the needs of families in Canberra and the surrounding region.

Historical Resources

The QEII Years: 1963 – 2013 Staff Memories by Mary Hutchison

Held at ACT Heritage Library

The Mothering Years – The story of the Canberra Mothercraft Society 1926 – 1979

Held at ACT Heritage Library and National Library of Australia