Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/G/Y/AU
Extent22 files
DescriptionCorrespondence, memoranda and papers predominantly relating to the Church Missionary Associations (CMA) of Australia and Church Missionary Society of Australia and Tasmania including correspondence with the branches.
Access StatusPartially closed
Administrative HistoryThe Church Missionary Associations of Australia were affiliated to CMS; they were able to select and train missionaries who were then located by the CMS Parent Society (London). The Associations were responsible for financing missionaries' passage, outfit and maintenance but the missionaries were supervised, and otherwise supported (accommodation etc), by CMS (London) and its local governing bodies overseas in the same way as colleagues recruited through the Parent Society. In 1916, CMS Australia and Tasmania formed incorporating CMA New South Wales and CMA Victoria which thereafter acted under one constitution as branches of CMS Australia and Tasmania. Governed by a Council comprising a president, branch trustees, elected branch representatives, the branch general secretary, and officers elected by Council, with a headquarters in Sydney, the objects of CMS Australia and Tasmania were laid out in the constitution of 1916 to: 'act in the Commonwealth of Australia in relationship with and on behalf of the Parent Society [CMS]'; 'to send Missionaries by means of its Branches to the Mission Fields occupied by, in connection with, and under the direction of the Parent Society' and 'to engage ... in such other Fields not occupied by the Parent Society, as the Providence of God may direct; but the Parent Society shall not be responsible for the Missions of the Society'. Under the 1916 constitution, missionaries continued to be selected locally and missionaries destined to work in missions organised by the Parent Society were located by CMS as before except where the branch had been authorised by the Parent Society to decide on location.

1825 New South Wales Auxiliary of the CMS founded to evangelise the Aborigines of Australia, to collect funds to support this work and to send to the Parent Society;
1856 CMS of Victoria formed to 'carry on missionary work in Victoria and elsewhere and to collect and forward subscriptions for Missionary Societies and objects connected with the Church';
1892 CMS delegation to Australia;
1892 New South Wales Auxiliary evolved into New South Wales CMS; Victoria CMA and New Zealand CMA established (work was not limited to CMS mission fields);
1897 Victoria CMA took over the work of the Victorian branch of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society;
1916 New South Wales and Victoria, South Australia, West Australia and Tasmania, Church Missionary Associations formed themsleves in to one body under the name 'The Church Missionary Society of Australia and Tasmania'
1917 formation of South Australian branch;
1919 formation of CMS Tasmanian branch

Source: printed copy of the Constitution of the Church Missionary Society of Australia and Tasmania and typescript appendix [1916].
Related MaterialFurther records relating to CMS Australia are filed with the records of the Candidates Department (CMS/C/Y 6, 8 and 9).