Eugenics in Australia: The secret of Melbourne’s elite

Eugenics — the science of improving the race —was a powerful influence on the development of Western civilisation in the first half of the twentieth century. And Melbourne’s elite were among its chief proponents.

In this period all the institutions and practices of modern societies came into being and eugenics played an important role in moulding them.

As the home of the Australian federal government in the early decades of the twentieth century, Melbourne was the ideal place for activists wishing to pursue a national eugenic agenda.