President's message

Our work

Social Issues


National International


State information




Contact Us

Back to State information

Madge Fahy

Ann Robinson

(03) 9417 3379

(03) 9416 3213

[email protected]







Motto: She has put out her hand to strong things (Proverbs 31)

Theme 2008: Your Word is Our Strength

The League was founded in Victoria in 1916 by Rev Father W.J. Lockington, SJ under the patronage of His Grace Archbishop Carr of Melbourne.  Our first President was Dr Mary Glowrey.

Dr. Mary Glowrey was the first woman to graduate in Medicine from Melbourne University and when unable to obtain a place in a Victorian hospital to do her internship, she applied and was accepted to do it in New Zealand. 

On her return to Victoria she set up a Private Practice while working at the Ear Nose and Throat Hospital in the city.  She eventually held a position in the Emergency Dept of St. Vincent’s Hospital.

It was because of her background that she was chosen by Fr. W.J. Lockington to be the first President.

In 1919, Dr. Mary Glowrey resigned as President to complete further medical studies. She then left Australian shores to work with the women in India who were in desperate need. She entered the convent and on completion of her novitiate, applied to Rome to be allowed to practice medicine.

This was granted and so she became the first religious to be allowed to practice medicine.Today, our headquarters here in Melbourne, Mary Glowrey House, is named in honour of this amazing woman.

Parish Branches:  These form the base of our League.  These are the backbone of the League.

Diocesan Committees: These committees support the Parish Branches, hold conferences where the women from the diocese come together to share  information, plan any action that needs to be taken by branch members and to renew friendships and make new ones. Currently three of our Dioceses are providing funding to 3 Missionary Sisters in Kenya who in turn use it to provide microcredit funding for women in their areas which allow them to start up their own businesses.  This then removes them from the poverty and provides money so that they are able to educate their children.

Governing Body:  The members of the Governing Body are responsible for the day to day running of the League.

Our Five Special Activities

Mary Glowrey House
The headquarters of the League where short term accommodation is provided for people visiting Melbourne, especially those who have sick relatives in hospital.

Social Questions Committee
This committee upholds and enunciates traditional Catholic values, principles and ethics.  It endeavours to influence legislative and administrative bodies in their deliberations.

Santa Casa – Welfare
This committee provides financial aid for those disadvantaged women and children in the community. The provide scholarships for young girls from the local school in Fitzroy so they are able to continue their education at the Academy in Fitzroy.  Moira Kelly’s Children First organisation is also supported by this group of dedicated women.

Purchased a house jointly at Pt. Lonsdale with the Mercy Order. Under the guidance of a religious social worker, it provides ‘Respite Care” for mothers who need time out.  It is managed by MacKillop Family Services. Christus Rex – Missions:This committee is the League’s united effort to assist Missionaries both in Australia and the Pacific in their work helping the poor and marginalised.  The

Horizon Magazine
It is the official magazine of the League and has been published on a monthly basis since 1916.  It contains Gospel Reflections and information on the various branches in each Diocese.

For further details contact:
Catholic Women’s League of Victoria & Wagga Wagga Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Web page: