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Young Women's Christian Association Of Australia
History : YWCA's history dates back to London in 1855 when Mary Jane Kinnard set up a hostel for Florence Nightingale's nurses on their way to and back from the Crimea. In 1857 the hostel was opened up to working girls. Emma Robarts of South England started a prayer group and the two women joined their two groups to form the YWCA. Inspired by these women, YWCA Victoria started in 1882 by a group of 15 women 'to give help to women by women'. They visited factories employing women and campaigned against sweatshop conditions and promoted good health and rights for women. In 1887 they opened their first hostel and provided meals and accommodation for women in need. In 1901 the YWCA Victoria opened its first employment agency and 1910, the Traveller's Aid Society was formed to assist immigrant women. The longevity of the YWCA partly rests on their ability to adapt their services and advocacy to the times; in more recent years they have lobbied for paid maternity leave, child-care, support and job-training for women prisoners and fair treatment for asylum seekers and refugees.
Activities/Occupation: Community organisations
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