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Who Are We?

Who Are We

The Australian-German Welfare Society has a long history of supporting and promoting Germans in Australia with cultural events, support, activities and a wide array of services.

We have a strong membership base and we encourage new members both young and old. 

Here you can find out more about the history of the AGWS, as well as the AGWS board and staff.


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. In July 2005 Mrs Linde Mohr took over the role of President and in January 2018 it was handed over to Mrs Birgit Goetz.

In 1974 the Welfare Society employed its first social worker.

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

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.

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