A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare by Linda Bryder

By Linda Bryder

Overlaying the heritage of the Plunket Society from 1907 to the current day, this ebook is equipped round 3 dominant subject matters that give a contribution either to overseas historiography and to the social historical past of latest Zealand. those issues are the combined economic climate of welfare, maternal and little one overall healthiness, and motherhood and parenting. mentioned intimately is how jointly those 3 strands shape a major contribution to New Zealand's social background. particularly, the general public position of girls as welfare prone, maternal and baby future health provision, and parenting roles and practices are tested. An in-depth examine of the voluntary welfare procedure, this booklet should be of curiosity to welfare historians, women's reviews historians, social historians of drugs, and executive coverage makers.

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Extra resources for A Voice for Mothers: The Plunket Society and Infant Welfare

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115 Another notable group were the wives of religious leaders. The president of the Dunedin Society from 1908 to 1910 was the wife of the Reverend Dr Thomas Nisbet, Presbyterian minister of the First Church, Dunedin, since 1904. Auckland’s early committees included the wives of two Anglican bishops, Grace Crossley and Mary Averill, who joined the committee in 1915. ) It would be misleading to see the appointment of these women solely in terms of their husbands’ wealth, position and accomplishments.

In June, at Lady Plunket’s suggestion, they became branches of the New Zealand Society for the Health of Women and Children, informally known as the Plunket Society. The Dunedin branch became the governing body of the society, because the baby hospital and nurse training centre were located there. Lady Plunket sought the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Dr James Mason, about a name for the nurses she intended to employ under the new society’s aegis. Her suggestion of ‘Dominion Nurses’ was flatly rejected by Mason, who urged her to call them ‘Plunket Nurses’.

120 Sisters of religious orders were also attracted to the cause. 124 In Dunedin the early committee included Sisters Ernestine and Evelyn. The Auckland committee included Anglican Superior Hannah Dawson, renowned for her social work around Auckland, and Sister Esther Charles, who ran a ‘mission’ from her home in Picton Street, 24 A Voice for Mothers which eventually formed the basis of the Presbyterian Social Services. She was awarded an MBE in 1919 and became one of the first women justices of the peace in 1926.

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