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The Women’s and Children’s Health Network acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

History of Primary Health Care for Families in SA

Baby Health Centre Car

The Women's and Children's Health Network has a long and rich history in providing community-based care for mothers, infants and their families in South Australia.

In 1909, three women who shared a common concern for the welfare of women and children established the School for Mothers in Adelaide. Dr Helen Mayo, Miss Harriet Stirling and Mrs P Morice held a public meeting at the Franklin Street (Adelaide) kindergarten that led to the establishment of the school which was designed to help to improve infant nutrition and hygiene. In 1912 the government helped the school with the provision of 100 pounds to enable them to pay rental on a premises in Wright Street. This was later purchased in 1920 for 100 pounds and by 1925 the government's assistance had increased to 1500 pounds.

In 1926 the name of the organisation changed to the Mothers and Babies Health Association (MBHA). This named remained until 1978 when it became a part of the new Child, Adolescent and Family Health Services (CAFHS) and then in 1995 combined with the Second Story Youth Service to become Child and Youth Health (CYH). In 2004 CYH was amalgamated with the Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH) to form what is now the Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN).

More detailed information on the history of child and family health in South Australia can be found on the Child and Family Health Service site: