Our History

75 years and counting

For 75 years, we’ve served with uncommon kindness, putting the needs of our neighbours, our communities and our world first. Since the first Lions club was formed in Lismore, NSW in September 1947, we have grown to be Australia’s largest service club organisation.

We look back at our storied past with pride, but we know it’s only the beginning. Every day, we’re building on our legacy with the goal of making an even greater impact in the future.

Scroll through our timeline to discover some of our major achievements over the past 75 years.

  • 1947

    1 July – Formation of the first Australian Lions Club of Lismore

  • 1947

    29 September – Charter night of Lismore Lions Club

  • 1952

    First Lions Club formed in Victoria – Lions Club of Melbourne Host

  • 1952

    First Lions Club formed in Queensland – Lions Club of Coolangatta-Tweed Heads

  • 1957

    First Lions Club formed in Tasmanian – Lions Club of the City of Launceston

  • 1958

    Lions first National project raises £50,000 to establish the Lions National Eye Research Unit in Victoria

  • 1962

    Lions Clubs formed in South Australia, Western Australia, Papua New Guinea

  • 1964

    Lions Club of Alice Springs (NT) and Lions Clubs of Norfolk Island formed

  • 1970

    Lions in Western Australia found the Lions Save Sight Foundation (WA) Inc. leading to the establishment of the renowned Lions Eye Institute in 1983

  • 1974

    Lions mobilise in Queensland to support the emergency following Cyclone Wanda

  • 1975

    Lions mobilise in Darwin to provide direct support to the emergency relief and recovery following Cyclone Tracey including over $500,000 in funds

  • 1986

    The Lions Medical Research Foundation supports Professor Ian Frazer in his work to develop the Cervical Cancer vaccine

  • 1988

    The Lions International Deafness Research Fellowship established to support the ongoing development of the Cochlear Implant

  • 1991

    The first Lions International Convention in the Southern Hemisphere – Brisbane, Australia attended by over 30,000 Lions

  • 2013

    Lion Barry Palmer AO elected at the first Australian to hold the role of International President of Lions Clubs International, presiding over 1.4million Lions in over 200 countries

  • 2016

    Lions partner with the Garvan Institute in Australia, contributing over $4m towards the ‘Genome Power’ project to develop advanced treatments for children with high-risk and aggressive cancers

  • 2022

    The 75th Anniversary of Lions Australia