In the belief that Australian family life ought to be strengthened and supported for the sake of the nation, and having no living relatives, King and Amy O’Malley directed that the capital and accumulated interest from their estates be used to establish the King and Amy O’Malley Trust Fund and specified that the monies from the Fund were be used to provide financial assistance to students undertaking studies in Home Economics. In 1984, the Victorian Supreme Court determined a scheme of administration for the Fund and declared that it be managed by a Trustee and Advisory Committee.

King O’Malley

King O’Malley (1858-1953) was a member of the first Federal Parliament of Australia (1901). He has been described as a charismatic and imposing man, ‘a man of the people’, ‘a great wit’, ‘picturesque in speech and appearance’ and ‘an astute politician’.

Australian Federal Labor party MPs elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate at the inaugural 1901 election

During his dynamic and sometimes controversial political career, O’Malley demonstrated a number of significant attributes. He was a:

  1. visionary: his vision for Australia included his role in the establishment of a bank for the people that was government owned and run (the Commonwealth Bank), the Transcontinental Railway, planning the city of Canberra and originating the idea of establishing Australia House in London

  2. leader: in church activities, having a major role in the development of the national capital Canberra, as an Independent government minister and later as the Minister for Home Affairs
  3. social reformer: believing strongly in women’s causes and women’s rights, fighting for the introduction of old-age pensions, his belief in a free education system, expressing concern about the negative influences of alcohol on home and family life
  4. strategist: presenting detailed and carefully thought-out plans for a range of possible outcomes, believing that obstacles were made to be surmounted.

Amy O’Malley

Amy O’Malley played a less public role, but was a strong and intelligent woman who supported the belief that a strong family life could not be achieved without effective management of the home.

References for further reading:

  1. Catts D 1957. King O’Malley: Man and Statesman. Sydney, Publicity Press
  2. Hoyle A R 1981. King O’Malley: The American Bounder. Melbourne, Macmillan
  3. Noye L 1986. O’Malley MRH. Sydney, Neptune
  4. Press Searle G (ed) 1988. Australian Dictionary of Biography Vol.II 1891-1939. Melbourne University Press
  5. Australian Dictionary of Biography - King O'Malley