---Welcome!

 

GFS is a Not for Profit Organisation made up of people belonging to a Christian community locally, nationally and globally.

 

We seek to provide or support ministries to children, youth, families and adults in a safe and accepting environment where Christ’s love is evident.
 
We have been part of the West Australian Community for over 130 years and have engaged with many children and adults during this time. Last year GFS celebrates a wonderful milestone of 130 years of ministry to women, girls, men and boys in Perth. Since 1888 friendship, support and a listening ear have been part of the GFS DNA as we’ve sought to live out the GFS motto to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2
 
On the 1st January 1875, Mary Elizabeth Townsend established the Girls’ Friendly Society in England (now you know why our premises at 240 Adelaide Terrace are called Townsend Lodge. Come and pay us a visit, we have some really interesting memorabilia in the office along with a welcoming smile and cuppa). GFS was a pioneer women’s organisation, the first of its kind in the world. The members saw a need to befriend, mentor and support many of the younger women who were leaving their rural homes and communities to find work in the cities.
 
Here in Perth GFS welcomed migrant girls to the city by providing them with accommodation as they settled in and found employment. In time we branched out to provide Townsend Fellowship, children’s groups, Holiday Clubs, Camps, Mainly Music groups, Mother & Daughter High Teas; and more recently Dads N Lads BBQs, Pamper A Nanna, the Advent Festival, our group for 15-35 year olds GFS Next Gen and our newest initiative “Blessed to be a Blessing Dinner”.
 

FIND OUT MORE

 

Stay Connected

 
 
 

 

Our organisation partners with other community organisations to help others outside of our own community.     MORE
 
 
 
 
 

 

We have many programs, resources and games that we can help you to get your own children’s ministry group established.     MORE   
 
 

 

Dating back to the beginnings of GFS, women’s ministry has been a vital part of our ministry to this day.  We have a lot to offer why not see what could suit you.     MORE   
 

 

Youth

 

If you wish to become a part of our NextGen GFS group this this is the place for you.  Come along and be part of the team, become a member or just attend one of the events they run.    MORE   
 
 
 
 
 
GFS Outside Perth
GFS is not just in Perth! We are part of a National and Global organisation and always are happy to welcome new members.     MORE   
 
 
 
 
Who Let The Dads Out?
GFS is proud to be working with Who Let the Dads Out? in the UK to offer help and resources to get your WLTDO? group here in WA off and running.     MORE   
 
 
 

---Upcoming Events

 
 

GFS PERTH AGM 

POSTPONED
 

CA

 

 
 

HOLIDAY CLUB

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

GFS Perth Calendar

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

 

 

--- From The Blog

 

Monday Memories – Camps Part 1

Camps have been an important part of GFS from early in the last century.

Miss Emmie Holmes, who has been mentioned before in Monday Memories, was keen to help GFS continue its outreach through camps and in 1948 she donated a block of land in Gooseberry Hill to be used as a camp site for GFS. It was in a beautiful position but could not be used for a camp immediately because the area did not have roads, power or water.

GFS hoped  to be able to eventually use the site as a camp, but it was a long time before the area was opened up and in the meantime many camps of a high standard had been set up in the hills and were available to youth groups. The land was sold in 1982 and the proceeds invested. The interest was later used to help with GFS office expenses and branch work.

In the 1950s one of the popular camps for GFSers was at Bickley, although the venue was nothing like the luxurious accommodation provided there now.

In 1953 GFS decided to buy a cottage in Kalamunda so that branches could have an opportunity for regular weekend camps. This was a special outreach for the Society because it was believed it would fill a real need with the large number of members in GFS. The money was borrowed to purchase the Kalamunda house, which was opened and blessed by Archbishop Robert Moline. It was used a great deal for many years, but with girls preferring a regular change of venue, it was sold in 1959 as it was felt it had served its purpose.
 

Read more...

Monday Memories – GFS Headquarters Part 6

ETHEL BURT CLUB

At the beginning of 1947 the Married Members’ Committee which had been formed in 1940 was renamed the ‘Ethel Burt Club’ with the permission of their much loved GFS President. (Later on, the club became the ‘Ethel Burt Townsend Fellowship’) Miss M. Milne Robertson was the Chairman and Mrs Boyes the Secretary in 1947 and they continued in those positions for many years. Meetings were held monthly and the membership grew from 35 to 77 in the next five years.

The programmes included drama, recitals and lectures.  The members trained as a choir under Mrs Bird, with Mrs Lappin as accompanist. They helped with the singing at the GFS Festival Services, as well as providing entertainment at various functions. The Ethel Burt Club was a great support group for any Diocesan functions, providing afternoon teas at sports days and exhibitions, as well as assisting with Leaders’ Teas.

It was a very happy club where lifetime friendships were made. The members brought their babies and young children to the meetings and the spacious hall and other areas provided wonderful opportunities for the young ones to play together. One of the special joys was that two generations of pre-schoolers shared these meetings with their mothers.

When the Headquarters building was sold in 1973 the club was no longer able to continue in the same way, but the links of friendship were strong and the remaining members continued to meet monthly over coffee to keep in touch, and did for many years after.

