The Lady Musgrave Trust provides safe and supportive housing to young Queensland women.
Who we are
We're Queensland's Oldest Charity
Our vision is to alleviate the problem of homelessness for young Queensland women and their children so they can live safe and meaningful lives.
Since 1885, The Lady Musgrave Trust has provided practical solutions that transform lives and transition young Queensland women who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness to a life of opportunity and prosperity. We do this by providing them with a safe place to live and access to education and employment opportunities.
The Lady Musgrave Trust is a small charity that receives no ongoing Government funding. Instead, The Trust delivers on its mission by working in partnership with organisations and individuals who share our commitment to all Queensland women living in safety. Find out how you can get involved.
What we do
We provide practical and meaningful support to Queensland women.
The Lady Musgrave Trust provides practical support to young Queensland women by focusing on three key outcomes.
1. Safe and supported housing
With domestic and family violence a primary cause of young women experiencing homelessness, The Lady Musgrave Trust gives young Queensland women and their children somewhere safe to go – a place they can call home.
While living in one of our 11 South East Queensland properties, The Trust walks beside these women to help them heal and stabilise their lives and develop life skills to build great futures for themselves and their children.
With the supply of affordable and available housing in Brisbane at a record low, our upcoming housing project will increase the number of safe nights we provide to young Queensland women and their kids to about 12,000 per year.
2. Quick access to life-saving services and information
The Trust also produces The Handy Guide of Women’s Support Services – a free, easy-to-use one-stop shop of services and organisations in Queensland that support women, with a focus on homelessness.
Referred to as the ‘bible’ by our partner organisations, and published in both a Brisbane and Regional Queensland edition, the Handy Guide is available in hard copy (we’ve distributed more than 220,000 of our Brisbane & Surrounds and Regional Queensland editions over the last 11 years) and online.
3. Advocating for change to solve homelessness
The Lady Musgrave Trust works with partner organisations to advocate for important reform and policy changes so that all Queensland women can live in safety. We also work hard to strengthen the sector through connections, partnerships and collaborations.
Our signature sector event is the Annual Forum on Women and Homelessness. This half day Forum brings together more than 200 representatives from community organisations, government departments and education institutes to progress emerging and key issues that affect women being able to secure safe and stable accommodation.
The Forum provides opportunities to learn from women’s lived experiences, and to build connections within the sector and strengthen relationships between organisations. The 15th Annual Forum will be held during Homelessness Week on the 2 August 2023.
We've been Supporting Women since 1885
Founded in 1885, The Lady Musgrave Trust is one of Queensland’s oldest charities. This historical experience allows us to focus our efforts on the key activities that deliver the greatest impact.
The Trust was established by a group of community-minded people under the leadership of Lady Jeanie Lucinda Musgrave (pictured), who was the wife of the then-Governor of Queensland. To this day, the Governor of Queensland serves as the Patron of The Trust, and today we enjoy the Patronage of Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM.
In the late 1800s, this dedicated group of people identified a growing number of young women who were experiencing homelessness soon after arriving in Australia from Europe. Many of these young women had been of service on the large ships travelling from countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Once arriving in Australia, they were discharged from their employment, and were left without accommodation and with little means.
Lady Musgrave and her supporters provided safe accommodation to many of these young women, and also encouraged them to learn skills such as cooking and nursing, which in turn provided them with opportunities for independence and security.
Lady Jeanie Lucinda Musgrave chaired the first meeting and was elected Patron, and the subsequent new Lodge was named in her honour. The Lady Musgrave Lodge was established in 1891 at Spring Hill, which provided safe accommodation as well as training opportunities. During this time the Lodge housed thousands of young women while they settled into the Brisbane community, and developed more education and training opportunities.
In 1972 the Lodge was closed, and the property sold. The Trust now has modern, fit for purpose self-contained properties at four locations throughout SE Queensland which are close to essential services and transport options, and which provide a safe and secure base for young women to stabilise their lives and build a better future for themselves and their children.
Since 1885 The Trust has assisted more than 10,000 young women and their children.