Gawler VIEW Club

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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Community Service

Date established: 2003

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"VIEW" stands for "Voice, Interests and Education of Women".

Just before Christmas in 1922, five comfortably well off Sydney businessmen were discussing what their children would be receiving for Christmas. One of them, “Happy Jack” started talking about the thousands of Australians on the bread line and below who would not be celebrating Christmas. One of the others did not believe that Australians would be starving or receiving nothing in their stockings.

After much discussion they decided that they would have to do something about it, not in the future, but now.

They purchased many toys and went to an orphanage and dropped them off to the children. When staff asked who they were they from, they looked at one another, and said “The Smith Family”. Donation of toys for Christmas for needy families has continued from that day.

George Forbes, Secretary of The Smith Family in 1959, saw that there was only one woman in Parliament and that women needed to be taken out of social isolation. He saw the potential of setting up an organisation solely for women from all walks of life who could come together outside the home, and talk, form friendships, and receive education and mental stimulation. He also hoped that in time women, who were naturally nurturing and caring, would help others less fortunate than themselves through The Smith Family.

At this time, women were not encouraged to have a voice in the community. They were meant to stay home and be “the little wife and mother and believe what hubby had to say about what was happening in the world”.

George Forbes saw that women needed to have a voice and their opinions to be considered so that society would have a better decision making process from Local, State, and Federal Government that was more balanced. He believed that women in time would develop their knowledge and self confidence by being members of an organisation, and that their voice would be heard. He also believed that women were better at looking after women.

In 1960, the first VIEW Club was set up in Balgowlah in NSW. From this Club many have spread throughout Australia to over 400 communities and today there are over 18,000 women in VIEW.

Women of VIEW contribute to their communities and help others, and as a valued part of The Smith Family, they believe in supporting the concept of a “hand up” and not a “hand out”.

Today VIEW Clubs across Australia listen to interesting speakers, go on outings, have coffee mornings, run book clubs, choirs, mah-jong, scrabble groups, and a variety of other social activities to foster “fun and friendship”.

Today many VIEW Clubs sponsor The Smith Family’s “Learning for Life students” helping to unlock the cycle of poverty through education for disadvantaged Australian children, so they can create better futures for themselves.

The Gawler VIEW Club was inaugurated in 2003. Our Club makes regular donations to The Smith Family, and also sponsors seven (7) Learning for Life students. Through The Smith Family our Club has also provided funding to a local school for their Let’s Read program, and their Learning Clubs. We also regularly donate to schools to assist with their Breakfast Club programs and stationery supplies.

We have Members who teach and mentor at local schools with children who have learning difficulties, volunteer at the Gawler Health Service, as well as at The Smith Family office in Adelaide. We are also represented on the Gawler International Womens’ Day Committee, and the Gawler Youth Services Forum, as well as a variety of other activities within the local community.

Gawler VIEW Club Members come from not only the Gawler area but as far away as Parafield Gardens and Elizabeth in the south, and the Barossa Valley towns from Angaston across to Kapunda in the north. It is a vibrant group of women who can participate in as much or as little fundraising activities as they like with the main emphasis being on fun and friendship.

Gawler VIEW Club contact details: President: Christine Doecke – 85628635 / 0404491919 Secretary: Nienke Maitland – 85662869 / 0432338626 / Website:

To see more photos please click here

Please <click here> to read a Bunyip newspaper story about Gawler VIEW club dated 5th August 2020.

(Updated 16/1/14)

2014 03September Bunyip Gawler VIEW Club (1)
2014 03September Bunyip Gawler VIEW Club (1)

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