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Don't Lose Your German
an Interview on SBS Radio

Members of the "Qu Qu Club", run by the Australian-German Welfare Society Melbourne, meet regularly in order to cultivate their mother language: German. 

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Portrait of the AGWS

Interview with Linde Mohr on SBS Radio

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AGWS - an ageing population

Interview with social worker Tanja Gawin on SBS Radio

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The history of the Australian-German Welfare Society Inc. since its foundation on 12 August 1954:

About 2,300 years ago the Greek philosopher Menander wrote in his "Fragments": "If all people supported each other, nobody would need good luck. "However, it is not the case that people always stand by each other, and this creates needs that have to be met by good-hearted members of the community.

Mrs Johanna Hess, the wife of the then German Consul General in Australia, wanted to fill these needs. For that reason, on 12 August 1954, she gave a talk in front of a few ladies of the German-speaking community in the Protestant-Lutheran Trinity Church, Parliament Place in East Melbourne. She told them about the foundation of a German-Australian Welfare Society in Sydney and urged them to establish a similar society in Melbourne. Her suggestion was warmly welcomed, and the ladies G. Barth, L. Bauer, M. Bower, D. Gillitzer, L. Hauer and E. Wagner founded the first German-Australian Welfare Society in Melbourne. Mrs L. Hauer was the first President.

Her successors were the ladies D. Gillitzer, M. Bower, M. Kullse, M. Hannan, R. Ihle and S. Filip. In some ways, the Welfare Society was a somewhat matriarchal organisation during its first two decades, until Mr K. Baumeister became President in 1973. He was succeeded by Dr. W.W.J. Uhlenbruch AM in 1974, who handed over his position to Mr K. Haak in 2000. Since July 2005 Mrs Linde Mohr is the new President of the AGWS.

In 1974 the Welfare Society employed its first social worker.

 Today there are 995 members. During the same period of time, the number of welfare cases rose from 283 (in 1979) to 5924 (in 2002). Today the AGWS is looking after an average of 1000 cases a year.

In the 1970s, together with the Temple Society, preparations began to establish the first Aged Care facility for the German-speaking community in Melbourne and Victoria. It was opened in 1981 with an initial 30 beds, which were increased to 45 in August 1991.

In 1992, the Welfare Society purchased its own office in Albert Road, South Melbourne. This has meant a significant saving in rental costs.

In 2002, the Aged Care home "Tabulam" and the Temple Society Australia's nursing home were brought together under joint administration, and renamed "Tabulam and Templer Homes for the Aged". This amalgation resulted in the home being extended to house 120 people as well as 45 independent living units. There are plans to increase the number of these units to 100. Dr. Martin Schreiber was managing director until August 2008. He was succeeded by Mr. Johannes Achilles. In June 2011 Mrs Natasha Wilkinson was appointed CEO. Since August 2015 Ms Eva Simo has taken over the role of CEO.

The Welfare Society is open to all German-speaking people and aims to assist in acute emergency situations, with personal, family problems and illness.

2014 the society celebrated its 60th anniversary. Feel free to contact us for a free brochure.