History of E.S.A. Australia
E.S.A. was introduced to Australia on 10th December, 1963, by Dorothy Banks (formerly Maslen). The inaugural meeting was held in Mr. Paul Comino’s Café in Childers, Queensland. Alpha Alpha Branch, Childers was chartered with 18 members, and the charter president was Thora Calder.
Up to 1973 Queensland had nine branches with 186 members. In 1977 thirty-nine branches had been established with a membership of over 600 members, which included an interstate Branch at Lismore, New South Wales, which brought about national status in Australia.
The first Queensland State Convention was held in Bundaberg, in 1966, with the theme “E.S.A. - Riches are for Sharing”. The first state president was Jean Piaggio.
In 1975 the state project, “Ride for Life” was launched to raise money for Cancer Research. The marathon bicycle ride covered a distance of 1,200 miles, from Cairns to Brisbane.
In May, 1978, the first E.S.A. Scholarship for cancer research was won by Miss Hilarie Heindorff, who furthered her studies in Canada and England.
In 1983 the Redcliffe Branch started a Princess Quest with 90% of the profits to be donated to the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland. The Quest eventually became too large for us to manage and it was handed over to the Leukaemia Foundation in 1994. When the Leukaemia Foundation’s accommodation centre at South Brisbane was opened, it was called ESA Village in recognition of our contribution to the Leukaemia Foundation.
Members in Australia celebrate E.S.A. Week in the second week of March to coincide with our Founder, Dorothy Bank’s birthday. It is in recognition of her founding E.S.A. in Australia.
50th Celebration of E.S.A. Australia 2013