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To Save the Babies

'To Save the Babies' Child Health Association Tasmania 1917 - 2017. By Sheryl Brennan


This is the remarkable story of Tasmanian women coming together in the early years of the 20th century determined to reduce the horrendous infant mortality rate of the time. Driven by a passionate desire to improve the lot of poor families, to propagate information about disease prevention across all levels of society and to raise the status of motherhood, they quickly became highly political, skilled and vocal activists for their cause. In the 100 years since the establishment of the Child Health Association, Tasmania, the organisation has continued to support and advocate for families with young children. Over time methods and issues have changed but the primary focus on children and their families has remained.


Thousands of women, many now forgotten, have belonged to this organisation, giving significantly of their time and skills to promote the establishment and continuation of a child health and parenting nursing service in Tasmania. Over many decades they built and maintained child health centres across the state, endlessly fund raising to provide necessities for nurses and centres. In doing so they gifted to the state the fabric for a free nursing service for all parents.


This history is underpinned by the author’s many years of experience as a nurse and then lecturer in the area of children’s health.  Mostly, however, it has stemmed from her interest in uncovering the, often unrecorded, achievements of ordinary people and the organisations to which they belong. The achievements of CHAT over 100 years demonstrate that when people care enough their potential can be extraordinary.


Cost $25


Postage and handling. $5 within tasmania. $10 interstate. (please contact us for a quote on international shipping)



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