There were in nineteenth century colonial Australia many people who acted philanthropically. The social needs of the colonies were great and many voluntary organisations were formed by concerned citizens in an attempt to assist those in various forms of need. As there was little government money available to meet these needs the general public were appealed to in order to provide the necessary finances and personnel to maintain the work of these organisations. Philanthropy, the giving of money and/or time, was thus a common feature and expectation of nineteenth century colonial society. Many citizens simply gave donations, small or large, (financial philanthropy) but others also/or gave of their time (governance philanthropy) and still others were employed to do the work of the philanthropic organisations (vocational philanthropy). This website will introduce some nineteenth century philanthropists whose work was in its time important and often the foundation of some of today’s charitable organisations but now is almost forgotten.
Dr Paul F Cooper, Christ College, Sydney