Australian Unity

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Australian Unity
  • Health
  • Living
  • Wealth
PredecessorsManchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows (MUIOOF), Australian Natives' Association (ANA)
Founded7 December 1840; 181 years ago (1840-12-07) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Area served
Number of employees
7,500 (2018)

Australian Unity is an Australian mutual company having its origins in the friendly societies movement. It was formed as the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows (MUIOOF) in Melbourne, Victoria, on 7 December 1840 by eight men including Thomas Strode, publisher of the Port Phillip Gazette and Augustus Greeves, inspired by Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity. In 1993, Manchester Unity merged with the Australian Natives' Association to form Australian Unity. Later mergers occurred with Grand United Friendly Society in 2005, Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society in 2009, and Big Sky Credit Union in 2012.[1] Australian Unity has about 8,500 employees across healthcare, insurance and banking (in the guise of Big Sky Credit Union) divisions.[2]

In 2012, Big Sky was merged with Australian Unity to become the banking arm of Australian Unity.[3][4] Ownership of Big Sky Credit Union Limited was transferred to Australian Unity Limited's subsidiary Lifeplan Australia Building Society Limited and renamed Big Sky Building Society Limited. Members of Big Sky Credit Union became members of Australian Unity.[5][6]

The Manchester Unity Building is a neo-Gothic Art Deco skyscraper in Melbourne, Australia, constructed in 1932.[7][8] Another Melbourne building formerly owned by Manchester Unity Oddfellows, at 335-347 Swanston Street, constructed in 1940-41, opposite the State Library of Victoria, was compulsorily acquired by the Commonwealth government in 1947.[9][10]


Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows (MUIOOF)
Australian Natives' Association
Grand United Friendly Society

Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society (GUOOFS)

Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society
Big Sky Credit Union


  1. ^ McDermott, Alex (2015), Of no personal influence : how people of common enterprise unexpectedly shaped Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria: Australian Unity, ISBN 978-0-646-93093-0[dead link]
  2. ^ "A proud history dating back to 1840". Australian Unity. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Big Sky gets bigger". 17 March 2015. Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Big Sky members vote in favour of Australian Unity deal". Financial Standards. 24 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Big Sky gets bigger". Australian Banking and Finance. 2 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Australian Unity appoints institutional business development manager". 25 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Manchester Unity I.O.O.F. : A £200,000 Structure". The Age. 27 July 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "Manchester Unity Building - A Notable Enterprise". The Age. Melbourne, Vic. 1 September 1932. p. 6. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Manchester Unity Building - Acquisition Described as "Unjust"". The Age. Melbourne, Vic. 23 August 1947. p. 5. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Former Manchester Unity Oddfellows Building" (PDF). Hoddle Grid Heritage Review. Retrieved 28 December 2021.