Welcome

 

GFS is an inclusive not-for-profit organisation made up of people belonging to a Christian community locally, nationally and globally.

 

WHO ARE WE: GFS Perth is an inclusive not-for-profit enabling friendship and belonging that inspires people to thrive. It is the local expression of a pioneer organisation established in 1875 in the UK and in 1888 in Western Australia.

WHAT DO WE DO: We create welcoming spaces and places where friendships flourish and people can belong and grow.

WHY DO WE DO IT: We believe that friendship is a God given gift that enables people to thrive.
 

WE ARE ACCESSIBLE: To all whatever their story. We celebrate diversity and are committed to helping our friends achieve their potential.

WE ARE PRAYERFUL: Our faith is central to all we do so praying for our friends and ministry is a key aspect of our journey.

WE ARE CREATIVE: We are innovative and imaginative, where no solution exists, we work and think creatively to find one.

WE ARE LEADERS: Pioneering new ideas, resources and programmes makes us more effective in speaking with a voice that brings people together in friendship.

WE ARE CHANGE-MAKERS: Our commitment is to friendship that impacts people’s lives and brings positive change.

WE ARE COLLABORATORS: We foster co-operation between individuals and organisations, bringing credibility and enthusiasm to every partnership we undertake.

 
 

Stay Connected

 
 
 
 

GFS Perth Calendar

Check out what is happening in GFS Perth by looking at our calendar below
 
 
 
 

 

 News – new and older

 

GFS Perth New Contact Details

Email: office@gfsperth.com.au
Main number: 0455 507 039

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Wednesday Women

Launched on 4 May 2022 – check out the details here.
WEDNESDAY WOMEN is an initiative of GFS Perth which meets as least once monthly.
 
WEDNESDAY WOMEN meet to share strong supportive friendships and heart warming fun and to do life changing feats together.
 

The launch of WEDNESDAY WOMEN is the beginning of our new journey since our move. It was wonderful to be able to share it with all those who were able to attend in person, and we look forward to welcoming those who were apologies due to Covid and other commitments, as well as all those who join us in the future.

The launch began, as all good events do, with food to share – from a grazing table.
 

 

Our Chair woman Josie shared some of the history of GFS, about our vision, mission and values, as well as a few details from our new strategic plan.

 
 
 
Our Development, Partnerships and Programmes Manager Alison shared ‘the why’ and first thoughts we’d had about WEDNESDAY WOMEN.

From the outset of conversations about the group we had always envisioned that, in keeping with us being a membership organisation, what the group became would be shaped by those who became a part of it i.e. that ‘the what’ was owned by the group, so as to give everyone involved a voice in its shaping.
We had thought we might meet twice a month but that too was a decision we left to the consensus of the group.

Alison also outlined an idea for our first FEAT….
 

Our proposal for our first FEAT is to join with the GFS Australia Special Project for 2022 – 2023 which is Remote Op Shop project. The e mail from GFS Australia read:

  “These Op Shops are in remote places in outback Northern Territory and Western Australia in Aboriginal communities. We can help by posting some of their needed goods. With small populations, they just don’t have enough of the goods to sell, and we who have a ‘throwaway society’ are primed to help. Collect up your clean, saleable items as listed in the following pages and post them yourself in the very large Australia Post parcel satchels to the addresses given (costs around $25 for 5 kg).”
 

BUT as we are looking for a FEAT i.e. “an achievement that requires great courage, skill, or strength,” we are looking at sending a container of support to 2 of the Op Shops in the North of our state.

If you’d like to join the WEDNESDAY WOMEN journey please drop us an e mail to office@gfsperth.com.au, call us on 0455 507 039 or send a message through the contact page of the website.
 
 
 

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Outreach Part 1

The history of GFS in Western Australia brings to life the members’ role in caring and serving within the Anglican Church and the community.  It is no t possible to list all the areas of concern where branches have seen a need and made a real effort to be involved, because it was often done quietly and without publicity. The support took the form of fund raising, the making of gifts and regular visits (including carol singing at Christmas and other entertainment). Branches often developed a special and long lasting link with a home or hospital in their parish and a warm relationship grew up between the girls and those they befriended. Amongst some of those helped have been:

  • St Bartholomew’s, East Perth
  • St George’s Hospital, Mt Lawley
  • Moline House
  • James Brown House
  • Anglicare
  • Daisy House (a branch of Anglicare in Girrawheen)
  • Scarborough Hostel for Mentally Retarded Children
  • Rowethorpe
    (Disclaimer: The names/terms above where the names/terms used back in 1988 and may not be currently used)
ST BARTHOLOMEW’S, EAST PERTH
Many branches supported St Bart’s, but one that developed a particularly strong link with it was St Aidan’s , Scarborough. The girls enthusiastically washed cars and held cake stalls over many years to raise funds for the home. A group of leaders and senior GFSers always visited it the Sunday before Christmas and attended the Holy Communion Service in the chapel with the men before handing over the gifts members had made for them (including jam, cordial and cakes) and boxes of food . The residents of St Bart’s were always very moved by the visits and the personal ‘handing over’ of gifts.
 
