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In 1884, a year after WCTU was formed in NSW, the drink bill of the state was £5 16 shillings per head. In the first year of the new century (18 years later) it had reduced to £3 13 shillings and five pence per head.

In 1882 there was one public house to 264 people, but in 1916 they had reduced that figure to one public house to 913 people.


Scientific teaching on temperance was established in state schools and competitive examinations were held. Today, our Victorian State Union - WCTU Drug-Free Lifestyles, runs drug education programs in the schools, giving demonstrations and information on drug-free living.

In 1889 mothers and baby meetings were commenced by the Burwood Union. These meetings were the early forerunners of our modern Baby Health Centres.

WCTU was also associated with opening the first Kindergarten at Richmond, Victoria which also incorporated a school for mothers.

The age of consent for girls was raised from 13 to 18 years.

Submissions were made on tobacco advertising, smoking in enclosed places and other related issues with the results that today, many Australian states have good laws protecting people from cigarette smoke and limiting advertising. Warning labels on cigarettes was also introduced.

For some years, WCTU in Australia has been campaigning regarding the use of alcohol in pregnancy and the risks of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) A seedstick campaign was run in 2005, followed by a postcard campaign to the Minister of Health for warning labels to be placed on alcoholic beverages.


What We Did

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