About Caroline Chisholm (1808 - 1877)
Caroline Chisholm arrived in the new Australian colony in 1838. On her arrival to the new Australian colony she was appalled at the conditions that greeted poor, vulnerable migrants. At just 30 years of age she commenced work on improvements in a practical hands-on manner, meeting the ships at the wharves, setting up job schemes and campaigning for better working conditions.
In 1841 she established the Female Emigrant’s Home in Sydney which not only provided shelter but also helped unemployed young women to find work, not just in the city but in rural areas where work was more plentiful. She worked on improving conditions on the ships and arranged for the families of convicts to be transported to Australia free of charge so that they could be reunited. In order to create independence and avert hardship, Caroline established the Family Colonisation Loan Society, a form of which still exists successfully today.
In Victoria she responded to the need for adequate accommodation brought on by the 1850 gold rush in Ballarat and Bendigo by lobbying the Government to set up shelters along the roads to the goldfields.
Caroline Chisholm's work has been remembered in several ways. Her face has appeared on stamps and on a bank note and she was given a medal of the Order of Australia in 1994.
Chisholm Institute of TAFE proudly bears the name of this true pioneer whose practical approach echoes the vocational role of the VET sector and the committed individuals and organisations who work in Chisholm Institute’s sphere of influence. The Foundation strives to continue Caroline Chisholm’s legacy of social justice by recognising and acting on the need to assist those adversely affected in accessing education in the community.
Caroline Chisholm's 200th Birthday
Caroline Chisholm celebrated her 200th birthday in grand style at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum on Friday May 30th 2008.
Hosted by Trustees of the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation (CCEF), the event was attended by distinguished guests drawn from the business community, Institute Board members and staff as the ‘Caroline Chisholm Birthday Scholarship’ appeal was officially launched.
In keeping with the purpose of the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation and her 200th birthday, the appeal, which aims to raise $200,000, specifically targets newly arrived migrants, humanitarian settlers and refugees who wish to engage in vocational education."
In her speech, special guest speaker Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Christine Nixon APM, told the gathering that Caroline Chisholm was a remarkable women and one that had the community at heart.
"But she didn’t just think about it," said Ms Nixon; "she actually went out and did things that required her to, in those days, do a remarkable amount."
Noting that Chisholm’s work was a forerunner to the 1915 appointment of the first female police officers in NSW, Ms Nixon related how these two female officers "were appointed to look after the moral welfare of young women coming into Sydney via boat and train."
"The Foundation itself obviously has great and much bigger ideas," she said, "of providing support to people who come to our country and people who are struggling in many cases."