Society History

The Society was established as a result of the loss of the 351- ton paddle steamer s.s.Yarra and its 17 man crew in a south-east gale on 15th July, 1877, while attempting to re - enter Newcastle Harbour.

Four days later, a public meeting of citizens, under the chairmanship of the Reverend Dr Lang, at the Royal Exchange, Pitt Street, Sydney, decided to form the Society "for the relief of the widows, orphans and others dependent upon men lost in the marine service of our coast, or elsewhere, such relief to be distributed at the discretion of the committee".

The Society was instituted on 25th July, 1877, and its first meeting, under the presidency of Mr F. H. Dangar, was held on Friday, 27th July, 1877. Subscriptions had by then exceeded two thousand pounds.

The Society was formed as the National Shipwreck Relief Society of New South Wales. In 1902, His Majesty, King Edward VII gave permission for the Society to be known as the Royal Shipwreck Relief and Humane Society of New South Wales.

In 1968, Her Majesty The Queen approved the change of name to the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales in common with all British Commonwealth Nations.

The Society was Incorporated on 26th February 2010.

Past Presidents

1877 - 1921 Mr F. H. DANGAR
1922 - 1930 Mr A. F. ROBINSON
1931 No President
1932 - 1958 Mr W. A. MACKAY
1959 - 1966 Lieutenant General Sir JOHN NORTHCOTT
KCMG KCVO CB KStJ
1967 No President
1968 - 1984 His Honour Justice Sir ADRIAN CURLEWIS
CVO CBE
1985 - 1989 Sir NEVILLE PIXLEY
MBE GCStJ VRD
1990 - 1999 Air Marshal Sir JAMES ROWLAND
AC KBE DFC AFC KSt J
2000 - Present The Honourable Sir LAURENCE STREET
AC KCMG QC

Past Chairmen

1888 - 1910 Mr J. H. STOREY
1911 - 1937 Captain S. G. GREEN
OBE
1938 - 1951 Commander F.W. HIXSON
OBE VD
1952 - 1953 Captain J. C. REID
1954 - 1964 Lieutenant Colonel J. SHARP
MBE
1965 - 1975 Mr R. A. FENWICK
1975 - 1984 Sir NEVILLE PIXLEY
MBE GCStJ VRD
1985 - 1987 Mr G. A. ARCHER
1988 - 1990 Major General R. J. SHARP
AO RFD ED
1991- 1993 Mr A.D.M. GRAHAM AM APM
1994 - 1996 Major General G. L. MAITLAND
AO OBE RFD ED
1997 - 1998 Mr R. W. EATON OBE
1998 - 2000 Major General G. L. MAITLAND
AO OBE RFD ED
2001-2003 Vice Admiral I.D. MAC DOUGALL (Retd)
AC AFSM RAN
2004-2006 Rear Admiral A.L. HUNT (Retd)
AO RAN
2007-2009 Major General The Honourable Justice C.R. HOEBEN
AM RFD
2010-2012 Rear Admiral A.L. HUNT (Retd)
AO RAN
2013 - Present Mr R.J. Hein
AM