 

‘OPERATION NAPPY’ FOR ANGLICARE

After hearing that Anglicare had an urgent need for napkins and baby clothes, this was made a special project during 1986. GFS members and leaders held fund raising functions and sent regular parcels to Anglicare throughout the year. For the first time they had nappies always ‘on the shelf’ and the baby clothes filled an urgent need for many mothers-to-be in desperate circumstances. Some $800 was raised and the estimated value of the gifts to Anglicare was set at $1,000 – due to many items being mad  and the discounts obtained from bulk buying.
 
 
Miss Jan McNamara – Chairman of the GFS Branch Committee of the time, with Ms Billy Parker, Anglicare social worker.

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Celebrations 100 Years Part 1

GFS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Planning for the 1988 Centenary year of GFS in Western Australia began in  1985.  The first decision made was that a history should be written covering the 100 years and research was commenced by Mrs Jean Seymour in January 1986.

A Centenary Committee was formed in June 1986, with Mrs Joan Matthews as Chairman.  Those who worked with her to plan for the Centenary were Mrs Ruth Walker (Secretary), Miss Jan McNamara (Treasurer), Mesdames Alison Elliott, Brenda Ballingall and Jean Seymour, The Society owes a great deal to them for the work they did in the following two and a half years to make the Centenary celebrations so outstanding, The committee was assisted by member s of the Branch Committee in arrangements for the camp and picnic.

The decision about the events to be held was an important one and planning so far ahead was not an easy task.  It was decided that the main functions would be a Centenary camp, a dinner, a service in St George’s Cathedral and a picnic and fellowship day.

CENTENARY CAMP: 5-10 APRIL 1988

This was a seaside camp, held at the Ern Halliday Centre at Hillarys.  There were 102 girls present, plus thirty leaders and cadet leaders.  The programme included a wide range of activities to appeal to the different age groups and some of them were combined.  One of the features of the camp was the preparation of a Roger Jones musical ‘Greater than Gold’, which told the story of Mary Jones and her bible. A special visitor at the camp was Mrs Ruth Reid, the wife of the Governor, who was Patron of the Society and she cut the large birthday cake with its 100 candles.
 

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Monday Memories – Leader Training Part 2

Deaconess Joyce Polson made an outstanding contribution to GFS Leader Training over the years from 1966-1972, both in her role as Diocesan Youth Officer and later as GFS Leader Training Officer. The training of Junior Leaders was being emphasised at this time and she had special skills in relating to these teenagers. This was a time of great development for the Society, both in numbers of branches and increase in membership and she was able to show by her training methods what a valuable asset the Junior Leaders were. In 1967 she had 35 Trainee Leaders at a weekend at Pt Peron and 23 of these were under the age of 19 years.

Deaconess Polson ‘decentralised’ her leadership training sessions and this made it easier for Leaders in outlying developing areas, who could not always attend the courses held in Perth. She very successfully combined the training of Junior and Senior Leaders in the same sessions and each age group gained from the other being present. 40 Junior Leaders attended the last training weekend that she organised for them.


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Post War Years CEGS – Part 2

1950 was another year of expansion, with the Organising Secretary continuing to widen the outreach of the Society. Apart from strong branch and parish involvement, there were many Diocesan functions in which GFS took a prominent part. The year finished on a very strong note with seven new branches and further big increases in membership. The results achieved by Miss Granrott were outstanding and set the Society on a further path of expansion. Miss Granrott married after her term of office was completed and continued to live in Western Australia. One of her daughters (Mrs Elaine Clark) was an active GFS leader and she also had three grandchildren in GFS.

In view of the tremendous growth in GFS over these two years, it was disappointing to the Society when another girls’ organisation, the Church of England Girls’ Society, (later to be known as CEGS – the Anglican Girls’ Society) was formed within the church about this time. It was not a ‘break-away’ group, but one that emphasised that all girls joining must be members of the Church of England.  Leaders in GFS were to be communicant Anglicans, but the Society has always been open to those of other denominations and those of no faith position and this has been a ‘missionary’ aspect of the Society that has brought many  people  into  the  Anglican Church.  As their pre-requisite of being Church of England (Anglican) was later changed by the CEGS, it meant that there were two organisations in the church with similar aims and programmes.

Over the years GFS held out the hand of friendship and involved the CEGS in some of its activities. There was also shared Leader Training and combined activities with the three uniformed groups – GFS, CEBS and CEGS.  In 1985 approaches were made to GFS from various levels in CEGS suggesting that they amalgamate with GFS, and it was decided to have a year’s trial of working closely together but each organisation keeping its own identity.  GFS was delighted to be involved in this way and shared all the Society’s latest literature and programming material with the CEGS and invited them to join in its annual camp and other activities. Some GFS branches took part in the CEGS Indoor Games competition. There was also a representative on each Society’s Committee. It was a year of enjoyable sharing, but at the end of it an amalgamation did not take place.  CEGS and CEBS no longer operate in WA but we are still in contact with some leaders from both groups. 


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Want To Become a Member?

 
There are lots of ways to be involved with GFS in Perth. 
Head to the link below to see how you can get involved today!