The Port Adelaide Institute served as a centre for social and cultural activities within Port Adelaide for over a century, and was the predecessor of the South Australian Maritime Museum and Port Adelaide Public Library.
Sailors' aid societies were first established at Port Adelaide in the 1860s to provide accommodation, entertainment, moral guidance and religious instruction to visiting mariners, and most remained in operation until the late twentieth century.
The Children's Patriotic Fund and Schools' Patriotic Fund were repsonsible for aiding the war effort on the homefront during the First and Second World War, respectively. They achieved this by mobilising school children across South Australia to contribute in any way they could towards the war effort.
In July 1882 Rev. Joseph Coles Kirby of Port Adelaide Congregational Church delivered a series of lectures on what he termed the Social Evil – broadly interpreted as drinking, prostitution and other forms of sexual licentiousness. Those present, following a similar movement in England, agreed to form the Social Purity Society (SPS), to combat what they perceived to be an epidemic of vice.
Modelled on the gentlemen’s clubs that proliferated in London from the eighteenth century, the Adelaide Club resembles bodies established at about the same time in the capital cities of the other Australian colonies.
Carpenters, tailors, bakers, carriers, cordwainers and coachmakers had formed unions within ten years of European settlement of South Australia, and by the 1870s there were thousands of union members in the colony.
The Wattle Day League was responsible for campaigning to establish 'Wattle Day', a national day of celebration, within Australia and helped raise funds on the home front to help support Australian soldiers fighting in the First World War.
Institutions transplanted to Australia were not always successful but the WEA, brought from England, survived an early period of adaptation before becoming a significant South Australian educational institution.