Cover image for Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania
Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1891
The origins of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) belong to the Woman Movement - the suffrage era from the 1880s to World War I in which women challenged the prevailing moral, social and political order in Australia. Members of the WCTU were middle class women who came for the most part from the nonconformist churches. The WCTU's primary aim was to impose liquor trade restrictions if not its outright prohibition on Australian society. But with its combined focus on health, morality and polite behaviour invoking all of the regulatory power of churches, lawyers and doctors, the WCTU itself became a powerful force of moral, social and democratic reform. In the latter regard the WCTU tethered its early ambitions to the philosophical reforms elicidated by John Stuart Mill, in particular the extension of manhood suffrage, the right to participate fully in parliamentary elections, to women. There is little doubt that the WCTU was important to the victories of campaigns for woman suffrage though that importance varied from colony/state to colony/state. The WCTU was established in Tasmania in 1885. At its height it had 25 branches with over 400 members.

This registration includes records of the Tasmanian State Office and regional branches of Queenborough, Devonport, New Town, New Norfolk, Branxholm, Launceston, Ulverstone, Hagley, and the North Eastern Union, and of the Young Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Loyal Temperance Legion and the Women's Total Abstinence Band.
Information Sources:
Magarey, Susan, 'Passions of the First Wave Feminists', (Pluto, Sydney 2001), pp. 3-20.;;;;Jordan, Renee, 'Woman's Christian Temperance Union' in 'The Companion to Tasmanian History' (CTHS, Hobart 2008).
Functions Performed:
Government and politics
Tasmanian Prohibition League (NG3000)27 Mar 191913 May 1919

Band of Hope Union (NG3004)12 May 1927
Series Created By Agency:
NS337 Records of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania26 Jun 189131 Dec 1976

NS1591 Minutes of Convention Meetings, Annual and Committee Reports of the Womans Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania01 Jan 189931 Dec 1966

NS3505 Hagley Branch - Minutes of Meetings15 Jun 189911 Oct 1901

LMSS576 Launceston Branch Roll Book20 Jan 192531 Dec 1935

NS3501 Branxholm Branch - Minutes of Meetings25 Jan 192828 Sep 1944

NS3504 Ulverstone Branch - Minutes of Meetings26 Jan 193827 Sep 1946

NS3519 State Office - National Conferences and Conventions20 Apr 193929 Mar 1963

NS3517 Devonport Branch - Literature Book01 Jan 194031 Dec 1940

NS3518 Queenborough Branch - Literature Book01 Jan 194031 Dec 1940

NS3506 Launceston Branch - Income and Expenditure Book01 Jan 194631 Dec 1989

NS3497 Queenborough Branch - Minutes of Meetings12 Nov 194613 Nov 1984

NS3516 State Office - Literature Expenses Book01 Jan 195031 Dec 1959

NS3498 Devonport Branch - Minutes of Meetings01 May 195211 Dec 1984

NS3508 New Norfolk Branch - Income and Expenditure Book01 Jan 195510 Jul 1958

NS3500 New Norfolk Branch - Minutes of Meetings15 Jun 195513 Mar 1957

NS3510 Devonport Branch - Membership Book01 Oct 195631 Oct 1985

NS3496 Wctu Tasmania North Eastern Union - Minutes of Meetings01 Mar 196028 Feb 1990

NS3514 State Office - Birthday Book04 Apr 196022 Jul 1967

NS3513 New Town Branch - Membership Book01 Nov 196131 Dec 1984

NS3515 State Office Department of Prison Work and Social Services - Report Book01 Jul 196231 Dec 1985

NS3511 Hobart Branch - Membership Book01 Jan 196331 Dec 1978

NS3507 State Office - Income and Expenditure Book01 Jan 196625 Feb 1991

NS3502 Launceston Branch - Minutes of Meetings16 Sep 196915 Feb 1994

NS3520 State Office - State Conferences and Conventions17 Mar 197022 Apr 1982

NS3512 Hobart Branch - Minutes of Meetings14 Feb 197213 Nov 1979

NS3509 Queenborough Branch - Income and Expenditure Book09 Nov 197611 Oct 1983

NS3499 New Town Branch - Minutes of Meetings17 Jul 197815 Feb 1988

NS3521 State Office - Programs05 Mar 199605 Mar 1996