The Plunket Society, founded in 1907, has been heralded as New Zealand's most successful and famous voluntary organisation. Run by women for women, it played a vital role in the care of mothers and babies for most of the twentieth century, becoming a national and international icon. A Voice for Mothers, this comprehensive history of Plunket, covers three broad themes: the relationship between the voluntary sector and the State in the provision of welfare, the development of paediatrics, and the relationship between health providers and their clients, the mothers. Bryder stresses, in particular, infant health and welfare, the political pressures applied by the government and medical profession, the influence of the remarkable women who shaped the fortunes of the society, and its diminishing impact in recent years. She also compares New Zealand's experience with other countries like Australia and Britain, and outlines the philosophy behind the organisation.
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