Quakers Australia

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Quakers Australia

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Australian Yearly Meeting
  • AYM (Quakers)


  • Religious

Contact area


AYM Archivist



Street address

119 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code





Description area


The Religious Society of Friends is commonly referred to as Quakers and consists of the members of the Society and many others who worship and are involved with the Society. Quakers have been active in Australia since the 1830s and are referred to as Friends. The organisation was founded by George Fox in 1648 in England and is committed to working for equality and peace and believes firmly in religious tolerance.
The national body is Quakers Australia and, under its formal name, The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia Inc, is incorporated in the ACT. It consists of a number of regional groups called Regional Meetings (or Queensland Quakers, Victorian Quakers etc) and Local Meetings or Worshipping Groups and the Australia Yearly Meeting (or AYM).
The term Yearly Meeting is used by Quakers around the world to refer to a group of Quaker Meetings which come together on an annual basis for business and spiritual purposes (eg Britain Yearly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, etc).
Culturally, Quaker heritage is Christian, British, however it is open to many ideas and believes in social and cultural diversity and inclusivity.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Each of the Regional Meetings is incorporated under their local legislation, as are some Local Meetings. Regional Meetings are autonomous with a (usually brief) set of rules. More importantly, they are guided by the Handbook of Practice and Procedure which is a national publication produced by the Yearly Meeting. This explains the details of the administration arrangements. All meetings in Australia are also governed by national policies.

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies


Each of the Regional Meetings owns one or more Meeting Houses, as do two of the Local Meetings. The only property owned by Quakers Australia is the Sanctuary, which is a domestic rental property in Sydney.


Records held by Quakers Australia (The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Australian Yearly Meeting) include:

  • Agendas, minutes, reports and correspondence of the AYM
  • Policies and public statements.

Records created by Regional Meetings include:

  • Agendas and minutes
  • Marriage registers
  • Annual financial reports (audited)
  • Correspondence
  • Lists of members and attenders
  • Lists of officer bearers
  • Photographs
  • Testimonies (to the life of) and Australian Quaker Dictionary of Biography entries (relevant to each Regional Meeting)
  • Miscellaneous historical material

The Tasmanian Meeting also holds records relating to The Friends School, Hobart, opened in 1887.

Finding aids, guides and publications

For a list of Australian Quaker publications, see https://www.quakersaustralia.info/publications-0/australian-publications
For biographical information about over 1,350 Australian Quakers who have died, see https://www.quakersaustralia.info/resources/quaker-biographies
For online exhibitions on World War I, illustrating the experience of Quakers facing the challenges of WWI, opposing the war and working for peace, see https://www.quakersaustralia.info/resources/exhibitions

Access area

Opening times

Access conditions and requirements

For records held by Quakers Australia (The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Australian Yearly Meeting), direct written enquiries to the AYM Archivist. The Archivist can also assist with general questions about the location of other Society records.

Records created by Regional and Local Meetings and by members of the Society have been deposited in a variety of institutions, including the State Libraries of Queensland and of New South Wales (Mitchell Library) and the Tasmanian State Library and Archives. Researchers should approach these institutions directly concerning access where the location is known.


Services area

Research services

All written enquiries relating to the records held by the The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) Australian Yearly Meeting and general questions about the location of other Society records should be directed to the AYM Archivist. Services are limited.

Reproduction services


Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 28 October 2021




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Religion (Thematic area)
  • Social Organisations and Activities (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

119 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Sydney, New South Wales 2010