Australian Charities

Read our latest history newsletter here.


Known as The Ministering Children’s League Incorporated prior to 1998, Cottage by the Sea, Queenscliff Inc. was established in 1890 to provide care and accommodation for children recovering from illness. The Ministering Children’s League was founded in England by the late Countess of Meath, who had a strong passion for Australian children’s charities, in 1884.

The original Cottage by the Sea1890s early cottage in haze [1]

The Countess of Meath was instrumental in the establishment of the Ministering Children’s League in Victoria in 1890. Financial support was forthcoming, land bought at Queenscliff and a wooden cottage built on a high point overlooking the sea. A centre was formed in Melbourne and branches started throughout the State. The first State President in Melbourne was Mrs Robert Harper of “Myoora”, Toorak.

125th Anniversary

In 2015, Cottage by the Sea will be celebrating its very special 125-year anniversary. Throughout the year, we will be celebrating our rich history across a number of special events including, a morning tea at Government House (see photos here) and an open house week at Cottage by the Sea in October. More details can be found on our calendar.

Today, the focus of care is on empowering children by developing their self-esteem, health and well-being. The Cottage is one of Victoria’s important children’s charities, providing support to approximately 1,000 children annually.

The charity embarked on a strategic, well planned expansion of our programs and services in recent years. This has seen an increase in program options, personnel, and resources and, most importantly, an increase in the number of children enjoying a camp with us. We have also expanded our geographical range to offer our programs and resources interstate, to provide the services of Australian charities to more disadvantaged children.

Cottage by the Sea, like many Australian charities, is operated by a Board of Management, General Manager and passionate Staff (in Queenscliff and Surrey Hillsl).