Welcome to the English-Speaking Union (ESU) of Australia. Sir Evelyn Wrench formed the ESU of the Commonwealth in 1918 in London. Shortly after formation, branches were formed here in Australia in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. A branch in the Australian Capital Territory was added some years later.
The English-Speaking Union was formed by Wrench as an inclusive, non-party, non-sectarian club (admitting both men and women at the time, which was unusual). The aim of the ESU is international fellowship and, ultimately, peace. In the aftermath of the horrors of the First World War, it was thought that this union of English-speaking people across the globe would foster a more peaceful world.
‘Believing that the peace of the world and the progress of mankind can be largely helped by the unity in purpose of the English-Speaking democracies,’ wrote Wrench, ‘we pledge ourselves to promote by every means in our power a good understanding between the peoples of the USA and the British Commonwealth.’ Six months later, the membership had grown to 800 members, with local branches forming over the subsequent years.