About this record
The Maternity Allowance Act 1912 provided a payment of five pounds to new mothers—the equivalent of two weeks wages.
Mothers of Indigenous Australian, Asian, Pacific Islander or Papuan (including modern day Papua New Guinea) heritage were not eligible for this payment.
A maternity allowance was an election commitment of the Fisher Government, designed to lower infant mortality rates and to increase the white population of Australia. The allowance was intended to cover medical costs.