HEADQUARTERS TOWNSEND FELLOWSHIP

The Headquarter s Townsend Fellowship was formed in 1948 for GFS members over twenty five years of age who were not attached to a branch. Miss Amy Woodbridge was the first President and Miss Rose Tuck the Secretary. Their programmes included speakers, visits to places of interest, ‘Cootie’ nights, socials and other activities. There was always strong support for GFS mission projects and they joined in all Diocesan activities. In the 1950s they supported a child at Sister Kate’s Home in Queens Park, which was an Anglican Home at that time, and made knitted clothes for her. They combined with the Orana Club for many events.  

A special project over a long period has been the support of Nulsen Haven – a home for the intellectually handicapped. Members have made large quantities of knitted garments and gift items for the residents and visit the home every year. In 1984 the Headquarters Townsend Fellowship group was presented with a certificate of appreciation for outstanding support for the home.
 

 


Read more...

Monday Memories – Mission Work Part 1

Mission Work

There has always been strong support from GFS for the Mission work of the church. Fund raising has been prominent, but over quite a long period there was also a great back-up of ‘physical needs’ for the Mission field. Missionaries sent lists of requests to supporters and lists were also available from Mission offices. Working from these, GFS members and leaders made vast quantities of teaching and other aids, particularly in the 1950s, I960s and early 1970s. Often there was an exhibition of these at GFS Headquarters or Burt Hall before they were packed in tea-chests by members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of ABM/AMC and dispatched to the particular Missions from which requests had come. There would have been tens of thousands of articles made over the years and a list of items sent to New Guinea and Melanesia in 1970 included 1 ,000 teaching aids of all kinds, 544 toilet articles, 54 patchwork quilts, 20 knitted rugs (made from squares the girls had knitted), 4,538 roller bandages and 755 knitted bandages. In addition, approximately 350,000 stamps and 8,184 matchbox labels were collected for sale, with the proceeds of about $68 going to Missions.
Following on an article in the ABM Review, GFS decided to provide 250 dresses needed for girls at one of the Missions. There were ‘working bees’ at G FS Headquarters for cutting and preparation of the garments for sewing and the result was a colourful collection of attractive frocks.
 
There was a personal involvement and interest in the GFS work for Missions because of links with some of the Missionaries. Miss Maxine Fuller was a leader at St Aidan’s, Scarborough GFS branch and Secretary to the Manager of a big Perth company when she decided to offer herself for Missionary service. There was no vacancy for a Secretary, but there was an urgent need for teachers. She had always wanted to be a teacher but had never had the opportunity to train. She was delighted when in 1965 she was accepted by ABM for training as a Missionary teacher. After completing a preparatory course at the House of the Epiphany in Sydney she undertook ‘crash’ teacher training at Port Moresby.
Maxine worked first at Popondetta then later on the tiny island of Kumbun, where she was Teacher-in-Charge. She had constant prayer support from GFS and any requests for aids to help her in her work were always met by GFS members. Maxine served in the Mission field for many years and loved the work she did. She regretted having to give it up through deteriorating health. She later married and made her home in Queensland.

Read more...

Monday Memories – GFS Australia Part 1

GFS Australia Part 1

As GFS spread throughout the world, each country worked under a treaty or charter with the parent body in England, so that the principles of the Society would be upheld. In Australia, each State had a separate charter and the one in Perth was signed on 20 December 1888. From the time that GFS first commenced in this State there was strong support from the Society in England through the Overseas Committee and visits by Extension Officers. They were women with great organising ability who travelled overseas to countries where GFS was established, giving support and assistance to established branches and helping to open new ones. During the visit to Australia in 1924 of Miss Florence Way, GFS Central Organiser in England, she travelled to every State and also to New Zealand on promotional work for GFS and there was great progress as a result of her work .

The Society in Australia worked in close co-operation with GFS in England and there was a strong bond between the two countries. The literature used was printed in England and this was of a high standard . However in the re-organisation of GFS Australia in the post-war years, it was realised that a new structure was required as moves were started in 1945 to make the Society more closely knit.

Mrs Kathleen Bright-Parker, Melbourne Organiser of GFS, was given the task of convening a national conference in Melbourne in 1946.  67 representatives attended from all parts of Australia and this question was discussed thoroughly and referred back to each Diocesan Council. Western Australia was represented by Miss Kathleen Whatley and Mrs Connie Renner.

In 1947 the Commonwealth Council (later to be called Australian Council) came into being, with Mrs B.P. Robin of Adelaide, the first Australian Chairman and Mrs Kathleen Bright-Parker, Secretary. Each diocese was to be represented according to the number of branches, with meetings held every three years “so the GFS could speak with one voice and discuss matters of concern and interest to the Society throughout Australia”.

The Primate of Australia, Archbishop H.W. K. Mowll, accepted the position of first President in 1950. Each successive Primate has also been President. Lady Slim, the Governor General’s wife, became first Australian Patron in 1953 and this vice-regal link, which has been strong since the Society was first formed, has continued.

Miss Kathleen Whatley was the GFS representative from Western Australia at the first Commonwealth Council Meeting and this State has been represented at every one since.


Read more...

 
 
 

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!
 
 
 
 

Verse of the Day

“[Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time] Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”” — Matthew 20: 17-19 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Powered by BibleGateway.com.