New South Wales was the first to introduce infant welfare work, as it was then called, in the Southern Hemisphere. The first government clinic opened in Alexandria in 1914 and began a significant contribution to health through the provision of baby health services.
The pioneers of maternal and infant welfare over the 75 years since 1914 were involved in teaching families how to prevent disease. Gradually, the emphasis moved from 'killer diseases' to psychosocial problems.
The publication Our babies: the state's best asset. A history of 75 years of baby health services in New South Wales has been split into sections below, and each section can be viewed in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
Date of Publication: 21 August 2003
Author Branch: Media & Communications
- Foreword [PDF, 796KB]
- Preface [PDF, 796KB]
- Acknowledgements [PDF, 796KB]
- Infant welfare at the turn of the century [PDF, 1139KB]
- Beginnings of organised baby health centres [PDF, 1564KB]
- The first mothercraft homes [PDF, 1693KB]
- Rural services - baby health goes bush [PDF, 1471KB]
- Rural services - baby health goes mobile [PDF, 1983KB]
- Consolidation and expansion - 1920s-1940s [PDF, 2166KB]
- Post-war baby boom - 1944-1964 [PDF, 2844KB]
- Mothercraft homes and mothercraft training into the present day (1989) [PDF, 2386KB]
- Baby health and community health 1965-1980 [PDF, 2251KB]
- Baby health/Early childhood health today (1989) [PDF, 1194KB]
- Advice to mothers [PDF, 1552KB]
- Reminiscences [PDF, 1591KB]
- Appendix 1 - historical reference material supplied by sponsors [PDF, 1191KB]
- Appendix 2 - year of commencement of the first baby health services in NSW [PDF, 5742KB]